Thanks to our brand new pro-gay vendor Authentic Eye, for sharing this rustic barn wedding with stunning views of Vermont.
In planning our wedding, we knew that we wanted a traditional affair. We wanted white wedding dresses, traditional practices (dads walking us down the aisle, first dances, toasts, etc), and definitely lots of fun. The first, biggest task was finding the location. Being from the south, I have always loved the look of a big, rustic barn with scattered twinkle lights, so we started there. We found this amazing family who bought an old barn up near Stowe, Vt, renovated it and now rents it out for weddings. The barn sits on a large lot, surrounded by 360 degree mountain views, has a basement full of old wedding supplies free for anyone’s use, a quaint farmhouse for the bridal party to stay and get ready in, and of course, a green john deer tractor.
Then came the rest of our vision. We wanted mason jars for glasses, glitter lights through the rafters, a zydeco band (harking back to my partners’ and my first trip away together, to New Orleans) during dinner and a DJ with a motown feel for dancing. We wanted bare feet and country accents. We wanted linen. We wanted wildflowers and fresh herbs picked from a local farm, red and brown and beige, cupcakes and non-buttercream icing. We wanted handwritten vows, eternity bands passed from one hand to another, and a red pickup truck with lemonade served from the back. We wanted oysters and pulled pork. We wanted a photo booth with lots of giggling heard from under the curtain. We wanted costumes and party hats and feather boas in a basket for a free-for-all. And that’s pretty much what we got.
We love throwing dinner parties so we kind of started with the idea that we wanted our wedding to be like a big dinner party that kept going. We wanted the food and music to be something that people remembered, not just standard wedding fare of chicken, steak or pasta. We also wanted a collaborative event – so many of our small, but incredibly important details came from the work of our family and friends. Because we could rent our venue for the entire weekend and a few days before and after, many of our friends and family came up to Stowe early and helped with transforming the barn from big and barren to warm and cozy. The image in my mind of my tattooed cousin helping my uncle hang white tulle at the entrance of the barn is one of my favorites!
I think the biggest design element was just the setting itself. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with 360 degree mountain views, wide open green fields, a beautiful sunny day ending with heat lightning in the distance, an old red truck, and a big old barn set in the middle of it all. Every single one of our pictures came out perfectly with the setting framing all of our guests as they enjoyed the day. But, if I had to choose one thing that was actually made, it might be the “For Real” sign that hung above our cupcakes. My sister, as my matron of honor, asked if there was something crafty she could do for our wedding. I had been looking at pictures of lots of other weddings and really liked the paper letter signs that couples had hung up at their wedding and knew I wanted something similar. We chose the “For Real” because when Kristen asked me to marry her, my first response was: “for real?!” and she was like, “yes, for real!” so I said yes J And then we got that saying engraved on the inside of our engagement bands because it has so many special meanings for us as a couple. We are in this for real.
I wish I had asked our caterer to set aside two plates of all of their food for later. He prepared such a great meal all made with local and fresh ingredients, but at the time dinner was served I was so excited and overwhelmed that I had no appetite! I wanted to go mingle with guests and get out on the dance floor so I took a few bites and thought I’d save it for later. But then when I came back, the caterer’s assistants had cleared all of the plates so all I ended up having was a cupcake for dinner. I definitely recommend asking your caterer to make you and your partner a doggy bag of everything they serve – then later when you get back to your room and everything has settled down, you may find yourself starving and can actually enjoy what you eat!
There were so many from the actual day, but I think my favorite moment of the entire wedding weekend was actually the night after the wedding – my wife and I stayed at the farmhouse for an extra night and after going into town for a nice, two hour long dinner out on a patio as a celebration of our first married night, we came back to the farmhouse and walked back into the barn. All of the lights were off except for one spotlight up on the stained glass window at the back of the barn and surrounding us were empty tables and chairs. We sat on one chair in the middle of the dance floor and just held each other and looked around and remembered what a fabulous night our wedding night had been. I will never forget that moment and that feeling of feeling complete and utter peace and happiness.
Photographer: Thea Dodds, Authentic Eye Photography
Day of Coordinator: Megan Shultz
Invitations: a friend of Kristen’s from growing up, Monica Rhines
Caterer: Black Diamond Barbecue
Linens: Weddings, Tents & Events
Photo Booth: Vermont Photobooth Company
Bride 1’s Gown Designer: CasaBlanca
Bride 2′s Gown Designer: Demetrios
Bridesmaid Gowns: chosen by each bridesmaid
Bridesmaid’s Shoe Designer: Jack Purcell
Cupcakes: homemade by friends of the brides
Music: Slippery Sneakers (Zydeco Band), Productions (DJ),