Tracy Akufo and Adam Totman first crossed paths in 2015 at an elementary school in Washington DC, where they both worked as teachers. Tracy had just relocated from San Francisco after making a career switch, and she was new to the school. Her classroom was just across the hall from Adam’s. “Despite our close proximity, we hardly exchanged many words that year,” Tracy discloses.
It wasn’t until the following year that the two bonded. After attending an outdoor music festival with Adam and a group of teachers, Tracy offered to give Adam a ride home. “I always thought Adam was super handsome, but I had no ulterior motive to woo him off his feet,” she clarifies. But, once they started talking, the pair found that the conversation was effortless and enjoyable. Before they knew it, they were spending more time together than apart. “Adam invited me to his 25th birthday brunch, and after a date or two, we were inseparable,” Tracy mentions. “Being together felt natural, and there was never a dull moment. Our playful spirits and appreciation for the simple joys of life were present in our everyday work and lives, which made it somewhat easy to fall in love.”
One afternoon in November 2019, the pair went for a stroll through Capitol Hill. Adam was planning on popping the question in front of the Capitol building. However when a group of tourists interjected, he decided to wait until they got back to their apartment, which ended up being the best case scenario. “Confessing his desire to make me his wife in the privacy of our home, where we could be our most authentic selves, was more than I could ever ask for in a proposal,” Tracy says. After Tracy gave a resounding “yes,” they popped Champagne, celebrated over dinner, and began to orchestrate their big day.
At first, Tracy and Adam anticipated hosting a large wedding with all of their family and friends in attendance, but a global pandemic threw a wrench in their plans. “The emergence of Covid drastically changed the entire wedding planning experience,” the couple observes. “There was a level of uncertainty that presented itself with every decision we had to make.”
While the pandemic was looming, the pair was also in the process of buying their first home together, navigating career changes, and dealing with the pain of Tracy’s father’s cancer battle. All this made the planning process more burdensome.
With all of these life changes, it wasn’t feasible for the duo to execute their initial wedding concept, so they settled on an intimate elopement with just the two of them at The ViewPoint Hotel in York, Maine. Although it wasn’t their first choice, the redirection ended up being a blessing in disguise because they were able to fully focus on their love for one another. “With the rise of Covid and the challenges that came along with it, our vision reverted back to our original vision: joy and love,” the couple notes.
Keep scrolling to see more details on their private October nuptials, as planned by the couple (with help from day-of coordination at The ViewPoint Hotel) and photographed by Alanna Hogan Photography.
Once Tracy and Adam saw the breathtaking scenery at The ViewPoint Hotel, they knew it was the perfect location for their modest elopement. “We picked our ceremony location because it had a spectacular view of the ocean and a lighthouse, a view that clearly belonged on a postcard and exemplified the essence of Maine,” the couple explains.
Although the quaint hotel ended up being the ideal backdrop for their private nuptials, the twosome encountered a lot of indecision surrounding their venue choice. They repeatedly asked themselves, “Did we want to host our wedding in the city we fell in love in, outside of the city because of the decreased cost, or in Maine, our future home?” After weighing their options, they decided that exchanging vows in Maine would set the tone for their future together.
The bride and groom enjoyed a leisurely morning getting ready together and taking selfies. “It was a very special way of emphasizing this idea of becoming one,” they remarked.
Since Tracy and Adam met and got engaged in the fall, it only made sense to have an autumnal wedding. They used the season to inform their color palette, so the bride selected an assortment of dahlia and roses in red and burnt orange tones for her bouquet.
It had a classic and timeless style with a balance between sexy and reserved that I appreciated.
Despite all of the setbacks the pair encountered, choosing their attire was the easiest part of planning a wedding. Tracy sported a long-sleeve gown with a dramatic slit and a cinched waist from Tadashi Shoji because she found it stylish and practical. “It had a classic and timeless style with a balance between sexy and reserved that I appreciated,” the bride illuminates. “Plus, it was comfortable, affordable, and had long sleeves, which was a must for me, considering the weather in Maine in late October.” Adam donned a classic look with a black Vince Camuto suit and black bow tie.
Without the presence of family, the duo carved their own path (literally) and walked down the aisle together.
Live music from guitarist David Keezing made the ceremony feel more powerful. “We had a guitarist who played the acoustic version of ‘Shallow’ from A Star Is Born and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Dire Straits,” the couple says of their music selection.
Since the hotel provided such spectacular views of the ocean, the lovebirds decided not to decorate the ceremony space. “We didn’t have any decor because the venue itself was beautiful all on its own,” they elaborated.
To capture the essence of their relationship, Tracy and Adam wrote their own vows. Adam quoted a line from The Office in his vows: ‘I just want to be friends plus a little extra. Also, I love you,’” the bride recounts.
After exchanging sentimental vows, the duo incorporated another meaningful ritual. “We had a moment of silence for my father who had recently passed,” Tracy shares. They also included an Irish wedding blessing before locking lips and becoming husband and wife.
Then, it was time to celebrate! The pair toasted their marriage with Champagne.
A whole day for us, by us, and with just us was super special.
The couple signed all of the necessary paperwork to make their marriage official. Once they received their marriage certificate, everything became real. Tracy and Adam started getting excited for their future together, which looked bright and full of possibilities. “A whole day for us, by us, and with just us was super special,” they relayed. “It provided a strong foundation for this new stage in our lives.”
The duo was able to savor every second of their special day because their day-of coordinator handled the details and ensured everything ran smoothly. “We decided to hire a day-of coordinator, who also happened to be our officiant, the week of our wedding to alleviate the stress that typically arises the day of,” they reveal. “We didn’t anticipate stress considering the size of our wedding, but having one was necessary.”
Tracy opted for a simple and timeless beauty look with natural makeup and effortless waves. “I wanted a hairstyle that would flow with the wind and was freeing,” she illustrates. “I considered an updo, but I knew I’d spend too much energy trying to keep it in place.”
Opinions and traditions can stifle what you imagine for your special day.
In a moment of reflection, the couple shares how glad they were that their wedding represented their love story and that they didn’t let rules or expectations cloud their vision. “Opinions and traditions can stifle what you imagine for your special day,” they verbalize.
To match her dazzling diamond engagement ring and wedding band, Tracy wore diamond drop earrings and a diamond bracelet.
After snapping photos, the couple got ready for the second phase of their nuptials. Instead of hosting an elaborate reception, they commemorated their marriage with a romantic dinner for two at Walkers Maine.
Overall, the newlyweds experienced a truly memorable wedding. They released the pressure to perfect the day and instead let their strong foundation as a couple guide their vision. “Weddings are great, but they only last one day. So, plan with the essence of your marriage in mind,” they advise. Ultimately, lead with love.