Story: Debra Bell
Photographs: Blush Imagery
For high school sweethearts, Amanda Bosson and Ryan Barry, Maine holds a special place in their hearts. And it’s not just because they chose to vacation in the state twice or because they love the outdoors. It’s because Maine was their “perfect” wedding venue to start a new chapter in their 10 year “fairytale story” courtship.
While Amanda finished her law degree, Ryan prepared to pop the question. Amanda found her “dream ring” at a Viginia jeweler, the Precious Gem, and Ryan worked with the jeweler to create an identical ring within his budget.
As part of his preparations, Ryan planned Amanda’s “bar trip” — her reward for finishing law school — to California’s wine country.. “He loves to plan trips and make things absolutely perfect,” she said.
And she was right. On the coastal, scenic drive between Napa Valley and the Big Sur, the stage was set for a magical proposal. Much to Amanda’s surprise, Ryan drove past their destination and pulled into the Post Ranch Inn “treehouse suite.”
As they paused at a bench overlooking the Pacific ocean, he pulled out the ring he had hidden in a “secret compartment” of his laptop’s Pelican case. The mixture of the view, emotions and surprise caught her off guard.
“I almost fell off of the cliff,” she said. “I wish that we had gotten married right then and there.”
Once home, planning commenced. Priority one: the location. And Bar Harbor was the perfect spot. Amidst Amanda starting a new job, the couple focused on planning together to make their wedding an event no one would forget.
“Everything about Bar Harbor is ideal,” she said. “It’s so down to Earth and beautiful. It makes us feel at peace.”
The couple chose their favorite spot: the Harborside Hotel and Marina to allow guests to “come and share somewhere special with us.”
For Amanda, it was all about her veil, “I wanted my veil to be elegant and modern – I loved it so much I wore it all night!”
For Ryan, it was all about his purple basketweave tie, which he chose especially to honor his grandfather.
The bridesmaids wore “pacific blue” dresses and the groomsmen wore navy blue basketweave ties dresses to complement the natural beauty of the ceremony. Ryan wanted his groomsmen to look “as handsome as possible and also have a bit of character.”
Weather forecasts predicted rain, but it wasn’t to be. While the ladies prepared at the Harborside’s spa, the guys headed off for a pre-wedding hike of Cadillac Mountain.
“I was picturing being so rushed to get ready, but that wasn’t what happened at all,” Amanda said. “The ceremony was so serene and surreal. Something about the harbor is very spiritual and real to us, and we really wanted the natural beauty to be a part of our ceremony.”
The most important thing to Ryan and Amanda was to have the people that they love most celebrating their wedding with them. “I felt really lucky.” Ryan said.
“All of our plans centered around maximizing comfort and fun,” she said. “We’ve been to a lot of weddings where you either sit, or you dance. We didn’t want that.” The couple planned for guests to be able to go “straight from the ceremony into the celebration,” Amanda said. With a “starry night” motif created by Port Harbor Lights gracing the vaulted ceilings, guests and the couple alike marveled at the magic. “It was like a dream,” Amanda said.
After the wedding ended, the couple spent the night at the Harborside then headed off to prepare for their honeymoon in Hawaii, chosen because of its “beachy” feel and flexible options for fun.
- Ceremony/Reception: Harborside and the Bar Harbor Club
- Flowers: Chelcey Dunham Fleurishes
- Catering: Bar Harbor Club
- Cake: Celebration Cakes
- Lighting: Port City Lighting
- Reception music: Nite-time
- Groom/groomsmen ties: Brooks Brothers
- Bride’s engagement ring: Precious Gem
- Bride and groom wedding bands: Precious Gem
- Wedding Gown: Camille Bridal, West Hartford, CT
- Invitations: William Arthur
- Calligraphy, Place cards and paper goods: Michelle Dowling Calligraphy