A House Island Wedding – Cristi & Zak

Cristi and Zak’s House Island wedding was epic by all accounts. Super fun couple. Check. Incredible location. Check. Spectacular decor and event coordination. Double check. Rockin’ band, fireworks, and an energized reception… Triple check. Yup, it was amazing!

House Island is a private island with two houses and an old 1800-era fort, Fort Scammell, off of the coast of Portland, Maine. Only accessible by boat, it certainly offers plenty of logistical challenges to planning a wedding there, but also affords an incredible position in Saco Bay, and a totally unique wedding experience. We boarded the water taxi early Saturday for the ride out to the island, where we found Heather from Cairn Events and her crew busily transforming the island for Cristi and Zak’s big day. Chris and I split up to connect with both Cristi and Zak at their respective houses as they were getting ready for the day.

Prior to their ceremony, Cristi and Zak planned a first look at the old fort, a short golf cart ride away on the other side of the island. To say these two embraced the space is an understatement! After the first look, we spent a little time making portraits around the fort. At one point, we asked, “wonder what’s down this pitch black, sloping corridor?” In response, Cristi simply said, “let’s find out!”, and off we went! It was awesome, and the result was some of my favorite portraits of late. It’s certainly not every day that a bride who is done up to the nines will hike up her dress and hoof it through the mud down into a dark and creepy dungeon!

Their ceremony took place over looking Saco Bay, and was officiated by a groomsman who was filling in for an unexpectedly absent justice of the peace. It was also VERY “Maine” with the setting sun casting a warm glow onto everything, and even a well-timed schooner sailing by at the end. Immediately following the ceremony, Cristi and Zak snuck away for a few minutes to be alone. They also requested that Cristi’s mom, a former judge, join them to perform an “official” ceremony, which they did right there on the beach. Pretty cool, I thought.

Back under the tent, the party was primed to kick off, and it certainly did so. Dances, speeches and ultimately fireworks, set the tone for a great party, and an unforgettable night. I certainly don’t need photographs to remember this day, but I am so grateful that I was able to be there documenting it all anyway. Below are some of my favorites from the day. Be sure to see them all!

Thank you Cristi and Zak for having us along to document your day. A big thanks to my friend Chris Connor of 26 North Studio for joining for the day. Great work also by the following folks…