On November 2nd this past year, in front of the best group of family and friends a gal could ask for, I married an amazing man. I haven’t shared many details about our wedding planning, our weekend or about all the talented vendors that put it all together. It just felt too personal and sacred to talk about it all before it actually happened. The truth is that that day and today, after it has all come and gone I could just explode with gratitude for all the people that came together to make our wedding weekend what it was.

Some of you might have seen our wedding film from Meg Simone or checked out the post wedding blog post from our wedding photographer Michelle Gardella. They are both amazing. Scratch that… they are perfection! They both understood Scott and I to the core (helps that Meg and I met years ago!).  But what you don’t get from the photos and film are my own words, as a bride, on just how greatful I am to all our wedding vendors and how fabulous they all were to work with.

Everyone talks about how quickly your wedding day will go by and how you should carve out a bit of time to step back and let it all soak in; they are so very very right. It felt like it was all over in an instance. How is that even possible? How did I not get to have a conversation with every guest? How did I not get a bite of those tasty late night sliders? I don’t even remember what our JP said during our ceremony?! Being a wedding photographer I am familiar with the rhythm of a wedding day; the getting ready flows right into the first look and into portraits to the ceremony and so on. I knew what we had ahead of us and I still felt like it was a fleeting moment. This is exactly why it was so very important to have people I trust there to capture it all. Every last moment in either a still or moving image will forever be a gift that simple thank you’s just don’t seem to cover. I will cherish them for a lifetime.

The months and weeks leading up to our wedding were so fun! I kept saying I felt like I was planning an elaborate inspiration shoot even though I was going to end up being the one in the dress. I had a dream team of wedding professionals, but it was so much more than that. These pros are my colleauges and friends, one I’ve even known since elementary school! Reuben is one part of the two man team that is Blue Elephant Catering. I have known Reuben most of my life and reconnected with him as we both entered into the Maine wedding market. To say their food is delicious really doesn’t do it justice. Hands down the first thing people said to me was how absolutely over the top their meals were. They offered great meal options and ideas from the passed lobster salads in martini glasses to our late night sliders and mini grilled cheese with tomato soup! YUM! Not only was the food enjoyable but their level of professionalism and team approach to making dinner service efficient did not go unnoticed.

Working with Gail at The Barn at Flanagan Farm was such a treat. I love her properties and after a tour of the newly renovated house I knew that Scott and I would be right at home celebrating with our family and friends; plus I absolutely fell in LOVE with the outdoor sanctuary. Being married outside was a top priority (especially so our Corgi Milo could be a part of it all!) and it felt so natural for us be nestled in the pine trees.

Planning a wedding at a venue like this takes some skill; you need to bring in every fork, table, chair and linen and knowing how to make sense of it all is NOT my area of expertise. Early on my dear friend Meagan from Maine Seasons Events came on board to help with all the logistics that go into a wedding weekend. Everything from rental check-in to floor plans to how to heat the hot cider station at the ceremony spot were all handled with ease by Meagan and her associate Charli. I seriously could never have done this without them!! It’s like muscle memory for them and they were prepared with a van load of tricks up their sleeve to make it all happen with ease.

I have been lucky to see some seriously amazing flowers and decor at the weddings I photograph. It was so hard to decide who was the right fit for our style; but after seeing the earthy glam creations of Kate Martin from Beautiful Days I knew she would be the one for our wedding day. She just “got us” right from the beginning and I felt truly at ease knowing that whatever she did was going to be gorgeous! What I wasn’t prepared for was how she would transform this dark wooded barn into a glowing and inviting space with a sparkly light installation and a crazy amount of candles. To walk through the curtain of lights to meet our guests as husband and wife was right out of a movie! She really understood what we had in mind and took it to a whole new level!

One promise that I made to my now husband, Scott is that I would put my camera down for the weekend and be just a bride, as present as possible. It was hard! I admittedly did a bit of Instagram shooting/sharing of the behind the scenes moments both leading up to and during our weekend. I shared a few just for fun at the bottom of this, very long, blog post.

Getting married provided me with such a fresh perspective on weddings. I take away a new appreciation for the emotion and excitement a couple feels on their day and just how fleeting those moments can be. One of my most favorite moments of our day was hearing the cheers of family and friends right after we were announced husband and wife. It’s the image we used on our first holiday card together and now hangs on the wall of our home. (You can see the shot our photographer Michelle Gardella captured below)

Don’t forget to head over to Michelle’s blog post to see more wedding images here and watch our wedding film shot by Meg Simone, here.

View More: http://michellegardella.pass.us/brea-scott

 

Venue: The Barn at Flanagan Farm

Planning: Maine Seasons Events

Florals & Lighting: Beautiful Days

Catering: Blue Elephant Catering

Tent & Rentals: One Stop Party Rentals

Photographer: Michelle Gardella

Filmmaker: Meg Simone Wedding Films

Invitations & Paper Products: Griffin-vites

Linens: Be Our Guest

Music: My Bluegrass Romance (ceremony & cocktail hour) & DJ Jon (reception)

Cake: Wild Orchid Bakery

Hair: Hair that Moves

Make-up: Joya Beauty

Bride & Bridesmaids Earrings: Dee Ruel

Dress: Blush by Hayley Paige from Spoil Me

Bridesmaids Shawls: Custom made from handarbete on etsy

Custom Koozies from LiveME

Mini Cider Doughnuts from Pie Tree Orchard in Sweden, ME

BreaMcDonaldInstagramBreaMcDonaldInstagram2Instagram3

 

Nantucket is a VERY special place for Erin and Steve and it showed in every detail of their amazing wedding weekend! When chatting about where these two wanted their wedding day portraits to take place Erin had a list as long as my arm of amazing picturesque locations that all had a special place in her heart. It was clear these two were meant to get married on island! There was so much energy and excitement throughout their weekend of events and it was so easy to see why these two have such amazing friends and family to celebrate with. Erin and Steve I thank you for having me there to capture all those new memories you made on island!

Ceremony: St. Paul’s Church

Venue: Nantucket Yacht Club

Florals & Decor: Soiree Floral

Event Planner: Acktivities

Video: Meg Simone Wedding Films

 

Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Nantucket Yacht Club Wedding, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Nantucket Yacht Club Wedding, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Nantucket Yacht Club Wedding, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Nantucket Yacht Club Wedding, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Nantucket Yacht Club Wedding, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Nantucket Yacht Club Wedding, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Nantucket Yacht Club Wedding, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Nantucket Yacht Club Wedding, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Nantucket Yacht Club Wedding, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Nantucket Yacht Club Wedding, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Nantucket Yacht Club Wedding, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Nantucket Yacht Club Wedding, Soiree Floral

Spring is finally here!! Birds are chirping, buds are blooming and bridal showers are in the forecast. We thought we’d share this bride-to-be garden party inspiration shoot at the charming Pumpkin Pond Farm on Nantucket. Treat the bride and her close friends and family to a bridal brunch filled with scrumptious treats inspired by the gardens surrounding them. This little gem of a shoot is featured in the current issue of WellWed Cape and Islands on stands now!

 

nantucket wedding, nantucket wedding photographer

nantucket wedding, nantucket wedding photography

Venue: Pumpkin Pond Farm, Nantucket

Floral Design: Soiree Floral

Event Rentals & Linens: Placesetters 

Styled by: Dawn Kelly Designs

Paper Goods: by Smudge Ink 

Sweat Treats: Nantucket Gourmet

Favors & Makeup: Beauty by the Sea

Jewelry: Hannah Blount

Dresses: The Lovely

Cinematography: Meg Simone

 

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Pumpkin Pond Farm, Nantucket Wedding

Nantucket Wedding, Nantucket Wedding Photographer

Nantucket Wedding, Nantucket Wedding Photographer

Nantucket Wedding, Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding, Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Pumpkin Pond Farm

Pumpkin Pond Farm, Nantucket Island

Nantucket Wedding, Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding, Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Smudge Ink

Nantucket Wedding, Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Smudge Ink

Nantucket Wedding, Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding, Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Soiree Floral

Nantucket Wedding, Nantucket Wedding Photographer, Soiree Floral, Pumpkin Pond Farm

new england wedding photography

wedding photography

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bridesmaids_wedding waffles

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bridal shower_wedding photography_garden party

 

Pumpkin Pond Farm – Nantucket Bridal Shower Luncheon Inspiration from meg simone on Vimeo.

It’s always been important to me to never stop learning. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut or routine in my creative world or lose track of the business side of my work. Attending workshops has been one way to keep on top of my game. Sometimes it’s a local photographers gathering and sometimes it takes me across the country to meet up with people from all over the world! This fall both Heidi and I travelled to Scottsdale, Arizona to attend two different workshops taking place at the same hotel! What are the odds?! (I think it was meant to be!)

I headed out to Arizona a couple of days ahead of Heidi as POSH started  before the two day Foundation Conference. Jen and Reagan, the creators of POSH, had asked me to document some of the retreats events for their website and blog so I was excited to get my bearings upon arrival. The POSH Retreat is an event for women filmmakers and photographers. I was lucky enough to attend and present a workshop at the very first POSH event two years ago so I was super excited to reconnect with familiar faces at this years retreat! I love how Jen and Reagan have created a retreat with a wonderful balance of education and reflection. I don’t know about you but I have a hard time sitting in a seat for hours and hours a day!

Every morning at POSH we were treated to a yoga class from the talented Heather Robertson at Centre Line. She got the group both physically and mentally warmed up for the morning workshops. With sessions like “Unleash the Power of You” and “Harness Your Strengths in Art and Business” we all needed to be on our game! I loved how all the session topics were both focused on us as creative individuals and how to harness it to be better at what we do both creatively and in business.

I loved listening to the StillMotion gals talk so deeply about story telling and how we tell a story with our gear choices, our site preparation and our contact with our clients. They really talked details and it was great to break it down to the nitty gritty!

Day one also included New England native and wonderful friend Meg Simone. She brought to life the possibility of living a backlog free business! She shared her work-flow and tips on how to remain focused while not burning out. Imagine that! Something that everyone in the room could learn from.

Day Two of the workshop brought us the adorable Heidi Bartlett of idieh design. She laid down the branding goodness that she does so very well, teaching us all the importance of our companies look and how that speaks to prospective clients and others in the wedding world. All things we need to brush up on! Following up Heidi’s presentation was the Outstanding Occasions duo of Heather and Jennifer. They have streamlined everything in their event company and shared with us tips on how to tighten up our own business processes to create a leaner, meaner, more effective business. They are also super techie so I loved hearing about all the amazing online options that we can take advantage of!

We got a dose of “The Commercial World” from Christina at Society Hill Films. Tho not the area I work in it’s always wonderful to hear about other areas of the film/photography world. Their work was amazing to watch and visually inspiring.

Both days at POSH wrapped up with mega hands on workshops. Learning your technical approach in both film and photography is so very important.  I loved the story telling hands on training with StillMotion. They talked a ton about where to find the shot, how to predict it, what lens to use to better tell the story and being able to work together as a team on the day of the wedding. Priceless information and great fun to act out! We were super lucky to have smarty pants Meg from Lens Pro to Go in the house all three days with suitcases FILLED with gear to play with. What photo geek doesn’t love ooohing and ahhhhing over all the latest camera bodies, lenses and toys?!?! Yes, we all left with a wish list of new gear to buy but the great part is we can rent it right from them!

Our final day of POSH focused on wellness. Yoga, Belly dancing, a healthy breakfast and a round table discussion brought us all together to wrap up final thoughts. With an intimate group of women it’s amazing to see how we all felt so open and connected by the end of the three days. Sharing our work and life experiences on a female to female level brought up hard questions and silly ones too! There is just something to be said about girl time.

I left Arizona feeling refreshed, connected to my business, with amazing new friends and ready to make a few exciting new changes for 2013!

 

women photographers and filmmakers, Meg Simone

women photographers and filmmakers

women photographers and filmmakers

I mentioned at the start of the blog post that the Foundation Conference was happening at the same place and same time…. so in good fun we joined forces for a spirited party on the last night. Stay tuned as Heidi will be blogging about her experience attending her first Foundation Conference later this week.

posh_FCconference_ValleyHo_Scottdale_Photography

Hiring us as your wedding photographer is a big decision. We think it’s so important that you feel comfortable with the wedding photographer you choose to capture these intimate life moments! With work, travel, school and just life in general getting in the way of all of our couples meeting up in person I asked my dear friend and talented colleague Meg Simone to put together a film that would share a bit about our style for those interested in learning more about our work! It’s short and sweet and shows off all the amazing parts of New England that we LOVE to photograph.


Wedding and Portrait Photographer Serving all of New England – Brea McDonald Photography from meg simone on Vimeo.

 

Wow. No really… WOW!!!! I have been trying to wrap my head around all of this and just can’t seem to get use to it. Every time I glance over at our office magazine cubby I get a smile on my face… I got the cover of Wellwed! MY work is gracing this amazing publications cover. I took that photo. I took that photo!!!!!!

Having your work on the cover of a well know magazine is a major milestone in a photographers career and I feel so honored to have my work chosen. But it gets better… ya, it’s possible! Wellwed publishes a handful of great regional magazines catered to each specific location. Wellwed Cape & Islands, Wellwed  Hamptons and Wellwed New York ALL have my work on the cover!!!!! (see below)  Three very different looks but all so stunning and spot on with their styling.

So, I’m going to back up for just a quick minute to share just how aaallllll this happened. Krista is the uber creative editor and the leader of all the styled goodness you see on the pages of these magazines. She was working on putting together the boho chic surfer styled fashion segment in the current issue and needed a stunning beach location to make it all come together. SO, the decided to come to York, Maine and she asked me to shoot it. ME?!! Great! Amazing! BEYOND thrilled to work with this crazy talented editorial team… what a GREAT opportunity!  You have to understand that I am a major magazine lover. I read all sorts of magazines ranging in topics from style, food, decor, wedding and of course gossip! I have soooo many subscriptions and my friends even tease me about how I never read books … just all my magazines (so bad I know). I have always loved flipping through the pages, studying the photography and ripping out what inspires me. So, for me, to be asked to work directly with the editorial team of one of my favorite publications was, to say the least, a big deal!

These are not the sort of shoots that come together overnight and are whipped up by a couple of people. The Wellwed team was all there with Krista leading the styling for not only the “bride” but the set ups you see on the covers. I was amazed by her eye for detail and how she really understood how the right light could completely make the shot. A dream for me, seeing I am all about amazing natural light! We had our fun hair and make-up team, Cynthea and Justine, the floral guru Linda from Dandeneau, KILLER dresses from BHLDN, Claire Pettibone, j.crew and Cymbeline Paris. Meg Simone filmed the behind the scenes action in a great short film that shares a bit of the behind the scenes action. It also shows you all the faces and some styling insight so don’t forget to press play at the end of the blog post.

I am always interested in seeing how things come together for the big fashion spreads in all the magazines. (Have you ever watched the documentary “September Issue”?) Let me tell you, it’s a loooooong process! We started at sunrise, 6:20am and didn’t wrap the shoot until the sun went down. Non-stop styling madness all day long! It takes hair, make-up, dress, accessories… so much to make the look sing and we never know what will actually make it to print in the end!!! I really have to say a big, BIG thank you to Krista for trusting me with her vision and allowing me to be my creative self while working on this shoot. I am over the moon with the final spread in the magazine and have I mentioned, honored to be on the cover!

You can visit the Wellwed Website to order a copy if you can’t find one in your local area. And all you Maine and New Hampshire couples get ready! Wellwed is launching a new issue focused on our beautiful corner of New England. YAY!

Wellwed magazine, wellwed cape & islands, wellwed hamptons, wellwed new york

Here is a sampling of some of the fashion from the shoot. There are 25+ pages, just way to much for one blog post!

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maine-beach-wedding

 

brea mcdonald photography

 

Heidi and I are awaiting the first look of the day as the sun started to rise on Long Sands Beach in York.

The shots below were taking by our multi-talented make-up artist Cynthea. Thanks for sharing these shot of us in action!

And finally the fun short film from Meg Simone Films!

WellWed Spring & Summer 2012 from meg simone on Vimeo.

It’s time to start thinking about your Maine wedding plans and one of my favorite local publications Maine. has just come out with their 2012 wedding issue! When asked, we jumped at the chance to collaborate with this creative group of wedding pro’s to create a featured inspiration shoot for the issue. With a team that included attire from Madeleine’s Daughter, Design and flowers from Beautiful Days, custom paper from Gus & Ruby Letterpress and the most mouth watering sweets from Aurora Provisions how could anyone go wrong!!!! And what better location than Portland’s own waterfront venue The Portland Company, not your average waterfront spot!

Inspired by a 40’s pinup style our favorite hair and make-up team of Joya Beauty and Hair that Moves created glamor with our models. There is so much more to see from this shoot so be sure to check out the film from Meg Simone that shows off behind the scenes action and scoop from the team on how we put together all these design details.

Styling, Flowers & Creative Design: Kate Martin, Beautiful Days

Film: Meg Simone Wedding Films

Venue: The Portland Company

Invitations: Gus & Ruby Letterpress with Calligraphy from Elizabeth Porcher Jones.

Custom-Crafted Paper Flowers: Paper Posey

Event Rentals: Leavitt and Parris

Sweets: Aurora Provisions

Dresses & Tuxedo: Madeleine’s Daughter

Hair: Hair that Moves

Make-up: Joya Beauty

Jewelry: Nelson Rarities

DJ: Jon Tron

Models: Seinin and Derek

 

 

maine wedding photographer, portland maine wedding, beautiful days weddings,

 

maine wedding photographer, maine wedding photography, Portland Co. weddings, Portland maine weddings

 

 

 

We are picking up where we left off with Whitney and Chris’s Nantucket wedding. I asked Whitney if she wanted to share some thoughts about their big day on the blog and here is what she had to say:

 

“Nantucket has always been a special place for me and my family. I’ve spent every summer of my life on Nantucket growing up and it will always be my favorite place in the world. When Chris and I first started dating, we took a trip to his family’s Vermont house for the weekend. When I walked into that house, I felt like I was walking into a beautiful Nantucket home. Everything inside the house was Nantucket. Even in the bathrooms you would find beautiful Nantucket trinkets. I quickly realized his family was in love with Nantucket too so when we got engaged years later, there was no question as to where the wedding would take place!

I can’t even begin to describe how perfect our Nantucket wedding was. It wasn’t just the fact that the sun and the moon were out at the same time, or the Nantucket breeze was absolutely perfect and refreshing, or even that every little detail about the décor was perfect. There was something in the air that you could literally feel that day. Maybe it was our loved ones that couldn’t be there or maybe it was the feeling you get when all your close friends and family get together for such a joyful occasion. Whatever the case, it was unbelievable… and you can see it in our photos. We feel like the luckiest couple in the world!”

 

I think you said it best Whitney!

 

Event Planner: Unique Nantucket

Event Flowers & Design: Soiree Floral

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Nantucket Golf Club

Band: Sultans of Swing

Event Video: Meg Simone Wedding Films

If you would like to see more from this stunning Nantucket wedding be sure to check out Meg Simone’s film. Her talent and this perfect day make for amazing wedding film. Get ready to laugh, get goosebumps and tear up all in a few short minutes!!

You know those days when everything is just so darn perfect? It seems to be the only way I can truly explain the day of Whitney and Chris’s Nantucket wedding this past fall. There was a beautiful blue sky covering the island and it wasn’t to hot or to cold and we had that ever present island breeze… another stunning Nantucket day! Perfect.

I arrived at Whitney’s beloved family summer home to start shooting during the bridal preparations. The music was on, champagne was popped and the bride was all smiles! Actually, everyone was! The unofficial mascot of the day Ryder even donned her fancy pearls in honor of her “mom’s” big day. I was so excited to meet Whitney in person as we had only chatted on the phone about her wedding day. It can be a challenge planning a Nantucket wedding from California! But after our first hug it was clear that today WAS going to be one of those perfect days. So perfect, in-fact  that I will need more than one blog post to share some of my favorite moments! So, lets start at the beginning…

Event Planner: Unique Nantucket

Event Flowers & Design: Soiree Floral

Event Video: Meg Simone Wedding Films

Make-Up: YG Make-up

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Nantucket Golf Club

 

 

 

The FINAL part to Amanda and Vincent’s Nantucket wedding weekend takes place at the Great Harbor Yacht club, a spectacular waterfront venue for Nantucket weddings. The fog continued to roll in as guests left the cocktail tent and entered the interior of the club for dinner and dancing. After a phenomenal first dance guests were seated for a series of toasts during the first course. I have photographed so many amazing weddings and toasts but when Amanda’s sister surprised everyone by singing “La vie en rose” in French with the band, it was like nothing I have ever seen. The energy in the room, the emotion, the excitement, love and happiness just engulfed everyone as they stood listening. (Be sure to watch their wedding film at the bottom of the post to get the full story.) Goosebumps!!! It blew EVERYONE away!

Their reception was a true celebration. Filled with thoughtful toasts, singing, dancing and laughter. Amanda and Vincent kicked off their married life with gusto!

Ceremony: The Chapel

Flowers: Soiree Floral

Event Planner: Acktivities

Reception: Great Harbor Yacht Club

Wedding Film: Meg Simone Wedding Films

Cake: Jodi’s Cakes

 

great harbor yacht club nantucket wedding photographer brea mcdonald photography island massachusetts

great harbor yacht club nantucket wedding photographer brea mcdonald photography island massachusetts

great harbor yacht club nantucket wedding photographer brea mcdonald photography island massachusetts

great harbor yacht club nantucket wedding photographer brea mcdonald photography island massachusetts

great harbor yacht club nantucket wedding photographer brea mcdonald photography island massachusetts

great harbor yacht club nantucket wedding photographer brea mcdonald photography island massachusetts

great harbor yacht club nantucket wedding photographer brea mcdonald photography island massachusetts

great harbor yacht club nantucket wedding photographer brea mcdonald photography island massachusetts

great harbor yacht club nantucket wedding photographer brea mcdonald photography island massachusetts

The film that Meg Simone created brings me right back to the wedding day! I love seeing the brides sister sing at the reception, hear the words the newlyweds whisper as they take a moment alone after the ceremony and of course hear their story! A must watch!!