While a reggae brunch would not be a place you would typically find either Laura or Pete, it was the singular setting where their paths crossed and have been intertwined ever since.
Both attended a birthday brunch of a mutual friend when the pair found themselves seated next to each other. By way of introduction, Pete graciously shared a story about how he broke his arm at a Patriots game. It left an indelible mark on Laura, and when he messaged her the next day on Facebook, she said “No way!”
However, a friend reminded her she had nothing to lose because she was heading to Maine soon after surgery. Laura relented - her confidante had said that Pete was the kind of guy who would bring her flowers while she recovered.
Fast forward to May 2012, Pete showed up at the hospital with a huge bouquet of flowers. Laura’s parents first learned of and met Pete for the first time that day. What an auspicious way to make a great first impression on the people who would someday become your in-laws!
Pete has impressed them ever since, tactfully tying their families together at the most pivotal moments. Laura’s engagement ring was her maternal grandmother’s engagement ring from the early 1900’s. But since the original center diamond was missing, Pete went to the same jewelry store his grandparents frequented to purchase the new center diamond. Pete creatively found a way to carry family history forward into their future as husband and wife.
In the thoughtful details of their wedding, common threads of their lives and family ties were evident.
Laura’s dad lovingly constructed the driftwood arch for the ceremony, turning the washed up debris into something stunning for his daughter’s big day. It was a family affair at Thanksgiving to collect all of the pieces while walking the shores of midcoast Maine together. Similarly, Laura crafted the picture frames from sea glass the couple found on the shores of Massachusetts and Maine.
Laura’s wedding band was created from her maternal grandmother’s cocktail ring and the charm on her bouquet was her grandmother’s locket. In honor of their memories, her mom put in the locket the pictures of both maternal and paternal grandparents.
The bracelets she gave to her bridesmaids as gifts had the coordinates of where each one met Laura--whether England, New Zealand, North Carolina, or Massachusetts. In fact, the brooch on her dress hearkens to her time in New Zealand--where the silver fern symbolizes new beginnings.
Pete's sister wrote and officiated the wedding ceremony, which included readings from Laura's brother and Pete's uncle. The couple selected their readings without telling the other what they had chosen until the big day. As part of the ceremony, their rings were passed through their wedding party and family members for warm wishes and they combined soil from their childhood homes to plant a small tree. (The tree is now their dog's favorite place to raise his leg!)
The dress… well, the dress initially caught Laura’s eye because the cascading gown reminded her of waves on the ocean. So she bought it at a consignment shop in Massachusetts, figuring what she saved on a dress could be put to having more fun at the wedding. She confesses now that she didn’t truly like the dress until her actual wedding day. And yet, ever since that day, it remains balled up on the floor of her closet, because she doesn’t know what to do with it!
Laura does have a fun memory--not necessarily of the day, but of what happened a year before her wedding day. Laura’s parents live on Orr’s Island, where each year, the Orr’s and Bailey Island Volunteer Fire Dept holds an auction to raise money for equipment and supplies since there is no local town or state funding. Laura attended really just to see what was on the table and to greet her parent’s neighbors.
The first auction item was for Gelato Fiasco’s catering package for up to 150 people. Knowing she and Pete wanted a dessert bar, Laura immediately told her mom that she needed that package. Mom wasn’t quite on board. Undeterred, Laura used her mom’s friend’s number to start bidding. She had in mind her wedding budget, and promised herself she would use that as a ceiling for her bids.
Eventually, it was a back and forth between Laura and one local gentleman. Exasperated, Laura jumped up and announced to the room “It’s for my wedding!” The man conceded and stopped bidding whereupon the whole room cheered and clapped. But for Laura, what makes the story even more awesome than the gelato they had at their wedding is that her bid helped out the community fire department where her parents live.
Today, Laura looks back and finds it remarkable how much effort went in to planning her perfect wedding day. Even when the timetable starting going topsy turvy and the Pete’s boutonniere was wilting and dripping on his lapel from too much chilling, the people who came to celebrate the day with her kept her calm and made the day perfect.