Even though Jennifer and Ryan Batty attended the same high school, they did not ever really connect until their parents moved down the street from each other. Jennifer jokes that Ryan got her attention when he would nearly run her over while she walked her dog. Finally, he asked her out to a hockey game.
Three years of dating later, Ryan called Jennifer during a particularly busy work week to see if she would like to go to dinner at a new restaurant. The morning of the date, Ryan called Jennifer again, making sure she would be on time. They sat in the park, looking at the water before dinner. Ryan pulled out his phone and played a video montage of their relationship. Jennifer laughed, wondering why he was showing what she assumed was a pre-generated iPhone video, but then she heard his voiceover.
“I quickly realized what was happening and felt like I was in a dream as he got down on one knee,” Jennifer admits. “We spent the next hour happily sobbing. It was the most romantic, intimate, and meaningful moment and happened right where we first connected, near our parents’ homes.” They later joined their loved ones and sipped on champagne before finally going to dinner.
Jennifer and Ryan’s first decision was to marry in a private ceremony on Lake Como. But when COVID-19 made it abundantly clear that a destination wedding would not be feasible for the time being, they realized they simply wanted to be married to each other.
While visiting Jennifer’s parents’ home in Boothbay Harbor, Maine they drove past the Spruce Point Inn, and her father insisted, “This would be a perfect destination wedding venue!” It clicked. Jennifer and Ryan inquired with the inn, and they luckily had a cancellation exactly four months away. “The coast of Maine is so special to us and equally intimate, romantic, and no-frills,” Jennifer explains. “It truly rivaled Italy in more ways than one!”
The couple’s dream for their wedding was to host a cozy, comfortable, fun, love-filled weekend of champagne, lobster, oysters, good acoustics, and breathtaking views. “Throughout the planning, we kept asking ourselves, ‘What would make our guests happiest?’ We truly wanted them to enjoy the weekend as much as we knew we would!” She says. With only four months to plan, they relied upon their incredible team: planner Rena Wiser of Event Lab, Tracy Burch Photography, other vendors, and Jennifer’s mother and sister.
“Instead of a traditional wedding, we had dreamt up something different, wanting to host a weekend of fun events,” Jennifer tells. The weekend festivities began with an intimate sunset sailboat cruise.
In true Maine fashion, the next event was a “white-out” clambake on Cabbage Island. Jennifer wore a white eyelet mini dress from the effortlessly chic label V. Chapman. Guests arrived in their white attire via the “Bennie Alice” boat and feasted on clam chowder, lobster, mussels, and homemade blueberry cake. The specialty blueberry Maine cocktail is still rumored to be the star of the night, but the many rounds of corn-hole are a tough contender.
The groom’s family hosted Friday’s all-black “Welcome Party,” which overlooked downtown Boothbay Harbor. Guests chatted by outdoor firepits, sipping champagne and eating sushi, beef tenderloin, seared halibut, and creamy parmesan risotto. Jennifer wore a long-sleeve silk piece from Shona Joy, which she calls her “dream dress.”
The bride knew she wanted something effortless, understated, classic for her wedding dress. “I had fallen in love with a company out of France, A La Robe,” she divulges. “I knew, due to our short timeline, I wouldn’t be able to get one of their custom gowns, as they’re individually cut and handmade.” At a small boutique in Florida, she found an A La Robe design that she loved; however, it was altered at another location and due to a miscommunication, the tailored version no longer felt right.
“We were about 12 days out from the wedding, and I spent days calling every company who carried my dream dress,” she remembers. “I came across SPINA Bride. They had just received one sample of the exact dress and agreed to sell it to me.” She received the dress on the Thursday before the Saturday wedding, and it fit perfectly. She confirms, adding, “I truly believe it was always meant to be my dress!”
Jennifer paired the silky gown with a custom-made cathedral veil and blusher. Somehow, Ryan secured her Loeffler Randall shoes before the ceremony and surprised her the morning of with a handwritten note on the soles that read, “I will love you, every step of the way.”
On August 14, 2021, Jennifer spent the morning preparing for her wedding day. “While getting ready, I quickly snapped a photo as my mom, sister, grandma, aunt, and cousin were all sitting across from me on a couch… It is still the one photo that instantly brings tears to my eyes!” Jennifer admits. “My mom had breast cancer when I was younger, and she always used to tell me she’d be there to watch me get married. I guess I never thought I’d be so lucky to have them ALL with me while I got ready.” Olivia Poppy Salon completed Jennifer’s bridal ensemble with effortless hair and glowing makeup.
Jennifer walked down the aisle to the sounds of the International String Quartet playing an original song she and Ryan once heard on a trip to New Orleans called “In the Stars.” A few of the couple’s loved ones read scriptures, poems, and prayers, and then the officiant gave a deeply heartfelt sermon. Mr. and Mrs. Batty exchanged their vows, while the ocean waves gently coalesced onshore. Jennifer adds, “The sailboats passing in the distance, as we said I do, was the cherry on top!”
After the ceremony, guests headed to the lawn. The cocktail party consisted of Aperol spritzes, raw oysters, olives, caprese skewers, and a large charcuterie spread. They danced to the music of the string quartet before being whisked away to the reception deck.
“I’ll always remember walking into the reception, teary-eyed and in disbelief that we had pulled it off, our dream had come true. Looking out at this space filled with all of our favorite people, who flew from miles away, was magical,” Jennifer reminisces. She and Ryan wanted their wedding to feel like a five-course meal that you hope will never end, where the hours, food, and wine keep flowing. This is exactly what that day felt like.
The outdoor deck glittered with sparkling bistro lights and muted, dried floral arrangements. “We pulled music inspiration from our favorite artist, John Mayer,” she says. “I think we may have done one better with Jariah Higgins. Guests gushed over his vocals and he played tribute to all of our favorites: James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, and George Ezra. Jariah is talented beyond measure and truly captivated the guests with his acoustics.”
“A friend had given us the advice to find each other and take a few moments to step away and look back at everyone enjoying our special night,” Jennifer recalls. She and Ryan walked down to the edge of the water, right as the sun was setting, and looked back at the reception, where they could easily view all of their loved ones singing, laughing, dancing, and smiling together. She notes, “We continue to relive this moment and feel like the luckiest people in the word.”
Jennifer’s father, Ryan’s brother, Matthew, and Jennifer’s sister, Kristine, delivered tender toasts that left everybody in tears. The evening finished off with a round of limoncello, dancing, and a special performance of “Proud Mary” by Jennifer’s childhood friends, as guests danced around the tables.