How to plan a Maine wedding around a perfect attendance in the U.S. Senate

Sen. Susan Collins shows off her L.L. Bean boots while getting a tour of the Brunswick manufacturing facility — where Bean boots are made — from senior manufacturing manager Jack Samson Thursday morning Feb. 23, 2012. (Bangor Daily News photo by Troy R. Bennett)

I tagged along with Sen. Susan Collins and her team today as they toured the L.L. Bean manufacturing facility in Brunswick. As I mentioned in the wrap-up story, the visit rounded out a busy 24 hours including stops in Biddeford, Saco and a previous one in Brunswick.

Just after 10 p.m. last night, she said she called Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to continue blasting his apparent decision to essentially close the Hampden mail processing facility.

Tomorrow, she’s headed over to Auburn’s Thos. Moser furniture facility for that company’s 40th anniversary, and these are mostly just the events in her schedule with photograph or interview opportunities for the media (we didn’t get to sit in on the late-night phone call to Donahoe, which Collins candidly described as “probably not his favorite call of the day”).

She was slated to head down to Portland to meet with constituents after her L.L. Bean tour today, and I believe will return to Washington, D.C. after the Auburn trip tomorrow. It’s well-known that Sen. Collins has never missed a roll-call vote in the Senate, present for something close to 5,000 votes since she first arrived in the Capitol in early January 1997.

So, being a nosy reporter, I had to ask when I met up with the senator today in Brunswick: “Are you finding any time for wedding planning?” The big day was announced to be sometime this summer, so she’s only got about six months under the best of circumstances to get it organized, less if it’s in June or July.

(The news that Sen. Collins was engaged to marry Capitol Hill consultant and longtime senate staffer Thomas Daffron was one of our most popular stories when it came out earlier this month. More than one L.L. Bean factory worker offered her congratulations today during her tour.)

So, any time for wedding planning?

“Not enough, which is a problem,” she said, I think half-joking. She said she found a brief window to browse wedding invitations on the computer last night, and luckily it’s going to be a small, simple family affair, so it shouldn’t take as long to pull together as, say, Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Collins did ask one of our L.L. Bean tour guides, Vice President of Public Affairs John Oliver, about the company adding a wedding registry. She said she looked around on the L.L. Bean website for such a registry — wanting to keep the business in Maine and all — but couldn’t find one.

Oliver said the company tried implementing a wedding registry about a dozen years ago, but he said it wasn’t widely used and the idea fizzled. Maybe now with one particular high profile bride-to-be looking into it and the iconic Bean hunting boot becoming fashionable among college-aged women, the wedding registry could get more traction. Stay tuned.

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Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.