This is the wedding of Barry and April that was sent from Lad Photography. Barry and April have traveled the world, and even lived in Australia for a short time, but decided to come to beautiful Maine for their gorgeous wedding at Ski Esta in Newry.
Barry’s family even flew in from Ireland to witness these two incredible people wed in a ceremony and reception that combined traditions of both their Irish and Polish heritages. It was an amazing day, and I’m so grateful I got to be a part of it.
The burlap and lace theme was something I had thought of right after we got engaged (October 2012) – I had been putting some other color combinations into search engines and Pinterest to try to get some ideas when I saw a barn wedding that had burlap in the decorations, but as a small part.
And then I searched some more for burlap and saw a few other weddings with those types of decorations, but nothing like I was thinking of. Separately, I had searched for lace and then decided to combine the two ideas – I even searched for burlap and lace and found very little, just a handful of examples.
We had a year and a half engagement period because both our sisters are teachers so we needed to plan a summer wedding; and Barry is from Ireland so asking his family and friends to fly to the US from Ireland was a bit much to ask on short notice.
The combination with green was a no brainer because green is the color of nature and we were getting married in the heart of nature and love getting outside ourselves to go hiking or cycling together.
Once the location was narrowed down to the US, we started looking for places in New England, mainly Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine – if our family and friends had to travel anyways, it might as well be to somewhere they’ve never been before (I’m from Connecticut, Barry and I met in Philadelphia, moved to Australia, and now reside in Dallas, TX so our friends are all over)! Weddings in Ireland traditionally run into the very early hours of the morning, at least the ones we’d been to, so we needed a place we could call our own.
Added into that was the fact that our families had never met before so our wedding was the first time – allowing them to get to know each other was important. Even before we were engaged, my sister told me about a wedding they had just been to in Maine where the couple got this awesome house for a few days and close friends and family stayed there – we narrowed our search for a similar place and ended up with SkiEsta – which we reserved, sight-unseen, immediately!
We were able to fit all of our immediate family and bridal party in the house! Barry had never been to Maine but April’s family used to camp and ski up there growing up and loved it. Now that we’ve been there a few times, we love it more every time we go and discover something new about the big and small towns we’ve visited.
The rings are directly from Ireland. Barry had been thinking of getting his wedding ring with a Claddagh theme to it but didn’t find any he liked; but while looking for that, he came across a jeweler who had done Ogham letters on wedding rings.
Ogham (pron. òm) is the ancient written alphabet of Ireland’s natives. We decided that we’d both get one with each other’s first initials on outside with “grá” inscribed on the inside, which means “love” in Irish.
Barry spent the majority of his schooling in Ireland learning in Irish instead of English so we incorporated that background into the ceremony – Barry’s sister, Gillian, read an excerpt from Romans, chapter 12, in Irish and we included the English translation on the program for everyone else.
April’s side of the family has some Polish roots, which explains the Polish blackberry brandy we placed on each of the tables for the toasts as well as a traditional blessing from the bride’s parents at the beginning of the reception.
As part of this blessing, the parents give the newlyweds bread sprinkled with salt and a glass of wine; with the bread, the parents are hoping that their children will never hunger or be in need; with the salt, they are reminding the couple that their life may be difficult at times, and they must learn to cope with life’s struggles; and with the wine, they are hoping that the couple will never thirst and wish that they have a life of good health, and good cheer and share the company of many good friends.
The parents then kiss the newly married couple as a sign of welcome, unity and love. April’s Mom practiced the blessing in Polish for weeks leading up to the wedding – no idea how accurate it was but she did great!