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What a crazy and great summer it’s been! After our wedding at Clay Hill Farm on July 8th, we boarded a plane for Europe for our honeymoon. Neither of us had been to France or Ireland before, so we were thrilled for the chance to get away to these romantic places for two weeks. We spent some time in Paris eating many croissants and shopping at the local markets, all while practicing (ahem, stumbling) through what little French we recalled from junior high school. The history, the food and the people of Paris made our time there magical. After a week in Paris we traveled Ireland, eating and drinking our way through Dublin, Galway and the Aran Islands. We enjoyed local Irish music, the magnificent countryside and the hospitality of the people we met. The rest of the summer flew by, but we’re grateful to have such great memories. Love, Jess & Tim
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July 9, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Clay Hill Farm Hosts it’s 4th Annual Green Wedding Giveaway

Cape Neddick, Maine
July 8, 2012

Under a clear blue sky on a picture-perfect Maine day, Jessica Maillet and Tim Caouette of Westminster, Massachusetts, exchanged vows in a garden ceremony at Clay Hill Farm and became the fourth couple to be awarded the Green Wedding Giveaway® Grand Prize wedding.
  

Launched in the fall of 2008, Clay Hill Farm’s annual Green Wedding Giveaway has been rewarding couples that make a difference in the world through their everyday commitments to each other and the Earth, with a complete summer Maine wedding at Clay Hill Farm. Thanks to public votes and the judges’ scores on their creative contest submission, the Green Wedding Giveaway Grand Prize winners are chosen in early March to begin working with the project sponsors to plan their perfect Maine summer wedding.  But what makes the weddings green?  “ The natural beauty surrounding Clay Hill Farm, our passion for seasonal, local food and our family philosophy help give every wedding a green start, “says Jennifer Lewis-McShera, senior wedding consultant and founder of Clay Hill Farm’s Green Wedding Giveaway. “We thought we knew quite a bit about sustainable practices going into the wedding planning,” said 2012 winner Jess Maillet, “but the sponsors taught us so much about simple tweaks that could make a difference in our overall environmental impact. We didn’t have to sacrifice a single dream or vision for our wedding to make a difference, the journey was amazing and the wedding exceeded our expectations.” Over 30 sponsors support the environmental outreach at Clay Hill Farm, of which the Green Wedding Giveaway is the headlining event. http://www.greenweddinggiveaway.com
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Our July 8, 2012 wedding at Clay Hill Farm was everything we could have imagined. We can honestly say that we had our dream wedding in every single way possible. From the delicious food, idyllic natural setting and special touches that the sponsors from the Green Wedding Giveaway Contest provided, we can never thank Clay Hill Farm and the rest of the sponsors enough for our special day! – Love, Jess and Tim

                                     
Wedding photos by Shane Corcoran

  

Green Wedding Giveaway Ice Sculpture by Wicked Good Ice

By Tim and Jess

Remember the days of snowman making and how fun it was to make things out of snow and ice? Well, Murray of Wicked Good Ice does exactly that. He has “carved” out his niche: he makes professionally styled ice sculptures for events.

A couple weeks ago, Tim and I arrived at his studio in Dover, NH. After spending an hour with Murray and seeing his talent and creativity first hand, Tim said he realized two things: 1) no matter how long he could have stayed outside when he was younger, he would have NEVER been able to create anything remotely as good as what he made in 5 minutes, and 2) working in a freezer is cold.  Unfortunately, we were dressed for summer in Maine and not the seven degrees it held strong at in the workroom. Check out this video of Murray doing a quick demo of his work! http://youtu.be/sDaBjzivcEg

Murray was kind enough to show us how he comes up with some of his fantastic ideas for his ice sculptures on his white board.  And we did some planning of our own. Any guesses as to what sort of ice sculpture we’ll be having at the wedding?

 

 

Hair and Makeup at Acorn Organic Salon

By Jess

This weekend I headed to Dover, NH for a hair and makeup trial at Acorn Organic Salon. I was thrilled to meet with the professionals at the salon because I really was not sure what I wanted. They were more than helpful in guiding me in the right direction and choosing a look that went well with the elegant yet “garden” wedding feel.

After combing through websites and Pinterest for the perfect hair style, I ended up with two finalists. I would have loved to wear my hair down since this is usually what I do, but being July and possibly very humid, I didn’t want to take the chance with my thick, curly/frizzy hair. Plus I think wearing hair up (at least for my hair type) for a wedding is much more elegant and polished.

(Sources: Style Me Pretty, Pinterest)

As far as makeup goes, I was oscillating between the smoky look and something less dramatic, since it will be an afternoon wedding and I’m most likely to smear the makeup everywhere (I’m a very weepy person, regardless of whether it’s happy or sad. And raccoon eyes are not really an “in” look for a bride.)

There were some non-negotiables, though: waterproof mascara and liquid eyeliner. Two items I usually don’t leave the house without. This brought up the discussion of durability and quality of organic makeups. While they definitely are superior because they don’t contain toxic chemicals, their wearability and ability to last a whole day are still not fantastic. The two lines that Acorn Organic Salon uses are Honeybee Gardens and Shear Miracles.

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A few weekends ago Tim and I met up with Shane of Shane’s Wedding Photography for our engagement shoot. We were excited to have the opportunity to work with the photographer and get comfortable with his style before the big day.

Can I just say (and I can vouch for Tim, too) that Shane is a cool guy. First off, his photography is beautiful. He maintains the utmost professionalism while still being fun, casual and keeping it low stress. I was impressed that in another life, he was a professional skateboarder and his father was a stuntman. What a background!

We started our little session down in York on Wiggly Bridge, the smallest pedestrian suspension bridge  in the world. It is really quite adorable and in a way brings in a wisp of memory of my days in San Francisco.

It may be the world’s smallest suspension bridge, but it was above the water and the wind was blowing and so my hair was a-flying. I managed through it but decided on an up-do at our next stop.

We headed to Stageneck Inn for some quintessential Maine ocean shots. We started getting silly here. The light was perfect for photos that day and we couldn’t have been happier.

The day wouldn’t have been complete without some on-site shots at Clay Hill Farm.

We are extremely grateful for Shane and the fantastic work he did, and we’re thrilled to be working with him for our wedding! Thanks Shane!
     

When Tim and I first found out we won the Green Wedding Giveaway, the first person I called was Marcy at Hullabaloo Studios. Hearing from friends about how long wedding invitations can take to be created and printed, I knew this was the first to-do item on my list.

Since day one, Marcy has been so patient and accommodating with my ideas and requests. I hadn’t even chosen a color palette or theme but Marcy helped guide my choice and created something I never would have even imagined! I am thrilled with the garden feel of the invitation and never would have been able to come up with something like this on my own.

When the final product came in the mail and was ready to be sent out, I was impressed with the detail that Marcy paid special attention to. Each invitation was like a small gift to be shared and I was hesitant to bring them to the post office and have the mail machines manhandle my delicate little works of art. So I ordered special stamps and then asked the mailman to cancel them so they didn’t get crushed.

The design she created will run throughout all of the wedding related paper items (programs, menu, place card settings.) One touch to the invitations that I was surprised to learn about was that the paper used has flower seeds embedded into it. After the wedding date passes, guests are encouraged to plant all of the parts of the invitation (well, not the ribbon) and watch a tiny flower garden sprout.

I would highly recommend Marcy for any of your invitation or printing needs!

Earth Day 2012 at Clay Hill Farm

A little rain didn’t stop us from celebrating Earth Day this year at Clay Hill Farm.

 

We started off the day with some vendor appointments: coffee at Portsmouth’s Popovers on the Square with our videographer Adam from Anchorline Projects and then DJ Scott from Cuzin Richard Entertainment.

Feeling fully caffeinated, we headed back to Clay Hill Farm to host the kids’ nature scavenger hunt. A few brave families weathered the rainy, windy elements. I even learned a few things, including what a fairy house is and that by putting orange slices out on your birdhouses, you can attract orioles at this time of year!

After the kids’ scavenger hunt, it was time for the Taste of Maine reception. Clay Hill Farm brought in local wines for attendees to sample from Cellardoor Winery.  Hands down my favorite white was the Viognier: cool, crisp and just altogether summery. It made me so excited to taste because it reminded me of the fun warm summer nights to come (including our upcoming wedding!). I also loved the Monti al Mare. I am not much of a wine conisseur, but I know I enjoyed these two and they were also a hit amongst others at the tasting.

In addition to the wines, Chef Matt prepared some exquisite passed hors d’oeurves including sunchoke soup shooters (made from sunchokes in Clay Hill’s backyard), duck liver pate crostinis, baby pea green shoots (from Moondance Garden in South Berwick) with tomato and a balsamic drizzle, and duck prosciutto-wrapped figs. Spillers Farm in Wells donated potatoes to the event, which Chef Matt turned into delicious potato chips! All the hors d’oeuvres were made in house from locally sourced ingredients. We certainly didn’t leave there on an empty stomach.

My favorite part, though, was meeting the guests and attendees. I was thrilled to finally meet Maria of A Sweet Start. We also got to spend some time chatting with Nick of York Trolley Company (Yes, trolleys will be the transportation of choice for our wedding!) and Murray of Wicked Good Ice, the master of artistic wedding ice sculptures. Seriously though, check out his website and the amazing work made from H2O!

  

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Prom season.  If you are a 16 year-old girl, there may not be a more exciting time in your life.  I however, am not, and really couldn’t care less about hot pink and highlighter yellow dresses with straps and lace in all the right places.  I am a 30 year-old guy who just wanted to get fitted for my tux with my groomsmen and then go golfing.  I was rather concerned when I clicked on one of their two links when looking up the phone number to make our appointment at Madeleine’s Event Central. The first website was www.madprom.com.  Clicking on the link, I was somewhat worried at first glance that my DeLorean had gone up to 88 miles an hour without my knowing and that I had mysteriously gone back in time and now needed a prom date before finally realizing and remembering that my name is Tim and not Marty (that was a Back to the Future joke for all of you under the age of 25).

Eventually remembering how old I was, and that I needed a tux because I’m getting married on July 8th, and not going to the Prom, I clicked on the other link http://www.madeleineseventcentral.com.  This was much more my style (and age) and what I had expected. After calling my groomsmen and Madeleine’s, our appointment was made for last Saturday, April 21st.   This just happens to be the busiest Prom dress buying weekend of the entire year and I will say that there was some lingering fear of being overrun by hundreds or thousands of overexcited teenage females, desperate to buy the last Tropicana orange colored dress in stock.  Luckily, Jay of Madeleine’s Tuxedo in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, quickly alleviated all of my fears and made our experience as quick and painless as possible.  Even with all the pre-Prom excitement going on around us. 

Here is Jay fitting Jeff, one of my groomsmen, who is obviously distracted by all the pastel and Neon colors surrounding him.

In all seriousness, Jay was extremely professional and helpful and answered any questions we had; whether it was about the type of tuxedo we should choose, euro tie or bow tie, or about the black and white shoes that I picked out (which are the sweetest tux shoes ever, just so you know), Jay was more than happy to help and put us on the right path so I didn’t make us look like a bunch of meatheads (thankfully, for Jessica’s sake as the camouflage tux was tempting). Madeleine’s also practices green dry cleaning and tries to schedule group drop offs and pick-ups whenever they can, which makes them even cooler, if that was even possible.

Brian, another one of my groomsmen, getting fitted for his tux around his massive torso.

All in all, we had an excellent experience at Madeleine’s and would highly recommend them to any 16 or 17 year-old girl looking to get a prom dress. Also, we would highly recommend them to anyone who needs a tuxedo for any formal event that they have scheduled.  Ask for Jay and you will not be disappointed.
-Tim