Rich & Jan Little | July 7, 2018
Old Orchard Beach meant a lot to Jan, so it was perfectly fitting for then-boyfriend Rich to propose on the sandy shores of the coastline she’d grown up on. The best part? She had no clue since the couple had been vacationing there every summer for years.
“I made sure to call Jan’s daughters first for permission and then I surprised her during our early morning walk. We had friends there, one of which is a photographer, and she caught the moment on camera,” says Rich. “Jan had no clue and we both cried.”
Fast forward to 2018 and the couple were planning a backyard summer wedding in New Hampshire. Their land boasts a scenic view of Mt. Ucanoonuc and a large pond would serve as the perfect backdrop for photos. The couple decided to save money by doing everything themselves, from food to tabletop settings to music.
“We didn’t have an engagement or bridal party and instead of wedding gifts, we asked our friends to bring food for a giant potluck. We were so fortunate to have friends and family who helped serve food and hot glue wine bottles for the centerpieces,” says Jan. “I had a great group of women supporting me, and Rich helped out a lot around the yard to prepare.”
Opting for navy blue dresses for the bridesmaids and blue Hawaiian shirts for the groomsmen, the couple complemented the outfits with giant sunflowers. Jan made all of the bouquets and boutonnieres herself, and sunflowers decorated the awning and the reception area.
The bride traveled from New Hampshire to Elizabella’s Bridal Boutique to search for her dress, and immediately fell in love with a floor-length gown. But since the wedding would be taking place in July, the staff at Elizabella’s helped transformed the gown into a tea-length work-of-art.
“My dress was absolutely perfect, and working with Viet was so, so fun,” Jan says. “I just couldn’t believe how flawlessly the alterations were done. Elizabella’s is awesome.”
More than 150 of the couple’s closest friends and family attended the wedding on July 7, 2018, and were so amazed with the professional quality of their work. “Our guests could not believe that we pulled off such an amazing wedding all by ourselves,” Jan says. “ It was a huge group effort but it was an absolutely beautiful day.”
Rich couldn’t agree more. “It was the perfect little backyard wedding, and every single person contributed in some way.”
The wedding went off without a hitch, especially considering there were a few surprise elements.
“Our four daughters surprised us with a group speech and it meant so much to us,” Rich says. “And then we ended the night with a beautiful fireworks display.”