Over the course of the week Michael and I are going to be recapping some highlights of our 2014, and although sharing photos from our wedding, which was easily our favorite part of the year, would have been the perfect finale for this week’s ‘best of’ posts, we just love the images so much that we simply couldn’t wait until the end of the week.
We were married by the sea on November 1st, the date of our ninth anniversary. A tiny wedding ceremony down near the water at Fisherman’s Point, a spot we love visiting with Orvis, has been a dream of ours since moving to and falling in love with the Willard Beach neighborhood years ago, and earlier this fall we decided together to make that dream a reality. We set the date for a mere three weeks away, and thus began our whirlwind month of October. For the most part, we kept our plans fairly quiet, sharing them only with our immediate families and a handful of friends, and in many ways, the privacy with which we approached our wedding day made the whole experience seem that much more exciting and romantic.
Orvis, looking quite dapper in his gingham bow tie, was our Best Man of Honor, a title he wore with great dignity and a little bit of mischief. Our longtime friend, Julia, and our talented photographer and friend, Sarah Der, were our witnesses. Having a friend who we’ve known for our entire time in Maine attend and another with such a talented eye documenting the day meant so very much to the two of us. We’ve known for years that we’d someday ask Julia’s father, Steve, to officiate our wedding. His thoughtfulness, taste, and the admirable relationship he has with his wife, whom we adore, were an inspiration to us on our wedding day. We decided to write our own vows to each other, something that I was incredibly nervous about until I finally sat down to do so the day before. Listening to the vows Michael wrote for me was easily my favorite part of this most perfect day, and the fact that we both included Orvis in our vows to one another is something that will make me smile for years to come. It would feel funny not to mention the nor’easter that blew in, just in time for our wedding day, but to be honest, with a little bit of flexibility and with all of the happiness, laughter, and tears, I don’t even really remember the weather from a large part of the day.
With the talents of some of our favorite friends, we were fortunate to incorporate other details that are meaningful to us as a couple. A framed, calligraphed marriage certificate – an unofficial one that includes Orvis as a witness – from Li hangs in our home and brings us such joy each time we see it. In lieu of a wedding cake, our favorite bakery, Scratch, created a wedding cookie cake for us – nine layers of the chocolate chunk pistachio sea salt cookie that we absolutely love. Our sweet friend, Alison, who’s been cutting both of our hair for many years now, made me feel simply beautiful. A floral designer I’ve worked with closely and admired over the years, Emily Carter, created the most stunning bouquet for me to hold and the most original and charming boutonniere for Michael to wear. Although not friends per se, the staff at Folia, where we found our wedding bands, made the experience one we’ll remember fondly. Our rings bring us so much happiness, they’ve found two lifelong clients in us.
For the post-ceremony celebration, we chose to honor both our past and present, by having drinks with friends at our very favorite bar, Hunt and Alpine, followed by a cozy dinner at Ribollita, the first place we visited as a couple in Maine. Coming full circle, just the two of us, seemed to be the perfect way to end the happiest day in our very full lives, and even though we chose to celebrate our marriage in the tiniest of ways, we felt an overwhelming amount of love and support from our incredible friends and family.
The photos that our amazingly talented photographer, Sarah Der, took for us were more than we could have ever imagined. Braving the rain and wind with the biggest smile on her face, she perfectly captured so many special moments from the day that we’ll cherish for years and years. We hope you enjoy these photographs as much as we do.
Ceremony site: Fisherman’s Point. Photographer: Sarah Der. Flowers: Emily Carter. Hair & Makeup: Alison Bogannan. Calligraphed Marriage Certificate: Li Ward of Fat Orange Cat Studio. Wedding Cookie: Scratch Baking Co. Meredith’s Dress: J.Crew. Michael’s Suit: Joseph’s. Michael’s Tie: General Knot Co. Michael’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds. Orvis’s Tie: J.Crew. Rings: Folia. Earrings: Hyla DeWitt.13 Comments - Leave a comment
Owning a magnolia wreath from Weston Farms has been a holiday daydream of mine for a few years now, especially since I continue to see these stunning wreaths featured on the pages of our favorite Southern magazines each holiday season. So when our plans took us to Raleigh for the day during a recent trip down to North Carolina, I made returning to Maine with our very own magnolia wreath the highest of priorities.
On our way into the city, we visited the Weston Farms booth at the State Farmer’s Market, where we were able to see a sampling of the various freshly-cut magnolia wreaths (including this year’s Garden and Gun Tapestry pattern), garlands, and arrangements that Erin Weston and her team create. The magnolia from her family’s farm has been specially cultivated to produce shiny green leaves with soft dark brown backs throughout the tree – giving her wreaths a brilliant color contrast that allows them to age beautifully for years. At their market stand there are plenty of wreaths to choose from, but even if they run out (which I’m sure happens quite frequently), or if you’re looking for a slightly different pattern, they can always make wreaths to order, and even do a number of custom home trimming projects each year.
In the end, our mission was accomplished, and we couldn’t be happier with the classic magnolia wreath we selected. Letting the color of the magnolia do all of the work, it compliments our overall minimal aesthetic, and fits nicely atop our newly stained door on our simple little cape. It’s a fun nod to our southern roots, and has the added bonus of being largely unique on the streets of Maine… although since the farm ships all over the country, I can’t imagine it’ll stay that way for many more years.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.3 Comments - Leave a comment
In what I would consider a very quintessential December holiday weekend, Michael and I managed to squeeze quite a bit of festive fun into just a few days. On Friday evening we started out with drinks (and of course, the bread & butter!) at Central Provisions before heading up to the MECA holiday sale. It’s been really fun to watch that sale grow over the years and to see so many members of Portland’s community out supporting the school and the artists.
On Saturday morning we did some work around the house before venturing out into the rainy weather to take care of some holiday errands around the Old Port. We came home craving Christmas cookies, so we decided to whip up these delicious (and easy) Mexican wedding cookies to snack on while we watching Scrooged on Netflix. The majority of our Sunday was spent researching and shopping for a new refrigerator, which is very overwhelming and not nearly as exciting as it might sound. We did, however, manage to salvage what was mostly a meh day by breaking out our new Kitchenaid pasta attachment and trying our hands at rolling our very own farfalle with a tasty butternut squash sauce. It was the perfect meal to enjoy while watching my favorite holiday movie.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.Leave a comment
Since moving to Maine over six years ago, Michael and I have always celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday by cooking a quiet meal for two or joining a few friends for dinner, knowing that we’d end up in North Carolina with our families during Christmas. This year, we decided to mix things up a bit and spend Thanksgiving down south, our first time doing so since college. Luckily our families only live an hour or so apart, so splitting time on holidays between the two isn’t too difficult. Our plan of attack – a Thanksgiving breakfast with my family in Southern Pines, followed by a turkey feast with Michael’s family in High Point that afternoon.
One of the best parts about waking up in my hometown on Thanksgiving morning was the opportunity to attend the annual Blessing of the Hounds for the first time. Michael and I had been wanting to experience the mock-fox hunt and opening meet of the Moore County Hounds, since reading about it in an issue of Our State. The weather was beautiful on Thanksgiving morning so we joined a large crowd at the Moss Foundation, eager to catch a glimpse of the hounds and horses in pursuit of the fox-scented drag. Even after the “hunt” was over, the fun continued as we kept running into old friends of ours.
Afterwards, we made our way back to my parents’ house to snap a few photos of our siblings, their families, and most importantly, the various family dogs. Our schedule was a little rushed since we were trying to fit quite a bit in before we needed to get on the road, but in hindsight I’m so grateful we were able to make it all work. Our Thanksgiving morning was filled with many happy (and delicious!) memories with so many people we care about, many of whom we don’t get to see nearly enough.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.3 Comments - Leave a comment
We returned late Saturday evening from another whirlwind trip to North Carolina, visiting our family and friends for Thanksgiving, and although exhausted from the sixteen hour drive, one of the first things we wanted to do on Sunday was to continue a tradition started three years ago – cutting down our Christmas tree from The Old Farm Christmas Place. Cutting down a Christmas tree always puts us in the mood for the holiday season, but this year’s visit felt even more festive since the farm was still coated in a layer of snow from the week before.
Michael and I began our search, weaving through row after row of available firs, hoping to find the perfect tree for our tiny living room. Thankfully we found the one, not too long after we began looking, and Michael made quick work with the saw. A short tractor ride down the hill later and we were tying our tree to the top of the Subaru, always the most nerve-racking part of the process.
There’s just something special about finding and cutting down your own tree that makes you appreciate the living room centerpiece that much more throughout the holidays. I couldn’t be more excited about winter drinks and good books, wrapped up in the cozy light of our Christmas tree.
For more photos of our first visit to The Old Farm Christmas Place, click here.
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While Michael was just getting back from a week in DC for work, I spent a good part of this weekend working myself. Saturday’s shoot took me to a new part of Maine I’d not yet seen before – Perkins Cove in Ogunquit. As it was a rather chilly day in November, I practically had the charming fishing village to myself. It’s easy to imagine how bustling and busy this area of Maine’s coast must be in the summertime, but I was pleased to experience it for the first time on a much quieter day.
After wrapping Sunday’s shoot in Portland, Michael met me in town for drinks at our favorite bar, Hunt & Alpine, where we were excited to meet Peter, half of the duo behind Maine & Loire – an extremely promising wine shop opening on Washington St. next year.
Having had to fend for myself in the kitchen all week, I was looking forward to properly capping the weekend off with a delicious meal cooked by Michael, the real culinary talent at our house. He prepared this tasty butternut risotto recipe, as I happily resumed my place as sous chef… and resident pistachio snacker. Curled up on the couch with a bowl of my favorite comfort food and Michael by my side was the perfect cozy ending to the weekend.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.3 Comments - Leave a comment
After the busy few weeks that preceded our wedding, Michael and I were more than happy about our plans for a low-key weekend spent (mostly) at home, but only after we took a little detour to Hanover, NH on our way back from Vermont, to walk around Dartmouth with Orvis. We were immediately charmed with the darling downtown and after a delicious lunch at Pine, we vowed to plan a return trip to Hanover as soon as possible.
Once we returned home, much of our weekend was spent making plans for and working in the kitchen. Two days after we were married, our new marble countertops were installed, which involved quite a bit of prep work the day before and a little more touch-up sanding on the walls after. Thankfully, we’ve now moved on to selecting paint colors for the walls, trim, and upper & lower cabinets – who would’ve guess that Benjamin Moore offered 150+ variations of white paint?
In between the trips to the paint and hardware stores we made time to swing by More & Co.‘s autumn party, where they were celebrating the final day of their fall collection with Tandem pies, Field Florist flowers, and rosé. We enjoyed catching up with a few More & Co folks, as well as Ariela of ANK Ceramics, and came home with the most lovely vase from her beautiful collection.
Later that evening we met my family, visiting Maine from North Carolina for the weekend, out for their first dim sum experience at Empire. Sadly our two year-old nephew wasn’t nearly as into the tasty duck buns or spinach dumplings as the adults were, but he did enjoy seeing the new Robert Indiana “Seven” sculpture lit up in front of the museum during our post-dinner walk.
By Sunday, we were back to our normal routine with breakfast from Scratch, followed by a day around the house, working in the kitchen, making cozy meals, and catching up on missed shows… a perfect end to a hectic few weeks.
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So, we pretty much disappeared from the site for these last few weeks, but I promise we have a really great excuse…
Michael and I got married last weekend, on the day of our ninth anniversary as a couple, and in the middle of a nor’easter! It might not be the newest of news to those of you who follow us on Instagram, but we couldn’t possibly be any happier, and will certainly be sharing more details with you all once we have some photos. The ceremony was very small – there were only five people (including us) and Orvis (obviously) – and not many people beyond our families and close friends knew beforehand. The secret nature of the whole thing made it almost feel even more exciting, if that makes any sense.
A week later, we’re still overwhelmed by all the love and support we were shown from our family and friends last week, and can’t stop ourselves from smiling every time we take a look at our wedding bands. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, stay tuned as we have quite a bit of content lined up for the next few weeks – including photos from our impromptu post-wedding getaway to Woodstock, VT!18 Comments - Leave a comment
Almost every fall since moving to Maine, Meredith and I have found the time to do a little apple picking of our own, and almost every fall, we’ve chosen a new orchard to try, but after our trip to Hansel’s Apple Orchard this year, we might have found the orchard that will become as much a part of our tradition as the flannel shirts and bean boots we wear.
Hansel’s is a smaller, family-owned orchard in North Yarmouth that is somewhat unlike the other orchards we’ve visited in the past few years. Without the pumpkin patch, barn store, tour bus turn-around, or long lines, Hansel’s is refreshingly all about the apples. Nestled on a cozy patch of land, you can walk up, grab a real basket (from quarter-peck to full bushel), and get to picking your McIntosh, Cortlands, Macouns, Jonagolds, a Honeycrisp or two, and even a mystery varietal of their own. Meredith and I filled our peck in no time, snapped a few photos, and returned home to days of apple snacks, crisps, and homemade applesauce.
If you’re looking for a new orchard to try this year or next, we highly recommend checking out Hansel’s – we think you’ll really enjoy the change of pace.
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Eager to take advantage of a wedding-free weekend, Michael and I headed up the coast on Friday evening after work to spend a night at my family’s home in Wiscasset. Whenever our schedules slow down in the fall and winter, we love using this spot as a jumping-off point to explore other parts of Maine.
Saturday’s destination was a tried & true favorite day trip – Camden. While I’ve been sneaking in work-related trips to Long Grain since our first visit in 2012, Michael on the other hand, hadn’t been as fortunate, so we set our sights tastebuds on a lunch at the wonderful establishment. After our fill of some delicious pork belly pad kee mao, a tasty crab fried rice bowl, and “the spring rolls that ruined all other spring rolls for us”, we were anxious to stretch our legs, so we ventured up Maiden’s Cliff, eager to take in the colorful foliage and the beautiful view of Megunticook Lake. Even Orvis, whose tail is always happily spinning in search of the next adventure, seemed to be taken with the stunning vista before our eyes, and laid down for a bit at the top.
On Sunday we enjoyed a slow morning around the house – made complete with breakfast from Scratch – before meeting some friends for a hike at Wolfe’s Neck. Spending time outdoors both days this weekend reminded us how thankful we are to live in such a richly beautiful state, and even though our hikes will soon lack the vibrant fall color of October (and will require many more layers), it’ll be enjoyable to welcome all of the new fun that the next season brings.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.2 Comments - Leave a comment