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Lillee & Shawn- Newagen Inn Wedding, Maine

Oh where do I begin?  This wedding was an unbelievable treat and honor to photograph.

When one of your dearest friends asks you to photograph their wedding a mix of emotions floods over you.  (At least for me)  I was filled with excitement but I felt a lot of pressure too.  I wanted to capture everything.  Every moment. Every ounce of excitement. Every meaningful detail.  I put a lot of pressure on myself, and since it was a destination wedding I was shooting solo, so that also added to my nerves- I kept thinking will I be able to capture it all?  Well, I don’t know if you can ever capture in ALL.  But I do feel like I was able to capture the significant aspects of this incredible day.  I have truly never been a witness to a more authentic, original, unique wedding.  Lillee and Shawn infused their personalities and spirits into every detail of the day.

Here is a description of the wedding from Lillee:

Shawn and I began planning our wedding with one word in mind. Destination.

We dreamed of being married far from home, in a relaxed environment with inspiring views. We found and we were also able to create all this and more at Newagen Seaside Inn in Southport, ME.

For our marriage ceremony, we wanted to highlight our passion for travel and adventure, our deep appreciation of Buddhist philosophy and traditions, and fueled by my own Indian heritage, our fascination with Indian weddings. In the end, I believe we created a unique, sensory rich, and multi-cultural wedding experience that everyone could enjoy and remember.

As we walked down the aisle a newly married couple, our guests tossed rice that had been specially prepared by our friends and blessed by our Lama (priest) the evening before with a bright yellow saffron stain.  It added unbelieveable golden accents against the Maine backdrop of dense green pines, the gorgeous reds of my Indian gown and the pink rose petals carpeting the aisle.

We desired only the brightest and happiest of colors throughout the event and so early on I had planned to present our escort cards in trays of Indian daal (which are actually just dried lentils)!  I had always loved the unusual colors of this staple served (cooked of course!) with many South Indian dishes. Coupled with the bright scrolling design of our DIY stationary, it was a playful translation of Maine sand and stone. And we carried that theme right into the reception tent by presenting each table by different country names that we had previously visited.

Our florist and lighting genius, Kate Martin from Beautiful Days created an incredibly multi-textured interior filled with a variety of flowers from every color, genus and species it seemed!  Red dahlias, mango calla lilys, and purple orchids were united with bright orange pincushion flowers, yellow billy balls and cascading layers of pink amaranth. An interpretation of the marigold garlands that wrap Indian affairs in style, took the form of hand-strewn floral tassels which dangled from the multiple-sized, colored and shaped paper lanterns that adorned the tent. 

For our DIY table linens, we purchased luxurious printed satin fabric from one of the many Indian stores we visited during the planning stages.  The groom’s mom as a labor of love, graciously agreed to hand sew the 20”x13’ table runners complete with tassels of their own.  This was a perfect solution to giving the runway long family-style tables the splash of color they needed to make a more formal and intimate dining experience, without the high cost of renting from a specialty store.

Our many family and friends happily joined us in dressing the cultural part by wearing traditional Indian dresses (sari or lehenga) and suits (kurta or sherwani).    As gifts for the female guests, we handed out Indian bangles before the ceremony. Every color of dress was represented, of course only adding to the vibrant color palette of the day.

As the amazing night wore on however, east did meet west and clothing changed over to comfortable summer dresses and shirts and ties. But thanks to our amazing band, the dancing never stopped!

For dessert we had cupcakes and a gelato bar (a huge hit!) as a nod to the Italian heritage of Shawn’s family.

Bringing our guests all the way to India (or even Italy) was impossible, but I think we succeeded in bringing a small piece of it to them. We were able to create many memories filled with rich beautiful color, exotic and delicious cultural traditions, and dancing! Lots of dancing!

I am going to break this post into two because there were so many incredible details and moments that filled this gorgeous day in Maine.  So here is the first batch- getting ready up through the ceremony.  Stay tuned for the couple portraits, change of attire and the reception- FULL of incredible details and lots of dancing!

The morning stared out very foggy.  So surreal.

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And a huge thank you to all the vendors that made this day so spectacular!

Venue & Planner- Jason Schlosser at Newagen
Flowers- Lighting – Beautiful Days, Kate Martin
Henna-Remarkable Blackbird
Hair-Andrea Torre, New Haven CT
Makeup-About Face, Linda Forgues
OfficiantLama Padma Karma
Band-Boss Band
Cake-European Bakery
Gelato-Gelato Fiasco
Indian dress- Store -Pashmina Jackson Heights, NY
White dress designer-Nicole Miller, Purchased at the dressing room, Wallingford CT
White dress Jewelry- Two Tightly Wound

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