As we reflect on our 2017 season, I am astounded at the celebrations we were a part of. It never ceases to amaze me that we are lucky enough to help people create and enjoy one of the most meaningful days of their lives.
Every season I say “This was the best season yet!” and it’s true. Each year brings new couples, new love, new adventures, and new celebrations. No one wedding is the same and I so much enjoy watching two people celebrate love with their most favorite people.
One of our very favorite weddings this season was this spring wedding – our first one of the year. On a moody day in May, Eileen and Randy said “I Do” in an intimate setting at the bride’s favorite location.
These two genuine, endearing souls are exactly the type of couple we love working with. Their love for one another, and for life, is inspiring. They envisioned a beautifully designed celebration surrounded by their closest friends and family with the most delicious food, the best local beverages, and lively, fun entertainment they could enjoy with their guests. They wanted their event to be intimate, timeless, intentional, and stunning. So, that’s what it was.
Eileen first called me in the fall for 2016 after deciding she was having her wedding at The Dockside Inn and Guest Quarters. She had been summering in York since she was a child and she made The Dockside her yearly summer visit a few years back. She wanted to put a spin on the weddings that were typically held at that property as she did not want to use the inside reception space and instead wanted to celebrate under the stars and enjoy the outside property as much as possible. She decided to work with us for Full Planning and Design as this was a wedding which, in her own words “she had a waited a long time for”.
We worked closely together crafting a design that would prove timeless, elegant, and personal. We included dozens of personal details into their day including locally made fudge packaged in guests’ welcome baskets purchased from a local store Eileen had visited for decades, to custom designed T.S. Eliot quotes suspended in the dance tent, to individual notes handwritten by the bride and groom for each of their beloved guests.
We enlisted an incredible team of vendors who helped create Eileen and Randys’ wonderful celebration. Please scroll to the bottom to check out our team as well as read some words from the bride herself.
Wedding Planner and Designer: Nicole Mower Weddings and Events
Venue: The Dockside Restaurant
Photographer: Jess Jolin Photography
Videographer: Meg Simone Wedding Films
Florist: Wildfolk Studio
Officiant: Sharon Curole of Weddings with Spirit
Rentals: Tent – Sperry Tents Seacoast
Farm Tables, Plates, China, Runners – Heartwood Essentials
Linen – La Tavola
Other Exeter Events and Tents
Laser Cut Sign: Benoit’s Design Co
Lighting: The Event Light Pros
Calligraphy / Signage: AMR Calligraphy
Violinist: Kathryn Skudera Haddad
Band: East Coast Soul
Baker: Cakes for All Seasons
Hair and Makeup: The Crown Boutique
“This is your day,” she said, “tell me what’s meaningful for the two of you…”
Nicole Mower was recommended to my fiancé and I by Phil Lusty of Dockside Restaurant: York Harbor, Maine. We knew we wanted to be married at Dockside. I grew up in a cottage on Short Sands and discovered ‘beyond the hill little cove’ in my 20’s. It became my go-to most personal retreat from life in the city of Washington, D.C. Being married there was a dream coming true.
As a first time bride of 56 going on princess of 7 and dancing queen of 17, I knew I needed all the solid help I could coordinate. I knew I knew how to throw a party… a gracious one even… but I also knew that I had no idea how to create a once in a lifetime occasion for the 70 nearest and dearest for Randy and me. Our whole families were meeting for a first time. In some cases, maybe a last. And every single person was coming from 100 – 600 miles away. This wasn’t a ‘destination wedding’. This was an ‘Eileen-sharing-her-secret-trysting-place-total-celebration-of-life-and-love-because-she-found-Randy’ wedding. I so wanted the ambiance with tent I saw on the NMWE website…. and I had only ever seen white chairs on the lawn at Dockside followed by dinner indoors.
Nicole introduced us to vendors I would have picked myself. I enjoyed making direct contact and felt welcomed into a special wedding-worker club, so to speak. People kept saying: “Nicole is the best…. A real joy to work with…. A true team player…” Geeez, I kept thinking to myself, increasingly… I ‘want what I’m having‘. There was deep pleasure with trust in the experience that we really were working together. And I was relieved to keep discovering that I had found a leader team mate with expertise, good taste, respect for the relationship between budget and purpose, and a sense of humor. When I took on the printing of a ‘program’ for our ceremony, for instance, she still took care to check my homework. “Congratulations Ellen and Randy! Oy vey!!:)” In so doing she caught the obviously crucial misprint of my first name Eileen!
What can I say? I’m sad that it’s over. I thoroughly enjoyed the building / planning process. Nicole did the lion’s share of the thinking, arranging, balancing, and introducing me to choices. She heard my thrills and my concerns. I mentioned T. S. Eliot and then we had poetry in calligraphy and suspended from the dance floor with lighting. I worried about magnitude of expenditure and she showed me how she thought from a bird’s eye point of view: over-estimating, on the one hand, and ‘repurposing’ on the other….
Nicole was on every detail — like I would have been — for me. From the picking of place settings to the assembly of our own outdoor tent, from the conception of theme to the suggestion of grilled cheese and tomato soup for very end of evening, from the assigning of tasks to the persistent and gentle reminders to get those tasks only I could do done…. She shared and involved me in everything because that’s how I wanted to do it with her. She was also using her judgment, from start to finish, in withholding information thus saving me angst and distraction. A minute before the ceremony was to begin, for instance, she told me what she had known for the preceding 2 hours. The female vocalist responsible for singing our beloved song: ‘The Water is Wide’ was profoundly ill at the very last minute and unable to perform. “We may have to go instrumental only,” she said. Trying not to feel crushed, I whispered,
“What about Gloria?” Without knowing who she was, Nicole found my friend seated in the audience, made a compelling plea, then raced to print the words to the song. As the readings were concluding and the violinist began, Nicole was handing the words to Gloria who rose to ascend the porch stage. When I heard my soul-sister friend singing, I cheered then melted.
Industry, enjoyment, team work and success that breeds. Staying on task, getting things done respectfully and in plenty of time. Balancing nitty gritty business with most personal, fateful, whirlwind reality moment. Finding the right people to do the just right jobs well. Taking some measured chances while relying on precedent of experience and listening…. to me…. to us…. to every single thing and bit that went into the creation of this event…. for everyone…
This was my experience with and because of working with Nicole Mower Weddings & Events.