A Maine love story: Lizzy and Ian

Story by Debra Bell, BDN Maine Marry ME Magazine

Photographs by Kevin Couture Photography

On the night of a friend’s wedding, meteors weren’t the only things lighting up the night sky. The sparks of romance were pulling one Maine couple together. At a wedding at Webb Lake in Weld, Lizzy Reinholt and Ian Grierson started a romance that exploded into together.

However, they didn’t go to that wedding together. Instead, Lizzy went with a friend and Ian, one of the groomsmen, was stood up by his date.

“Through the whole dinner he was staring at me,” she said. “[Then] he cut in while I was dancing with someone [else] and we danced for the rest of the night.”
They were married two years and one week to after that wedding.

Building on a love of the outdoors, their careers keep them apart geographically, but not romantically. Ian lived in Stratton and was the director of retail and rentals at Saddleback Ski Area as well as a Maine guide. Lizzy, who was working on two referendum campaigns for the 2009 election, split her time between the Sugarloaf area and Portland. Their romance began to bloom.

“We had been dating for just over a year and I told my mom that when I left that wedding, that I had met the man I was going to marry,” she said.

And he didn’t disappoint. In October 2010, while Lizzy was sick in bed, Ian popped the question with his mother’s engagement ring. “It was a really low-key proposal,” she said.

Planning began once she was feeling better.

“We knew we wanted to have the quintessential back-woods Maine wedding,” Lizzy said. Not only that, but they chose fall and her parent’s home in Cornville for the wedding scenery.

The choice of a home wedding also meant the family would be doing a lot of the heavy lifting, but “I don’t think any of us would have had it any other way,” she noted. “It was [a] ‘Maine Made’ wedding.”

Her family prepared for the wedding by growing flowers and vegetables to be used as part of the Big Day. An old claw foot tub was used to house kegs of beer. The couple repurposed Ian’s canoe as a cooler for cans of beer and other drinks.

“Ian is a Maine Guide who spends more time in his canoe than out of it in the spring, summer, and fall,” Lizzy said. “It only made sense to have it at the reception.”
Other personal touches included sap buckets used as centerpieces.

“We used sap buckets that we’ve been using to collect sap in every spring for decades,” Lizzy said. “The sap buckets served as great champagne buckets and they were decorated with leaves from maple trees, gourds that my mother grew, hot peppers that our neighbor grew, and dried rose petals.

But it was Lizzy’s “brilliant” father and a supportive mom which solidified the meaning of loving family.

“He’s really a quiet guy and wants to be the best at what he does,” she said. “My father always made my birthday cake. He’s such an amazing baker and there’s no one else I would have wanted to have bake my wedding cake.” That cake was a white cake with raspberry jelly and white frosting, decorated with flowers from their garden.

Not only did her father bake the cake and all the bread for the wedding, he helped construct the decor, built a fire pit, handled damage control to turn a rain-soaked and muddy reception area into a happy, unsaturated area fit for a celebration, and myriad small tasks the day of the wedding . It was a family affair preparing for the wedding.

Her mother and the wedding team pulled an all-nighter setting up the tents at 2 a.m. Friday after the rain stopped.

When you plan and execute your own wedding, Lizzy said, there’s never a shortage of things to do. Assembling centerpieces, cutting flowers for the bouquets, managing the weather, setting up the tents, and many other last minute details kept the family busy.

“We worked our butts off,” she recalled. But with a large extended family to call on, they made short order of the duties. “It was really rewarding to spend the days before the wedding with my mom, being there setting up.”

On the day of the wedding, all that work resulted in a beautiful, thoughtful, expression of family, she said.

Lizzy wore a button-laden Allure Bridal gown. “It was amazingly simple gown,” she said. However, getting the gown completely buttoned was a 10 minute process, she said. The process was made easier by using her grandmother’s button hook (her something old). And underneath the gown: Corall cowgirl boots with rose cutouts. “They were chic and classic, but low key and down home,” she said. “I knew from the moment we decided to get married in the fall that I wanted my wedding party to be in cowboy boots. I think it took me longer to pick out my boots for my wedding than it did to pick out my wedding dress.”

The setting for their fall, home-based wedding was spectacular, she said.

“We were married between two maple trees, looking out over the pond,” Lizzy said. Guests sat on hay bales covered with simple fabric, watching as the couple said “I Do” as Rick Smith, an important father figure in Ian’s life, joined their lives into one.

Even the music alluded to important aspects of their romance. The processional was “These are the Days” and the recessional was “Honeybee” from the movie “Juno”.
And then it was time to celebrate.

According to Lizzy, the tents and hanging banners were another unique touch. The tents were hand-made and hand-painted by her sister-in-law, Saskia, and Saskia’s twin Natasha, Lizzy said. Natasha now rents the tents out for weddings and events..

“The tents were held up by white birch trees adding to the natural and homegrown aspect of the entire wedding,” Lizzy said.

An “incredible” meal was cooked by a local caterer and as a surprise, her friends Erik and Jeremiah brought more than 300 oysters fresh from the coast for the feast. “Quickly, we made a makeshift oyster bar near the dance tent,” she said. “It immediately turned into a major attraction.”

Then it was all about the dancing. “We hired one of the most incredible bands to play,” she said. “Ian didn’t care what happened, he just had to have Elmore Twist,” she said. Elmore Twist is a Maine-based band local to the Carrabassett Valley. “Our first song was “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison.”

And it makes sense that dancing was an important part of their reception. After all, they met on the dance floor. “Dancing is one of our favorite things to do together,” she said.

The details:
● Ceremony and reception venue: The Reinholt’s
● Reception venue: The Reinholt’s
● Photographer: Kevin Couture
● Bride’s Gown: Allure Bridal
● Grooms/groomsmen attire: L.l. Bean, Carhart, Brooks Brothers
● Rings: Kay Jewelers
● Flowers: Bouquets were made by Lizzy’s mom. Potted flowers were from Hilltop Farms and Greenhouse
● Catering: Glenda Katsiaficas
● Cake: My Dad
● Invitations: Vista Prints
● Hair and Makeup: Xana Do
● Honeymoon: Playa de Mujeres, Mexico
● Tent Rental: Natasha Bogar, Unique Tents