Eight years ago we got married in Las Vegas. I've always said I wouldn't change a thing because it was all pretty perfect. But I have to admit something...having photographed a number of weddings at Migis Lodge I'm now thinking of retracting my statement. If I could do it all over again I might just relocate our wedding to THE BEST WEDDING VENUE IN MAINE - Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake, South Casco, ME
And why is Migis Lodge the best Maine wedding venue? Imagine an idyllic peaceful camp on the shores of glorious Lake Sebago. When someone says "camp" you might be thinking of drafty cabins and dubious bathrooms. Not so at Migis. The private cabins and cottages are spacious, well-appointed and have luxurious bathrooms. Soaking tubs! A daily firewood delivery! Handmade quilts! And then there's the amazing dining options all deliciously prepared by Chef John and the team, often with fresh ingredients from the Migis garden.
But I should take a temporary break from extolling the virtues of Migis and get to the reason for this blog post. Joanna and Joe wisely chose Migis Lodge for their Maine wedding and I had the honor of being their wedding photographer.
To invite guests to a wedding you need to send out wedding invitations and I adored Joanna and Joe's wedding stationery suite from Gus & Ruby Letterpress in Portsmouth, NH
Weddings are often a race against the clock when you might have just 5 or 6 hours in which to have your wedding ceremony and reception and attempt to talk to 100 of your closest friends. Again, not so at Migis Lodge. You might choose to have your guests check in the night before the wedding and enjoy a relaxed rehearsal dinner with fresh Maine lobster. Your friends and family might spend the morning of the wedding getting to know each other, kayaking, relaxing and maybe enjoying a little boat ride on the beautiful antique Tykona II Cris Craft Boat with Captain Tim or Jed.
Joanna and Joe had thought of every little detail and even had custom blankets made for guests to cozy up with.
Joanna and the girls got ready in Cliffside (an excellent cottage choice as it's a little more secluded from the main lodge AND it's close to the dock to board the boat for transportation to the ceremony). There was lots of giggling, a little practice father-daughter dancing and fabulous hair and make up from the always amazing Joanne of Joya Beauty and Jenn Macek Conway:
Joanna was helped into her wedding dress (Flair on Newbury St) by her mom Barbara and sister and MOH Jennifer.
Joanna's proud father Dave seeing his daughter as a bride in her wedding dress for the first time:
Meanwhile Audrey spent her morning with Joe and the guys (the top pictures with the bird, kayaking and nature shots are hers also!)
Joanna and Joe wanted to maximise their time with their friends and family, not to mention their "just married" boat ride so they wisely chose to do a first look and take all of the formal pictures prior to the ceremony.
Joanna's twin nieces (and flower girls) Rory & Reese enjoyed the show (picture by Audrey):
I could photograph weddings every day at Migis - it's all just so beautiful and peaceful with the tall pine trees and the sound of the water. The beautiful flowers were all done by the in-house florist at Migis - Marcia - so pretty!
This picture makes me giggle.
Joanna and Joe kept their wedding party very small. Joanna had her sister Jennifer as her maid of honor and Joe's sister Carolyn as her bridesmaid. Joe chose his friends Mike as best man and Eugene as a groomsman.
When you're having an outdoor ceremony you never know how you'll quite look by the end of it - will the wind be crazy and blow your hair all over the place? Will the hot sun turn one side of your face bright red? One of the many advantages of doing a first look/pictures before the ceremony is that everyone is camera-ready and fresh out of hair and make up for relaxed family portraits!
Joanna and Joe had the nicest families, everyone was so supportive and welcoming. I especially had a soft spot for the grandmothers. Joe's grandmother Nancy is bottom left and you'll meet Joanna's grandmother later in the day.
One last picture of the almost-newlyweds and then we have a wedding to get to!!!
Everything was ready for the outdoor ceremony on Petunia Lawn on Sebago Lake:
If you decide to get married at Migis Lodge you'll arrive and depart in style. While Joe waited under the arbor Joanna and her father arrived in the Tykona II. The boat swings out and turns by the ceremony site and all of the guests were waving their hellos!
Now would also be a good time to give a shout out to the AMAZING team who make all of the Migis weddings happen. From Robyn, Jed and Maddy to Justin and all of the fabulous dining room team, to Sophie the dog - you and your guests are SO well cared for and everything runs so smoothly.
Check out the adorable reactions of the grandmothers:
I had a third photographer join me and Audrey just for the ceremony to get some additional wide shots from afar. This is one of Sarah's images.
Joanna and Joe smiled and laughed through the really lovely ceremony officiated by Minister Karen Munson of Brunswick United Methodist Church and then they were pronounced husband and wife!
I'd love to say I set this shot up but this was Joanna and Joe SO excited to be married and just seconds before they boarded their boat ride.
As guests made their way to the lodge for a cocktail out on the porch Joanna and Joe took a little alone time in the boat with a glass of champagne
Champagne and hors d'oeuvres overlooking Lake Sebago - is there a better way to spend a Saturday evening? I don't think so!
Guests took their individual escort cards with calligraphy by the super talented Letterings by Liz before making their way into the Migis Lodge dining room with lush flower centerpieces by Marcia and hundreds of twinkle lights! I am still dreaming of the pan-seared halibut with fresh Maine fiddleheads that I enjoyed for dinner!
Joanna and Joe wowed everyone with a very impressive first dance:
Both fathers welcomed everyone and then Jennifer and Mike gave their excellent and moving toasts.
Sometimes you'll see the most stunning sunsets over Sebago and this was one of those deep blue and orange sky kind of nights. So we snuck outside for just a few minutes. This is one of my very favorite pictures.
Back inside Joe danced with his mom and Joanna with her dad.
The dancefloor was then well and truly opened. Music for the ceremony, cocktail hour and dancing was provided by the AMAZING Bob Charest Band. I've had the pleasure of working with Bob, Cindy and the super talented singers and musicians a couple of times and if you're looking for an amazing wedding band in Maine then look no more. They played everything from old classics to new pop like "Sugar" and "Uptown Funk" even recruiting Reese and Rory to play percussion:
The party continued late into the night at Migis with bonfires and s'mores and you can even have an after-party in Boulders. I'll leave you with this last image. Joanna & Joe - thank you, thank you, thank you for choosing me as your Migis Lodge wedding photographer. It was an absolute honor and a pleasure to document your day! I hope you like this little preview you have HUNDREDS more images to come!
If you'd like to see more Migis Lodge Wedding pictures you could check out:
Amy & John's Migis Lodge Wedding
And in just a couple more weeks I'll have some more fabulous Migis Weddings for you, but first a Newburyport engagement shoot! Happy Thursday!