Private residence and Laurel Beach Association, Milford

June 12, 2021

Photographer: Picture This Photography

Officiant: Larry Carroll, Shelton

Planner: Jessica Hallet, JHevents, Southington

Dress designer: Theia

Dress boutique: Lovely Bride, Manhattan

Music: Clark Eno Orchestra, Danbury

Caterer: Catering by Christine, Milford

Florist: Forget Me Not Flower Shop, North Haven

Makeup/hair: Blew, Milford

When Maura and Michael spotted one another’s profile on the dating app Hinge back in March 2018, they knew right away that they were interested. Each liked that the other was tall (him 6-foot-6 and her just a smidge under 6 feet) and that they were geographically compatible (Maura is originally from Fairfield and Mike from the suburbs north of Chicago, but both were living in Brooklyn at the time). Maura could tell right away that Mike was “kind,” and Mike, of course, thought that Maura was “beautiful.” What they didn’t yet know (since the app keeps certain details private at the start) was each other’s last name. Surprise! Those names turned out to be one and the same, and as the sun set over Lake Michigan on May 21, 2020, Michael McCarthy asked Maura McCarthy to be his wife — it was meant to be. (And, yes, before you ask: They did check to be sure that they weren’t related.) 

Mike and Maura had traveled to Mike’s family’s lake house in March 2020, when COVID-19 began making life in Brooklyn seem a little too close for comfort. Being COVID innocent (ah, those were the days) they thought that they’d be there “maybe a week,” Maura says. They ended up staying two months. And so when it was time to pick a wedding date, the happy couple didn’t want to take any chances and chose June 12, 2021, as their day of days. “We thought we were being ‘super conservative’ and that there was no chance that COVID would get in the way of that date,” Maura says. As it turned out, it was a close one, but, “our timing was pretty miraculous,” Maura happily reports. By the time June rolled around, almost everyone in attendance had been able to get vaccinated and the mask mandate had been lifted. “We were so grateful,” Maura says. It was time to party, people. 

“Growing up, we both spent our summers at the beach with our families — me in Milford and Mike in Holland, Michigan,” says Maura, and so a more simple, sand-in-your-shoes kind of wedding “felt like a natural to us.” The McCarthys’ first look at the Connecticut Audubon Society Coastal Center at Milford Point, “got the jitters out” before a ceremony on Cedar Beach at which Maura’s two brothers stood proudly by her side as her “bridesmen” and Mike’s two sisters by his as his “groomswomen,” while her uncle led everyone in family favorite “Side by Side.” “I’m from a big Irish-Catholic family and we’re all about singing,” Maura says. (Just travelin’ along, singin’ a song…)

As for the reception, the beachy-keen Laurel Beach Association Clubhouse, known as “The Casino” to generations of locals, including the bride’s close-knit crew, was chosen not only for its “low-key vibe” and the blue views from its big-ol’ wraparound porch, but because “it’s a special place for our family,” says the bride (for weddings, for family reunions…). “It fit what we wanted our wedding to be about: Not things, but people. Our family and our friends are important to us, and after being apart for so long we wanted the day to be about having fun and celebrating with them.”