“It’s important to take time to celebrate the good things in life.” My aunt says this regularly, and it’s spot on. The world is turbulent right now, but last Saturday it was warm and sunny, full of smiles and love. Madelaine and Joe got married on the family farm with a beautiful ceremony officiated by her brother and attended in person by only a handful of very close family and friends and by more family and friends over Zoom.
After a ceremony in the shade of a beautiful tree down near the river, they retreated in a bright blue Jeep to the house for cocktails and photos followed by dinner under a tent — good thing, the rain came through just after sunset.
For just a few hours, all was right in the world. Thank you for having me as a part of it! I wish you two many years of love and happiness!
One of the things I love the most about weddings is how each one is so different and is really a true reflection of the bride and groom. You get a glimpse into their personalities based on all of the details of their wedding.
This last one was no different The most striking difference was the size and intimacy of the event. With a total of only 25 people, only the closest of family and friends were witnesses to the joining of these two individuals. And to boot, it was held at one of the most beautiful properties in the entire state of Vermont, Shelburne Farms Inn. Stacey and Travis said their vows under a bright blue sky in front of one of the most beautiful backdrops you could imagine.
The only thing more stunning than the location was the bride. Stacey was an incredible combination of adorable and stunning, all in one package. Her smile lit up the room everywhere she went and her heart made us feel right at home even though their engagement photos were the only other time we had met.
A wedding is made extra special when you can include a family heirloom. Stacey’s great grandfather was a bit of a gambler back in the day. But apparently, when he won big he would buy his wife, Bubbe as she is affectionately known to Stacey and her mom Laurie, a nice piece of jewelry with intricate clasp. As a wedding gift, Stacey’s aunt handed down one of these pieces, a beautiful pearl necklace. Not only was this piece beautiful and the perfect accompaniment to her dress, it also fit the era of Shelburne Farms itself.
Travis, despite being a stoic Norwegian, warmed right up when in the company of his bride. We thought it would take a bit of coaxing to get some great smiles while shooting just the two of them but when he looked at Stacey he just warmed right up and had the most genuine smile full of love.
Although the gardens and grounds are truly breathtaking, we made sure to take a few shots inside. The library, full of books that were over 100 years old, was a wonderful contrast to the lush greenery outside.
Stacey, I think that couch was made for you!
Stacey and Travis, it was an honor to witness the start of your lives together and we wish you a lifetime of happiness.
I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda and Chris last summer when we connected up for some engagement photos. It was an unusually warm summer day but we had a great time walking around Stowe and the Trapp Family Lodge. Their wedding day was similar – warm temperatures, bright sunshine, and relaxed attitudes. In Amanda’s final email to me before her wedding she said “As crazy as it sounds, despite the fact it’s my wedding day… My plans are pretty low key and it’s just a day of relaxing!”
I thought that was a lofty goal given how most wedding days run, but they pulled it off. When I arrived, Chris was relaxing in a room with the other guys.
Before they headed down to the ceremony, all of the guys toasted Chris, and maybe helped take that last little bit of nervousness away, too.
Meanwhile, Amanda was getting ready in a gorgeous suite.
After some final touches of hairspray, we headed down to get the two of them married!
I love her father’s expression here. It screams “proud daddy” to me.
They guys appreciated the moment as well.
With Mount Mansfield in the background and the trails of Stowe punctuating the hillside, vows were read, rings exchanged, and two became one.
This couple looks ready to take on the world.
On out way home, I had to stop to take a photo of the big dipper over Mt. Mansfield. That little glow just below the ridge line? That’s the party at Stowe Mountain Resort.
It’s taken a while for me to get around to blogging this wedding. I think it’s because it has special meaning to me; or maybe it’s because I had a hard time picking just a handful of photos to share here.
Peter proposed with his grandmother’s ring and that vintage act seemed to set the mood for the rest of the planning. Between the beautiful Vermont fall foliage, the comfortable, rustic atmosphere at the inn, handmade invitations and wedding favors, and a talented musical lineup, the day came together perfectly.
The flowers that The Blue Toad provided were beautiful and a perfect match for the venue and other decorations.
After a morning of getting the pavilion and ceremony site decorated, Peter was ushered back to his room to get ready with his best man.
The girls ran down to the hair salon to get their hair done (and, rumor has it, stop for a creemee on the way) before returning to change and apply any finishing touches.
Peter didn’t know it, but while he was outside chatting with his parents, Emily was just feet away peeking through the bathroom window at him.
One of the smartest things we did was to find a spot for their first look which was away from the arriving guests. Across the river, there’s an old road or driveway that looked back at the inn. While Peter was waiting for his bride, he got to watch as family and friends made their way to the ceremony.
Best. Reaction. Ever.
First looks are one of my favorite times during a wedding. As a photographer, you get to watch as two people that love each other take a few minutes to themselves. It’s a beautiful sight and almost as memorable for me as for the bride and groom.
We knew that most of the guests had arrived, though, so we had to scurry off to the upper field to make it legal!
Peter was obviously feeling good about the day!
And Emily was almost floating as she made her way up the long walk with her attendants.
Normally, group shots of family & wedding party are pretty cookie-cutter, but when you’ve got a bunch of performers together you can capture out of the ordinary attitude.
The rest of the night is a blur as family and friends celebrated by playing music & dancing the night away.
And when the music finally stopped, there was a fire outside to sit around as we all digested the day’s events.
What a beautiful, perfect wedding. If you’ve got a few more minutes, please take them to enjoy a slideshow of more photos set to two original pieces played by Peter’s band-mates in The Grift.