Steven & Parker’s wedding was a beautiful day in Maine with fun details such as cake cutting with a sword and a cute outfit change! Next to a serene lake they took their vows and celebrated the night away with their loved ones and tradition in tow.
In the quaint little town of Rangeley in Maine with a population of 1,045, Steven and Parker held a grand 2-day event surrounded by their nearest and dearest. The day before they said, “I do”, in true Maine fashion, they rented out an entire camp overlooking Mooselookmegunic Lake and held a clam bake for all 170+ of their guests. The following day, Steven and Parker’s loved ones dressed in their black-tie attire and celebrated at Mountain Star Estate. They said forever overlooking the mountains with the sun glistening off Rangeley Lake off the horizon. They decorated the barn with hanging florals and white drapery. Soft blue table runners and matching glasses. Each table was labeled by painted landmarks drawn by Steven’s sister and evidence that no detail was forgotten. After a quick wardrobe change, Steven and Parker cut their wedding cake with a sword. The sword is a family heirloom which every married couple in their family has used to cut their own wedding cakes with. -Felisha Lees Photography
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another? Steven and Parker met in January of 2018 when they were staffed on a consulting engagement together in Waukegan, IL. Parker was a seasoned consultant who knew the ropes, while Steve was lost and clueless in his first job that didn’t involve Uncle Sam. Parker helped Steve get his feet under him as the two trudged through a freezing winter on a less-than-enjoyable project. They say misery loves company, and this company proved to be the start of something special.
The tables turned that Spring when Parker expressed her interest in attending business school. Steve, having just (barely) graduated, leapt at the opportunity to help her out – and spend more quality time together – ultimately convincing Parker to apply to Wharton. She hit the ground running in Philadelphia, and the two of them thrived during a fun, though unpredictable and Covid-filled, b-school experience. Steve and Parker played hockey together, led and joined ski trips, traveled to Wharton classmates’ homes, and took advantage of every opportunity they had to get to visit each other’s friends and family.
Right before graduation, Parker decided to take a leap of faith and take a critical role at NeuroFlow, a high-growth behavioral health tech company in Philadelphia. Setting aside their plans to move to Denver for a few years, Parker and Steve bought a home in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philly in late July.
Just a week later on August 1st, during a Reynolds family weekend at Mooselookmeguntic Lake in Oquossoc, Maine, Steve made the best decision of his life and asked Parker to be his bride on the beach where Parker spent most of her childhood summers. With Parker’s extended family in town, and Steve’s parents hiding out as a surprise, the house was full for the first of many toasts celebrating the happy couple.
What is your favorite thing about each other? Steven: Parker has seamlessly fit into my family as if she’s always been there. My sisters and brother view her as an additional sibling; my parents adore her; my nieces and nephews have attached at the hip to her. She always remembers important moments and knows what’s going on in all of their lives. I’m very close to my family, and she makes it easy to stay that way. She’s an addition that has multiplied my blessings.
Parker: I love how solid Steven is. Throughout our relationship he has always felt like home and helped us to build a safe and comfortable life together. I know that he will always be there to support me.
What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you? Steven: aside from actually getting to marry Parker, it was probably the range of people – and the distances traveled – who came to help us celebrate. We had friends from grade school through graduate school; army friends from duty stations around the world; four generations of family members; the entire gamut. We had guests come in from Germany, Greece, Vietnam, Guatemala, and Alaska, all to a tiny town in northern Maine.
Parker: Actually getting married. In addition to having Steven’s brother officiate a beautiful ceremony, we wrote our own vows. Sharing this moment that was true to us and the promises we were making to each other is the whole reason we were there that day. Sharing my favorite place in the world with new and old friends and family was just icing on the cake.
Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day or relationship! During the father of the bride’s toast, Paul recalled a visit to Parker during her time at Colgate where he learned about “dancing on elevated surfaces” from Parker and her friends. Paul found this practice to be equal parts interesting and hilarious, perhaps noting the differences between how generations like to party.
Fast forward 90 minutes from the time of the toast, and the supposed generational differences disappeared. There was Paul, leading the charge from the dancefloor to the tabletops. The big, hefty barn dining tables added a third dimension to an already rocking party.
Alas, tables of any kind aren’t designed for the frenzy whipped up by the band belting “a little bit louder now” as they do their best Isley Brothers impersonation. As one might expect, a bit of damage was sustained throughout the evening, but it was nothing a broad-smiled Paul and a toolkit couldn’t fix in the following days.
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding? We both like to plan parties and host events, so that part of the wedding (and rehearsal dinner) was fun. Picking out music, planning cocktails, what to do with the after party – that’s right in our wheelhouse. The fact that it was our wedding added a little stress of course, but ultimately, it was one big party with all of our favorite people. How can you not love that?
Thinking through all the little details that would represent us and our families was really special. Things like Maine maple syrup on our welcome bags, songs that have meaning, drink specials like the Philadelphia city wide (a shot of jim beam and a PBR) were all fun things to plan and share with our friends and family.
Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day? We had several! First, the location itself was important. Parker’s family started coming to the Rangeley/Oquossoc area over six decades ago and now calls the area home. In fact, a memorial dedicated to Parker’s grandfather, Robert Summers, sits just steps away from the wedding venue overlooking Rangeley lake. He was very influential in preserving the natural beauty of the area, and this plaque acknowledges his work on getting the road recognized as a scenic byway thereby directing more resources to the area. The impact of his life was on full display over the wedding weekend for all of us to enjoy.
Our wedding date, September 10th is the same as Parker’s grandparent’s Robert and Nancy Summers. We were married 67 years to the day after them.
To incorporate our families’ geographical history, we chose to use bodies of water that we’re connected to as our table markers for the reception. Steven’s talented sister, Lisa Miller, sketched twenty scenes of lakes, rivers, and reservoirs that hold special places in our hearts, and our guests were seated according to their common ties. For instance, Parker’s college friends dined at the Taylor Lake table, an iconic lake on the campus of Colgate, while Steven’s aunts and uncles sat at the Kanawha River table, the river that flows through their hometown of Charleston, WV. (Lisa also did all of the artwork for the save-the-date cards and “His/Hers/Our Cocktail Menus” – she’s truly a star!)
Steven’s brother, Scott, officiated the wedding, and we used a cadet saber from West Point to cut the wedding cake, a nod to Steven’s military family and traditions. We also incorporated Maine goodies and maple syrup in the welcome bags, along with a taste of West Virginia Moonshine.
Finally, after dancing the first verse of the mother/son dance with his mother, Debbie, Steven turned to his grandmother, Tanya, for the second verse. We were unsure if Tanya would be able to make the trip to Maine due to recent health concerns, so sharing a dance with her on the day of the wedding was extra special for Steven.
Photographer: Felisha Lees Photography
Floral Designer: Sunrise View Farm
Cake Designer: Skowhegan Bankery
Venue: Mountain Star Estate
Stylist / Planner / Designer: BB’s Events and Rentals
Dress Boutique: Lovely Bride Philadelphia
Dress Designer: Alexandra Grecco
Makeup Artist: Mountain Miracles Med Spa Dawn Awad
Hair Stylist: Mountain Miracles Med Spa
Stationery: Little Ivy Paper Goods
Film Lab: PhotoVision
Ring: William Schwartz
Shoes: J. Renee
Catering: Good Food Store
Band: Silver Arrow Band