A nautical setting was a natural wedding venue for Kate Haesche, 27, and Mark Thomson, 25—the pair met as college students in Maine, rowing crew. For their June 2006 wedding, they chose the Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Massachu­setts, where the bride had learned to sail as a child and spent subsequent summers as a launch driver, shuttling yacht-club members from the dock to their boats.

"We didn't do the formal introduction thing," explains Kate, "but as we circled the harbor, people were cheering, boat horns were blaring, and all we could think of was, 'This is our wedding? All these people are here to see us?'" At precisely 8:23 p.m., Kate and Mark slipped away from dining and dancing to "observe colors" at the flagpole overlooking the harbor; in accordance with naval protocol, the bride fired the cannon to mark sunset as their guests watched. "It was an incredibly cool moment," recalls the bride, who had participated in this ritual as a yacht-club employee for many summers. "It was so special to do this with my new husband, at a place where I was taught to love the ocean."—Hillary Quinn

Our Favorite Things

Family Ties: Kate says her sister, Susannah, "was the creative force behind the wedding," designing the invites and arranging the flowers.

Gotta Love it: The groom's aunt requested that family members and the attendants finish the sentence "Love is..." Their heartfelt (and often funny) responses were read at the ceremony.

Mr. President: As a salute to their alma mater, Kate and Mark asked Don Harward, president emeritus of Bates College, to officiate at their ceremony, which he gladly did.

A nautical couple celebrates their seaworthy love on salty shores

A nautical setting was a natural wedding venue for Kate Haesche, 27, and Mark Thomson, 25—the pair met as college students in Maine, rowing crew. For their June 2006 wedding, they chose the Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Massachu­setts, where the bride had learned to sail as a child and spent subsequent summers as a launch driver, shuttling yacht-club members from the dock to their boats.

"We didn't do the formal introduction thing," explains Kate, "but as we circled the harbor, people were cheering, boat horns were blaring, and all we could think of was, 'This is our wedding? All these people are here to see us?'" At precisely 8:23 p.m., Kate and Mark slipped away from dining and dancing to "observe colors" at the flagpole overlooking the harbor; in accordance with naval protocol, the bride fired the cannon to mark sunset as their guests watched. "It was an incredibly cool moment," recalls the bride, who had participated in this ritual as a yacht-club employee for many summers. "It was so special to do this with my new husband, at a place where I was taught to love the ocean."—Hillary Quinn

Our Favorite Things

Family Ties: Kate says her sister, Susannah, "was the creative force behind the wedding," designing the invites and arranging the flowers.

Gotta Love it: The groom's aunt requested that family members and the attendants finish the sentence "Love is..." Their heartfelt (and often funny) responses were read at the ceremony.

Mr. President: As a salute to their alma mater, Kate and Mark asked Don Harward, president emeritus of Bates College, to officiate at their ceremony, which he gladly did.

Kate carried peonies.