real life love story: colm and mari

You know that guy in high school whose humor was just a little bit ahead of everyone? My friend Colm was like that. When most other boys were quoting the latest movies to impress the ladies, he had a smarter, more subtle way of making girls laugh, the type of comments that took a second to absorb so that by the time you got that he was joking, he was already on to the next story. Combine that with his kindness and intelligence and it's no surprise that the boy was snatched up by a lovely girl he recently made his wife. And in true Colm style, the wedding was unique, authentic and captured with photographs where the love and happiness were so apparent they were as tangible as the blades of grass on the ground. Colm was gracious enough to share some of those images with us, along with the lovely story of he met, fell in love, and made it official with his gorgeous wife Mari. Enjoy!

The Bridesmaid: So how did you and Mari meet?

Colm: We met our sophomore year at Brown. We were in finance class together and after many exchanged glances, friends introduced us.

TB: When did you know Mari was the one?

C: After our first date, she left a voicemail where she casually dropped an f-bomb, said she wasn't interested, then [in the same voicemail] later retracted and said that she was. [Initially she seemed] so demure, but her toughness, intelligence, and silliness bowled me over. I am glad she changed her mind mid-message. It sounds weird, but almost immediately after that, I knew.

(Fun side note! Mari and Colm dated for nine years and lived together in New York City, right near Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and their brood.)

TB: How did you propose?

C: I proposed on top of a hill overlooking Lake Superior after a long hike. To avoid suspicion, I hid the ring in my sock. (The Bridesmaid's favorite part!)

TB: Were you nervous? What was going through your head?

C: I was more excited than nervous. I think I thought "this just feels right".

Mari and Colm got married on a sunny Autumn day in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at a private club on the shores of Lake Superior. Guests arrived up to a week before the wedding and stayed in lakeside cabins, spending the days hiking, fishing, canoeing and exploring the grounds. At night, they came together for lively cocktail parties and gathered in the woods for bonfires under the stars. The ceremony was held in a meadow, and the bride arrived alongside her dad in a mint-green antique car (LOVE this.). Dinner took place under a tent after lakeside drinks, and was followed by dancing in the hayloft of an old barn.  

TB: What was the most memorable part of the wedding?

C: My [little] brother's best man speech was amazing and hilarious (his little brother is adorable and funny--check out the pic below where he's bringing down the house), but I think the highlight of the night was dancing in the barn after the meal. Everyone let their hair down and rocked out until 3 am. Mari and I always said we wanted our wedding to be the best party we've ever thrown, and in those few hours in the barn, we felt like we achieved it.

TB: What surprised you about the wedding?

C: How much and how well our friends mixed. Because people arrived days before the wedding, by the night of the reception, everyone seemed to have befriended each other regardless of age or association with Mari or me. Seeing my parents' friends, for example, sitting around a bonfire and signing songs with Mari's best friends from high school was unforgettable.  

tB: What's the best thing about being married so far?

C: The tax benefits! Kidding. Things are the same, but in a great way. We've been happy for nine years and didn't want anything to alter that. So far it has felt like an affirmation of our relationship rather than a turning point.


So there you have it, friends. I hope you enjoyed hearing (and seeing!) Colm's story as much as I did. If you have a wedding or love story you'd like to share on Always a Bridesmaid, email me at And don't forget to follow me on twitter @brooklynn15.


Have a lovely weekend!


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