Toni and Dylan Baker have known each other since high school; they were the same year at rival schools in Portland. They had mutual friends and crossed paths often at football games and parties, but it wasn’t until Dylan returned to Maine after attending college in England that they connected as adults. “We immediately hit it off,” Toni recalls.
Toni and Dylan dated for almost three years, but busy lives kept them in Portland without many opportunities to enjoy a couple’s getaway. For Dylan’s 30th birthday, they made plans to watch the sunrise at Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse in South Portland and then head to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for their first real weekend escape together. It was March, and it was very cold when they woke before the sun and headed to the lighthouse. Toni wasn’t planning to linger at the scenic spot. “We’d come a thousand times for sunrise, so I ran out to the lighthouse, ran around once, and tried to drag [Dylan] back towards shore.”
But Dylan had other plans. He convinced a freezing Toni to circle the lighthouse one more time… so he could get down on one knee and propose. “I was so beyond surprised,” Toni says. “It felt surreal.”
As they began planning their wedding, Toni and Dylan didn’t have a specific idea for the look of the event, but they knew exactly how they wanted it to feel. They envisioned their celebration reflecting their personalities and representing them as a couple: down to earth, casual, friendly. “We stripped back all the wedding formalities that stressed us out or made us uncomfortable.”
The team at Pinch Me Planning helped Toni and Dylan create an event that felt as relaxed as a backyard party, but in a newly renovated warehouse in downtown Portland. Theirs was the first wedding at The Public Works, a collaborative work/studio space and event venue in Bayside. The couple filled the setting with personal touches: Flowers from Toni’s mother’s garden, food trucks serving their favorite fare, and a best friend officiating. “Everything felt familiar.” Toni says. “Everything spoke to us.”
Now that they’re married, Toni and Dylan, both 30, are making plans for what comes next. “As boring as it sounds, our favorite activities to do as a couple are home improvement projects,” Toni says. “We love to put in work and enjoy the results.” They’re also looking forward to adding members to their household. “Family is very important to us and we would love to start one of our own.” She’s hoping, however, that Dyan will wrap up the master bedroom addition and fix the water pressure before then.
Whether it’s a home improvement project or life’s greater obstacles, Toni and Dylan know they’re stronger together, supporting and complementing each other. “Life throws a lot at you,” Toni says, “and having someone who loves you and who is committed to you makes the challenges easier and the rewards sweeter.”