Magic in Maine: A Nautical + Chic Summer Wedding with Japanese Elements

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

The island of North Haven, Maine is a magical place: rolling hills, lupine fields, looming fog, lobsters, ocean inlets, farms, fishermen, sail boats, and cable knit sweaters… Magic. Photographer Lev Kuperman arrived the day before the wedding on a ferry, and was greeted by Tei + Jesse on the dock, before heading into their intimate rehearsal dinner.

The next morning, Tei got ready in her parents’ farmhouse — one that they’ve lovingly restored since they found it three decades ago. Guests arrived at the property as Japanese taiko drummers began the ritual of summoning the bride to her ceremony. Tei appeared in the distance, parents at her side, sailing a boat through an island inlet as the drums boomed, louder and louder…

Now that we’ve set the stage, let’s take a look at how T+J brought their two different cultures to the day (Tei’s mother is Japanese, while Jesse has Swedish heritage).

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

The date of the wedding itself was determined by the local conditions — we knew we wanted it to be by the water, and we knew we wanted it at high tide (it’s a mudflat otherwise), so right after we got engaged we were poring over tide tables to find the right date!

The First Look

first look

The anticipation + the sweetest moment together!!

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

Tei + Jesse share: Both of us feel connected to the landscapes where we’re from and we wanted the wedding to reflect that in different ways. The site itself has been an important place for Tei throughout her life, and we thought there was something meaningful about imagining the ceremony as a meeting of land and sea. The invitations, menus, and other material for the weekend tried to reflect this through a motif of overlapping sea lavender and kelp.

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

How darling is Tei’s neutral-toned Bottega Veneta dress, with dainty floral embroidery?

The Florals

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

Oh my goodness, those lupine fields are absolutely DIVINE!

peony wildflower bouquet

Playing off the landscape, lupine had to be incorporated into the bouquet!

gray suit groom

The Wedding Party

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

How sharp do the gents look in their heather gray suits?

bridesmaids in pastel

rings

The Vows

greenery arch

How stunning is this ceremony space?! Loads of greenery and a view of the water — can’t beat that!

ceremony program

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

Our Musical Choices

Processional: Unst Bridal March performed by Jacob Mitas + Charles Gurche; Dreams performed by Kaoru Watanabe + Fumi Tanakdate

Recessional: This Must Be the Place performed by Kaoru Watanabe, Fumi Tanakadate, Jacob Mitas, Charles Gurche, and Yusuke Mori

First Dance: Twist and Shout performed by The Hypnotics

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

The structure of the ceremony was also meant to reflect the meeting of land and sea, as well as of different cultures (Jesse has Swedish heritage and Tei’s mother is Japanese).

Jesse started from land and processed toward the ocean, accompanied by old friends playing a Scandinavian wedding march on the fiddle and banjo. Once he arrived at the arch, Kaoru Watanabe and Fumi Tanakadate, two incredible taiko drummers, played special ceremonial arrangements as Tei arrived by sea.

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

Our Musical Choices

Processional: Unst Bridal March performed by Jacob Mitas + Charles Gurche; Dreams performed by Kaoru Watanabe + Fumi Tanakdate

Recessional: This Must Be the Place performed by Kaoru Watanabe, Fumi Tanakadate, Jacob Mitas, Charles Gurche, and Yusuke Mori

First Dance: Twist and Shout performed by The Hypnotics

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

Our friends really stepped up to provide organizational help that we didn’t realize we needed. Like one of Tei’s maids of honor, Lauren, was a total hero during the ceremony rehearsal to direct and organize everyone. We didn’t work with a wedding planner and it was key to have friends who were willing to step up and contribute to make the day possible with so many things happening. Don’t be shy to ask your friends for help, they’ll want to be there and support you however they can on your wedding day and the days and weeks leading up to it.

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

The Reception Party

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

The night continued with local oysters and a family-style dinner in a barn that Tei’s father built! Everyone partied into the wee hours of the morning, as a ’60s soul band played on.

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

Jesse proposed to Tei over local oysters (by North Haven Oyster Company) so naturally they had to share oysters with their guests! 

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

Nautical Chic Summer Wedding

Absolutely exquisite, you two! We adore the incorporation of land + sea elements.

Congrats!!

photography: Lev Kuperman Photography // venue name: Private Property, North Haven, Maine, USA // event design: Tei (bride) // florals: Pamela Mountain // wedding dress: Bottega Veneta // bride's shoes: Bottega Veneta // hair stylist: April Barton // groom attire: Thom Sweeney // groom's shoes: John Lobb // furniture rentals: Wallace Events // music: The Hypnotics

Explore: