Real Wedding: Samantha Finigan & Peter Gorman
Draw inspiration from their stylish celebration.
August 29, 2015
The Barn at Flanagan Farm
Peter Gorman knew it would be hard to surprise his girlfriend with an engagement ring. “I’m the suspicious type,” Samantha Finigan explains. Not to mention that she has weddings on her mind almost daily as the co-owner of Gus & Ruby Letterpress, a custom-stationery-design studio in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. So Peter decided that the best course of action was to not plan the proposal—rather, “to wait for something extraordinary to happen, like seeing a shooting star,” he says.
But when a few days passed without such an opportunity, Peter decided on another approach, suggesting a kayaking excursion in Great Bay. And so on a cloudless September day, they paddled up to a tiny deserted island—in Peter’s mind, “the perfect place to propose.” He asked her if she wanted to get out and have lunch. She promptly turned him down. Maybe she knows I have the ring and doesn’t want me to do it here, Peter thought. The reality was “I was just cozy in my kayak,” Samantha says.
So Peter followed her to a calm area in the bay, where he pulled up alongside her and made his move. He told Samantha that on the first day he’d met her, he’d looked down to see if she had a ring. Samantha interrupted him to say, “I didn’t then, and I still don’t.” Peter took his cue, pulling a round-cut solitaire out of a Ziploc bag. “I was totally floored,” she says.
They tied the knot a year later at the Barn at Flanagan Farm, near Portland, Maine. And despite her best efforts, Samantha found herself surprised yet again. “It was all so much more emotional than I ever expected,” she says.
To create varying tones and texture in her stationery, Samantha used eggplant, slate blue, and raspberry inks and combined copper-foil and matte letterpress.
“We were overjoyed at finally being married and couldn’t stop smiling,” Samantha recalls of the moments after the ceremony.
The couple’s three cakes included a croquembouche-topped confection that was “almost Willy Wonka–ish in how over the top everything was,” Samantha says.
“There was a deep still-life inspiration” to the flowers from Forêt Design Studio, the bride explains.
“We wanted it to feel like an amazing dinner party,” Samantha says of the reception.
Bride’s Dress Alvina Valenta, Tulle Bridal
Cake and Desserts Erin Gardner
Calligraphy Graceline Illustration + Calligraphy
Catering Trillium Caterers
DJ Greg Lanzillotta, Beat Train Productions
Flowers Forêt Design Studio
Hair Station 34 Salon
Invitations and Paper Goods Gus & Ruby Letterpress
Lighting and Draping The Event Light Pros
Makeup Joya Beauty
Planner 42 Degrees North
Rentals Peterson Party Center