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A Romantic En Plein Air Wedding Weekend in Maine with a “Crustacean Chic” and “Luxury Lobster” Dress Code

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Joel Villa Serrato

|Planning by 

Azalea Events

Before Hayley Jackson moved to New York City, her best friend Elyse King-Guffey introduced Hayley to her cousin, Nik King Fredel. It’s always nice to know someone in a new city, after all.

By the following year, both Hayley and Nik were in search of a roommate, and Elyse swiftly reconnected them. After a few months of living side-by-side in an absurdly small apartment, they became a couple, and after five years together—and three apartments later—Nik proposed.

Maine is a treasured destination for many of their families’ relationship milestones. It is where Nik’s grandparents met, Hayley’s grandparents honeymooned, Nik’s aunt and uncle became engaged, and his parents married. Four generations of Kings have spent summer vacations on the Goose Rocks Beach property, which has become a special place for both Hayley and Nik. There could be no better venue to celebrate for Hayley and Nik to say “I do.”

The weekend’s dress code was a fusion of “Crustacean Chic” and “Luxury Lobster.” In addition to leaning into the state’s nautical theme, Hayley and Nik were guided by the places and things they adore most in their everyday lives: stores like John Derian, Bode, and Greenwich Letterpress; vintage children’s book illustrators; and locally-sourced food and flowers. Hayley adds, “A reason why we love Valerie Mankus of Fawn Meadow Flowers is that she emphasizes sustainability: she uses flowers that are in season, practices regenerative agriculture at her farm, and when she needs flowers she does not grow, she locally sources them from other farms in the area.”

Nik and his mother Jennifer King collaborated on the planning process. She was indispensable, connecting the couple to their caterer, baker, and florist. “Her creativity truly made everything possible,” Hayley admits, as Jennifer was also behind the weekend’s landscaping and paper goods like their custom postcards co-designed with Samuel Leshnick.  The couple also enlisted Audrey Zahares and Jodi Hutchinson from Azalea Events to ensure every fête went swimmingly and Joel Villa Serrato to photograph the weekend.

To launch the wedding weekend, Hayley kept to the dress code with an Alémais ship print dress and Gucci heels. For the picnic, she wore a Johanna Ortiz seashell dress, shrimp earrings from Shrimps, and Cult Gaia shoes.

Hayley’s bridal style was timeless and layered, as embodied by her Vivienne Westwood dress. She topped her Molly Goddard veil with a singular velvet bow and brought color to the outfit with purple Chanel slingbacks from Milan. The day before the wedding, the grandmother of the groom sweetly bequeathed a set of pearls Nik’s grandfather gave her for Christmas the year they met—and wore to her wedding several months later. Now, Hayley would continue this nascent tradition and don the pearls down the aisle. Her mother-in-law gave Hayley a luminous “something borrowed,” a one-of-a-kind Dilek Sezen pearl and diamond bracelet. Village Salon and Day Spa kept Hayley’s beauty look subtle but potent with Marilyn Monroe-esque eye makeup and a sleek half-up, half-down hairstyle.

As soon as he and Hayley were engaged, Nik began scouring for his wedding wardrobe. He sported black linen trousers from Drake’s with a seersucker shirt from Zegna and a tie from J. Mueser for the rehearsal dinner at Earth at Hidden Pond. The following day, he was effortlessly refined in cream trousers from Drake’s, a Bode lobster shirt, and a Brunello Cucinelli suit jacket. His groom’s look was a bespoke, custom-made green Irish linen suit, shirt, and bow tie by J. Mueser in West Village. His bride still admires the outfit, noting, “He decided that this vintage-inspired silhouette with a double-breasted jacket and high-waisted wide-legged trousers would strike that perfect balance between looking formal and feeling comfortable for our en plein air summer wedding.” He switched into a Bode sweater with another double-breasted silhouette for all of the dancing that would follow the ceremony. His finishing sartorial details were Brunello Cucinelli shoes and a Cartier Tank Française watch.

Their wedding party’s outfits were similarly distinct, curated, and, most importantly, comfortable. The couple asked everyone to find an ensemble in green, Hayley’s late grandmother’s favorite color. The bridesmaids and groomsmen all arrived in varying shades. Nik’s mother selected a Loewe dress, and Hayley’s mother chose an emerald green Proenza Schouler gown.

Just as the sun set over the marsh on August 14, 2022, harpist Leng Bian, better known by friends as Abby Lim-Kimberg, performed for wedding guests as they waited for Hayley to take to the aisle. When the harp sounded Johnny Greenwood’s “House of Woodcock,” Hayley made her way to the altar. “Despite there being 150 people, it felt incredibly intimate,” she remembers. The officiant, Cynthia King-Guffey, is Nik’s aunt and the mother of Hayley’s best friend; so she delivered a thoroughly heartfelt and personal service.

The groom has Type 1 diabetes, and what he initially dismissed as nerves wound up being a very serious bout of hypoglycemia in the middle of the ceremony. Their friends and family immediately knew what to do. They brought chairs for the bride and groom, and Nik’s sister served him juice. While waiting for his blood sugar to stabilize, Abby sang two original songs. Cynthia then incorporated the lobster into her speech. The wedding’s de facto symbol became even more apt for its symbolism in life, death, growth, and partnership. The mother of the bride read Hayley’s favorite poem, Frank O’Hara’s “Having a Coke with You;” and the father of the groom read one of his favorite poems, Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road.”

Guests were then directed to the barn for cocktails, while the newlyweds waited inside. Once Nik’s levels returned to normal, the couple hopped into Nik’s uncle’s white 1951 Willys Jeep and drove down the driveway as their friends and family lined the path with sparklers. Hayley will never forget the magic of this entrance, especially after Nik’s blood sugar scare. She says, “Music played as everyone swayed with the sparklers and cheered which brought back a new energy that lasted all night.”

Dinner was served underneath the large sailcloth tent with romantically dappled cafe lighting. Each table had its own assortment of French country linens, vintage etched glassware, and flowers in terracotta vases. Walkers Maine’s delectable family-style dinner was followed by an ice cream sundae bar. Mr. and Mrs. King Fredel cut their Owen Wolfertz honey butter cream cake and then shared their first dance to Crosby and Nash’s “Our House.” Guests swayed the night away to music carefully compiled by the couple and their sonically inclined friends, Elyse and Vessel Day.

By the early morning, the newlyweds slipped out to their cottage at Hidden Pond for a few nights before embarking on their Paris and Marrakesh honeymoon.