Josh and Rick met in 2002 at a mutual friend's birthday dinner in Washington, D.C. "I thought Rick was a stylish dresser and liked his sharp sense of humor," says Josh, 40, the owner of a health-care design firm. "So I started playing footsies with him under the table." ("He wasn't very subtle about it," says Rick, 45, a management consultant.) Fast-forward eight years to March 2010, when same-sex marriage was legalized in D.C., where the pair reside. "The day it was announced, Rick emailed me asking me to marry him," says Josh. "My reply was 'Yes, YES, and YES!' " So on a snowy January morning, they and a handful of family members gathered at a local courthouse for a civil ceremony. "It was lovely," says Josh, "but we still wanted the experience of a wedding."
The couple threw themselves into planning a summer celebration. "Someone told us Mount Desert Island, in Maine, is an unspoiled version of Nantucket," says Josh. "We visited, and everything clicked." Since they couldn't be there to oversee the planning, they enlisted Meagan Gilpatrick of Maine Seasons Events to help with the logistics.