Sam & Kayla’s Bar Harbor Elopement Ceremony (of the fancy kind)

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Video Credit:  Yellow Dog Production (contact info below)

From Kayla and Sam’s recent elopement in Bar Harbor.  Watch the video and be prepared to FEEL. THE. LOVE.  I can’t recall ever officiating for a couple more excited to be married.  They’re adorable.  And the photos certainly speak for themselves.  What treasures for Sam and Kayla to enjoy for years and years to come.

Photo Credit: Esra Y Photography

They initially planned to tie the knot at the Blue Hill Overlook on Cadillac Mountain but shortly before the ceremony was set to begin, dark clouds filled the sky.  One of the wonderful advantages to not having 200 guests in attendance is the ability to change plans at the very last minute.

Photo Credit: Esra Y Photography

My phone rang as I was just about to enter Acadia National park and it was Kayla calling to tell me they had decided to change the location to one where there was a gazebo in town, so I simply headed there instead and met with the couple and their photographers.

Photo Credit: Esra Y Photography

We ended up on the beach below a well traveled walking path.  As the ceremony progressed, a growing crowd of people leaned on the railing beside the path to look down upon us as Kayla and Sam exchanged vows.

Photo Credit: Esra Y Photography

When the ceremony closed, I pronounced them as husband and wife, and asked them to turn to face their “guests” above.

Photo Credit: Esra Y Photography

I presented them as the new Mr and Mrs as the crowd cheered, clapped and even posed for a couple of photos.

Photo Credit: Esra Y Photography

It’s these unplanned moments which make elopements so much fun.

Photo Credit: Esra Y Photography


These incredible photos were taken by Esra Sargent  Her telephone number is (347) 345-5851.  Her media sites are here:


Facebook Page:


Videography was done by Peter & Susan MacDougall of Yellow Dog Productions.

Contact information for Yellow Dog Productions (207) 592-5508 is:

Facebook Page:


Elopements – Not What They Used to Be

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Photo Credit: Russell Caron Wedding Photography

As a marriage officiant, I’ve performed hundreds of ceremonies over the past 18 years.  From the very simple “We just want the marriage license” type, to the incredibly extravagant.  Most couples fall somewhere in between and many of those struggle to find a way to include all of the details they want, while excluding the ones they don’t.  Marriage is an exciting milestone and couples generally do want the occasion to feel like a celebration.  But they do not always want the stress and expense which comes along with planning a large wedding (and who could blame them?).  This article does a great job of summing it up, and saves me from a lot of writing today!

Elopements are no longer a couple running away, leaving the bride’s wedding day dreams behind her in a cloud of dust.  Not at all.

Photo Credit: Russell Caron Wedding Photography

Case in point:  Last month, Kim and Matt came to Maine from Florida.  They made a vacation out of it and chose the Inn at Sunrise Point on the Camden/Lincolnville line to have their ceremony.  Kim wore a beautiful gown, spent the morning at the salon, ordered cake and a bouquet.  Matt walked to the ceremony location with me and waited with his eyes closed as Kim made her way to meet him.  Once she was standing there in front of him, he opened his eyes.

Photo Credit: Russell Caron Wedding Photography

The ceremony began there beside the ocean and a schooner sailed past in the distance while the ceremony was in progress (quintessential Maine).  And it was all captured by their two fabulous photographers, Russ and Liz of Russell Caron Wedding Photography.

After the ceremony, Kim and Matt enjoyed champagne, cut the cake, and left for offsite photos with Russ and Liz.

Photo Credit: Russell Caron Wedding Photography

It certainly felt like a celebration.  Then, a few days later, I’m sure Kim and Matt thoroughly enjoyed scrolling through their wedding photos, as I did!  Big thanks to Russ and Liz for allowing me to share some.

Photo Credit: Russell Caron Wedding Photography


Maine Wedding Venues

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Couples often ask for recommendations on Maine wedding venues, so I’ve started to put together a list of my personal favorites.  Each venue listed here offers something unique or unforgettable.

Agora Grand Event Center (formerly St. Patrick’s Church) – Lewiston, Maine

Agora Grand is one of Maine’ newest full service wedding venues.  Unique to this location is the ability for couples to marry in a stunning church setting without the requirement of holding a religious based ceremony.  From a reception hall on site featuring 55 foot ceilings, to a tower honeymoon suite and hotel, Agora Grand offers some pretty amazing options for couples planning a mid to large sized wedding.  There truly are no words to adequately describe this location, so please view their website at  You may also contact Agora Grand’s owner, Andrew Knight, by phone at (571) 505-2916 or by Email at

Maple Hill Farm Bed & Breakfast Inn and Conference Center – Hallowell, Maine

It isn’t just the 130 acres of woods and fields (with trails for walking, snowshoeing or cross country skiing) or the tastefully appointed guest rooms, or even the covered porch which make this location stand out.  My favorite feature here is the llamas.  Yes, llamas.  Michelle and Jory married here in September under the two beautiful maples trees and although the llamas didn’t stick around for the ceremony, they did show up for photos afterwards.  Have a look here:  You can contact the innkeepers of this award winning and environmentally friendly venue by calling 1-800-622-2708.

 The Inn at Sunrise Point – Camden/Lincolnville, Maine

What makes this place special enough to make the “Best of Where to Elope 2016” list?  Maybe the choice to marry amongst the flowers of the incredible gardens, or beneath the trees at the ocean’s edge.  There is certainly no shortage of amazing backdrops for your wedding photos.  The Inn at Sunrise Point accommodates only the smallest of weddings; elopements and ceremonies with no more than 6 attendants.  The grounds and buildings here are incredible and the staff is wonderfully helpful.  But what stands out the most is the peacefulness and the quiet.  Visit the inn’s website at or reach out by phone at (207) 236-7716.




3/25/13 – Red Sox Fans Unite!

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Red Sox Fans Marry in Maine

Photo Credit:  Bonnie Harrison Photography

When I look back upon the weddings I’ve performed, one in particular stands out.  Far out.

Marty and Jerry planned a May 2011 wedding at a gorgeous waterfront “cottage” on Barters Island.  Cottage it was not, but here in Maine we use that term to describe any residence located close enough to the ocean to smell salt water.  The gently sloping lawn leading to the water and the grounds around the cottage were beautiful.  I’m still not certain that I didn’t see it on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens.  The atmosphere was relaxed and offered the much sought after feel of Maine’s slower pace of life.

Before I go further, I should provide a bit of background.  I did my meet and greet with Marty and Jerry at Marty’s office, after she was off the clock, of course!  They finished each others sentences, gazed adoringly at one another, engaged in affectionate teasing, and laughed.  A lot.  The chemistry between them was magnificent.

While they were dating, Jerry had gone out of state for schooling in the marine industry.  Over the course of that year, they saw eachother only once or twice.  Upon Jerry’s return, life moved forward and they began planning their wedding, which by the way was a green wedding – kudos to them, right?!

So, back to the cottage.  Chairs facing the water were set up for the guests, a simple white wooden arbor in place.  You’ll notice the arbor has a compass on its front.  The compass is a meaningful symbol to Jerry and Marty because as Jerry said: “Marty is my compass, she is always guiding me in the right direction”.  Don’t you just love Jerry already?

Katie Daggett, a local musician, entertained guests while they waited for the wedding party to arrive.  I led the guys to the arbor and into their places and we waited for Marty to arrive, escorted down the aisle by her step-dad.  Marty’s brother was her “Gentleman of Honor”.

You might have guessed already that Marty and Jerry march to the beat of their own drum (and a fine drum I might add – honestly, they are exceptionally great people).  So, Marty had no intention of walking down the aisle to Wagner’s Bridal Chorus or Canon in D Major.  Instead, she privately arranged for Katie to play a song near and dear to her heart during her entrance.  The song was kept secret from all.

As Marty and her step-father appeared and began their descent down the hill where Marty was to meet her groom, Katie began playing the most fabulous and soft rendition of Sweet Caroline.  Yes, the Mister and Misses are Red Sox fans.  There wasn’t one face on that lawn without a great big, wide grin.

Now, you don’t have to know a thing about baseball to know what you’re supposed to do in the northeast when Sweet Caroline is being played…Even if it’s during a wedding ceremony.

So, as Marty stood before me and Katie plucked the chorus, the bride, the groom, the men standing up with them, their parents, all the guests (and yes, even their officiant) all chimed in as if on cue to supplement the chorus with:  “Bum Bum Bum!” and “So good, so good, so good!”

You just can’t plan a moment like this.  A goosebumps on your arms, all over body tingle, hair standing up on the back of your neck, lump in your throat moment.

And as for Marty and Jerry?  Life continues to move forward.  Forward in the kind of way that I’m willing to bet that somewhere around their house at this very moment, you’d find a tiny pastel pink Red Sox hat.  And likely a matching jersey, too.

12/6/12 – Maine sets a date

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A date is set for Maine same sex marriage!

Town offices are able to issue Maine same sex marriage licenses as of December 29, 2012.  Because the 29th falls on a Saturday, some municipalities are generously opening their doors specifically to issue marriage licenses for couples who wish to file their intentions on the very first day.  So far, I am aware of some town offices planning to open from 9am to noon and others who plan to open at midnight.  Please call your town/city clerk to inquire about special hours for this occassion.  

Be sure to bring the following items with you when filing your intentions:

1)  Photo ID’s

2)  Official/attested document which ended your last marriage if applicable (divorce decree or death certificate)

3)  $40 filing fee (best to bring in cash as not all town offices accept credit or debit cards)


Augusta:  12/29/12 – Open from 9am – noon

Gardiner: 12/29/12 – Open from 9am – noon

Portland:  12/29/12 – Open from 12:01am – 3:01am