MEET JANA OF TANGLEWOOD FLORAL PRESERVATION

Does the idea of letting your beautiful wedding florals wilt away after your wedding make you want to wilt a little yourself? What if you could preserve their beauty – and the memories of your wedding day – for a lifetime? Tanglewood Floral Preservation creates unique, custom keepsakes with your wedding florals that you’ll treasure for a lifetime. Read on to learn more about Jana, the artist behind these amazing creations!

How did you get into floral preservation? 

My whole life I have always been drawn to flowers and nature. I have been working with resin since 2017, but I never felt like I had found my specific ‘niche’ until one day on Instagram I encountered a large resin block of preserved flowers and instantly fell in love! With the full support of my partner Joe, we took the dive into the world of floral preservation! We are now also beginning to offer handmade wooden stands and frames from locally-sourced Vermont wood and larger pieces like end tables, clocks and other functional art. 

How would you describe your style? 

I tend to be a very “intuitive” artist. I think my style is more ethereal/whimsical, however I really try to work with my clients specific vision and I am able to adapt to their wishes/style too. 

What inspires your work? 

Getting to be a part of helping people preserve not only their flowers but their most beautiful memories lights me up inside and I feel so blessed to be doing it!

Any special tips for couples thinking about floral preservation? 

I think it’s important for couples to choose an artist with whom they feel a connection to and share an artistic vision, and also someone that has a good amount of experience working with resin as a medium, because like anything worthwhile, it takes lots of practice! 

I think it’s important for couples to understand that floral preservation can be thought of as a long term investment, preserving not only your beautiful flowers, but the irreplaceable memories that accompany them.

Also, we suggest that couples who are considering floral preservation talk to their florist about using a combination of larger and smaller flowers along with a variety greenery and various textures so that we can have a greater variety to work with for the different pieces we create. 

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding? 

When the couple is just about to start their vows. They are both nervous but excited, and then a calmness takes over. It’s as if in that moment, everyone else disappears and you can feel the love in they way they look at each other. Gets me every time!

What’s your favorite thing to do in VT? 

I love hiking and exploring all of the scenic trails Vermont has to offer and enjoying the beaches of lake Champlain. Art’s Riot, The Burlington Waterfront and Foam Brewery are some of our favorite local spots for music and pretty views.

If you weren’t doing floral preservation what would you do? 

Probably making resin jewelry and other kinds of art…woodworking…hanging out with my kids, our two dogs and my horse. 

What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

My dad taught me how to ski when I was only 2 years old. 

What’s a song that always gets you on the dance floor? 

The new Elton John Dua Lipa remix of “Cold heart” is my latest favorite to dance to.

 

Thank you, Jana! Learn more about Tanglewood Floral Preservation in the vendor guide.

VENUE SPOTLIGHT ON COMMON GROUND CENTER

Couples who want their Vermont wedding to feel rustic, nature-inspired, and fun will love today’s venue: Common Ground Center. This unique venue offers both outdoor and indoor spaces for wedding celebrations, and onsite cabins for guests to stay. If spending a weekend with your loved ones in the beauty of the Vermont countryside sounds like your jam (um, yes!) then read on!

The space: What’s the vibe?

Rustic, exclusive, camp vibes. We have 700 acres to explore while you’re here for your wedding! 

The amenities: What’s Included?

Our venue is rustic with modern amenities. We have a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces to have your ceremony and your reception can be hosted in our gorgeous dining hall. We have fields, a pond, rustic barns and mountain views that make a stunning backdrop for all of your photos and are sure to leave lasting memories for you and your guests.

Use of the full property is included for 3 days. We provide tables and chairs (seating up to 160). We have a large screened porch and tents on site for extra coverage in Vermont weather. Couples do need to rent a tent if they want to have an outdoor reception. 

Lodging for 31 people in our stunning and cozy Ecolodge and our cabins and tent spaces sleep an additional 140 people with epic camp vibes. We also have a sweet wood fired oven – hello, pizza night!

The area: What is there to do in the local area?

We are located within 30 minutes of Burlington and Middlebury. We have 700 acres to explore with hiking trails, a pond, Lewis Creek access, tennis and basketball courts, a game room, and so much more. All are great options for outdoor activities with family and friends!

The history: Does the property have a rich history?

Our site was originally a farm and has been lovingly restored throughout the years. We maintained the original charm but added modern upgrades to spaces. We’ve also built new structures including our Ecolodge and cabins that are eco-friendly and include materials harvested from the property. 

Three rapid fire questions:

1. Favorite moment during a wedding: There is a distinct and palpable feeling at the end of every wedding weekend.  Everyone seems so relaxed and like they went on a vacation after the wedding weekend is over!
2. Favorite thing to do in VT: Anything and everything outside. Finding natural swimming holes, exploring new trails, or just lounging in a hammock with a good book.
3. Best advice for couples: Utilize our Rental Coordinator in your planning stages, bring an A-team to have a stress free set up and take down, and hand off as much as possible so you can just enjoy your celebration!

Thank you, Common Ground Center! Learn more about this venue in the vendor guide.

MEET WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER MORIAH OF MOHO PHOTOS

Moriah of MoHo Photo describes herself as a wedding photographer for fun-loving, adventurous couples – and that vibe shines through in all of her work. Whenever her name pops up on my feed I feel a smile come over my face and get inspired. (Remember that fun arcade date engagement shoot?!) Learn more about Moriah below!

How did you get into wedding photography? 

I grew up loving photography – I was that person in high school who dug out the unused dark room in the school to teach myself how to shoot and roll film. 

My first experience with wedding photography was when my sister got married, and she asked if I could take portraits of her and her new husband during the wedding (while also being in the wedding party as maid of honor – wild times!). 

It was that experience that established my love of couples portraits during a wedding day – it’s such a beautiful combination of capturing people I care about, finding their unique connection to highlight and photograph, all while getting really creative in the process. After that I was totally hooked and knew this is what I had to do for a living.

How would you describe your photography style? 

In three words: fun, candid, joyful. I love finding the balance between capturing my couples as they are and inspiring them to be their best selves in front of my camera….And I always make sure we have fun in the process.

What inspires your work? 

My couples! It’s kinda like taking a trip to your favorite place, but it’s new every time with each person I work with. Getting to know their true selves and the connection they have with each other is at the core of how I document my people.

Any special tips for couples for choosing / working with a wedding photographer or about wedding photos in general?

Make sure you have amazing chemistry with your photographer! Not only will they be one of the only people with you the entire day (other than your new partner of course), but the level of comfort you have with your photographer will help you feel relaxed and natural, which will make your images shine.

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding? 

I love the quiet in-between moments, when no one is really watching and the couple is totally immersed in what’s happening around and between them. Those moments I photograph are always the most powerful images from a wedding day.

What’s your favorite thing to do in VT? / Local spot to visit? Etc. 

I’m totally spoiled by the beer scene in Vermont. I love spending a lazy weekend exploring local towns and finding new breweries and food spots. My current favorites are Four Quarters in Winooski and Hill Farmstead in Greensboro. If you book me for a session down by the waterfront in Burlington there’s a good chance we’ll be stopping at Foam during the session.

If you weren’t a wedding photographer what would you do? 

I actually worked as a Business/Quality Analyst in the IT world for manyyyyy years before going full time with photography. I sometimes miss the logical structure of IT, but I’m so much happier focusing that energy on my creative business. I also have a dream when I ‘retire’ from weddings of owning an alpaca farm in the Northeast Kingdom and helping rescue animals there.

What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

I love to travel! I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico and Namibia working with local communities, and I’m always looking for ways to travel more consciously and intentionally. My bucket list spots are Mongolia and Patagonia for extended stays!

What’s a song that always gets you on the dance floor? 

Anything by Taylor Swift, but I’m a huge sucker for live bands and anything they play with high energy.

 

Thank you, Moriah! Learn more about MoHo Photo in the vendor guide. 

 

Photographer: MOHO PHOTO

VENUE SPOTLIGHT ON THE INN AT WEATHERSFIELD

If you’re looking for a venue that feels like a secret, tucked-in-the-woods gem, where the focus is farm-to-table menus in an elegant, rustic setting, the Inn at Weathersfield is your perfect match. Set on 21 wooded acres, the Inn is an intimate, charming wedding venue where you can relax and celebrate with family and friends for a wedding weekend full of activities and delicious eats. Innkeeper Marilee shares more about this unique venue. 

The space: What’s the vibe? 

Think: a private chapel in the woods, and a farm-to-table dining experience.

The amenities: What’s Included?

For ceremonies, the Chapel in the Woods is completely hidden and accessed by a winding path. It’s surrounded by native ferns, tall pines and evergreens. The reception space on our event lawn features a stamped concrete patio that looks like wood planks, a pavilion deck on one end with a backdrop of evergreens, and the dining deck on the other end with a built-in, wood burning fire pit.

Use of the full property is included for two days. We provide tables and chairs (seating up to 120), all tableware, glassware, service ware, etc. We ask that couples rent a tent for receptions over 45 if they are hoping for an outdoor reception (over this number can’t be moved inside if weather becomes an issue). 

We also provide lodging for up to 12 guests.

From start to finish we provide the backdrop for your weekend. Couples enjoy rehearsal/welcome dinners in our vegetable garden, cocktails on the front porch, and a farewell breakfast in the parlour.

The area: What is there to do in the local area?

We are located just 9 miles off Interstate 91, just 20 miles from Woodstock and 20 minutes from Ludlow/Okemo. Ascutney Mountain is minutes away for hiking, mountain biking and exploring. The Connecticut River is nearby for kayaking. There are breweries nearby – Outer Limits and Harpoon – and space to play lawn games outside at the Inn.

The history: Does the property have a rich history?

The Inn began as a four room house, built by a Revolutionary War veteran in 1792. Over time, it expanded to include 12 guest rooms, all with private baths. Historic charm is maintained with wood burning fireplaces, exposed beams, and wide plank floors throughout the property. Every room has been remodeled for modern comforts and includes free WiFi, smart TVs and either a king or queen bed.

Three rapid fire questions:

1. Favorite moment during a wedding: As the couple walks down the aisle. I am so happy and honored they chose to get married at the Inn.
2. Favorite thing to do in VT: Hike Mt. Ascutney or kayak down the river…oh, and star gaze at night.
3. Best advice for couples: Find a venu that you feel connected to, not only the location, but the setting and staff.

 

Thank you, Marilee! Learn more about the Inn at Weathersfield in the vendor guide.

MEET WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER KASAYDIA

Kasaydia is a Vermont wedding videographer who loves telling her couples’ love stories. Her couples say that she helped them through the planning process, stay calm and enjoy the big day, and relive the magic through her wedding films. She runs Kasaydia Wind Media, a small team of videographers. Read on to learn more about Kasaydia! 

How did you get into wedding videography?

I got my bachelors in tv/video production, then my master’s in communications, and from there I combined my love for the two to find a job that really makes me happy!

How would you describe your style?

I would say my style would be rooted in storytelling. Whether it’s light and airy, or dark and moody… I love being able to change the feeling of a video, and the story it tells, with the colors and music. Editing is my favorite thing!

What inspires your work?

Just being able to create something out of nothing. It is the coolest feeling in the world!

Any special tips for couples?

Be communicative! Let us know what means the most to you to have captured and have fun! Don’t worry about the cameras or trying to look a certain way on them. Trust me – you look amazing and we want to capture you being yourself! 

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding?

I love when all of the dances happen like the first dance and the parents’ dances. They feel so special and important. 

 

What’s your favorite thing to do in VT? / Local spot to visit? Etc.

My favorite places to eat are Wally’s Bagels and Sebs in the summer! 

If you weren’t a videographer what would you do?

I would probably be a full time dance teacher with my own studio!

What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

I can do quite a few impressions/different voices! 

What’s a song that always gets you on the dance floor?

“This Old Heart of Mine” by Rod Stewart.

 

Thank you, Kasaydia! Learn more about Kasaydia Wind Media in the vendor guide.

Meet Wedding Planner Jackie of Jaclyn Watson Events

Wedding planner Jackie, the owner and lead designer of Jaclyn Watson Events, creates custom, bespoke weddings that her couples and their guests remember for a lifetime. You’ve likely swooned over one (or more) of her weddings on Instagram before yourself! Read on to learn more about Jackie.

How did you get into event planning? 

After planning my own wedding, I knew this was something that I would be good at and I dove right in! 

What inspires your work? 

Knowing that I get to be creative everyday inspires me

Any special tips for couples? 

Choose a wedding planner that fits both your budget and your personality – you’ll be spending a lot of time together! 

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding? 

When the couple says I do, walks back down the aisle and I get the first hug and congratulations!

What’s your favorite thing to do in VT? / Local spot to visit? Etc. 

Go to Scale and have poke bowl or Acai bowl

If you weren’t a wedding/event planner what would you do? 

I would have been a paramedic 

What’s a fun fact about yourself?  

I used to be a performer and did juggling

What’s a song that always gets you on the dance floor? 

“Footloose” – ha!

 

Thank you, Jackie! Learn more about Jaclyn Watson Events in the vendor guide.

Meet Wedding Planner Kaylen of Sara Judith Events

Kaylen is the uber talented wedding planner behind the brand Sara Judith Events. Who is Sara Judith? Her rescue cow! After working for the top wedding planners and event companies in Beverly Hills, Kaylen happily settled in Vermont and is excited to help bring couples’ dream Vermont weddings to life with her exquisite design and heartfelt details. Read on to learn more about Kaylen!

How did you get into the wedding industry?

I got into wedding planning when my brother got engaged in 2010. My sister in-law was not into planning, so they told me to take the reins and fully design their special day! From that day forward I have gotten joy from bringing joy to my clients!

How would you describe your style?

My style and inspiration go hand in hand and are individualized for every event. My clients inspire my work. When someone hires me, it is about them, not me. I personalize their events to their personality, their vision!

Any special tips for couples?

Never hire a planner who is willing to only work the day-of! You have spent hours of your time and energy pouring your heart into one of the most important days of your life, don’t leave it in the hands of someone who hasn’t taken the time to learn your vision. Also, there are endless options out there, and endless opinions from others! Make sure you are doing what you and your partner feel represents you best, it’s your day! Nobody else’s 🙂 

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding?

My favorite moment at weddings is when the couple walks back down the aisle after saying I Do! The joy on their faces is what makes my job the best job in the world!

What’s your favorite thing to do in VT? / Local spot to visit? Etc.

My favorite thing to do in Vermont is spend time with my rescue cow (who my company is named after!) and all the other animals at The Little Red Barn Farm Sanctuary in Tunbridge, VT! Revolution Kitchen in downtown Burlington is my favorite spot for food, they make THE best coconut cream pie!

If you had to choose another career, what would it be?

I couldn’t imagine not being involved in events, but if I had to choose something else to do I would work in the field of Nutrition and Mental Health.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I have my Graduate Certificate in Human Behavior and I am a certified coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition! So basically I am an event planner and can double as a therapist if you get stressed! 🙂

 

Thank you, Kaylen! Learn more about Sara Judith Events in the vendor guide. 

MEET WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER SEAN HOOD

Sean Hood is a talented Vermont wedding photographer who has knack for capturing couples’ wedding days while allowing them to unfold naturally. He’s committed to getting to know each couple and uses those personal connections to create galleries that are unique to each couple. Sean’s excitement for his craft is so apparent, and his work is so stunning! Read on to learn more about Sean. 

How did you get into the wedding industry?

I got into wedding photography because my dad’s best friend was a wedding photographer. He offered me a job assisting him when I was 18 years old. I had never even attended a wedding before, so I was immediately excited by the whole idea. The whole concept of having the opportunity to capture the emotion and story of one of people’s biggest days was really interesting to me. After the first wedding I became obsessed. Assisting quickly turned to second shooting. Eventually, I went on to shoot his son’s wedding day, and the rest is history. 

How would you describe your style?

I always tell everyone that my photography style is light and airy, timeless, and posed-photojournalistic. I love to tell your story, which means candids and real moments, as well as some posed photos to archive and print. I think it’s essential for a wedding photographer to be laid back and flexible. It’s my job to make sure we take photos in the best possible lighting, without interrupting how your wedding day would play out naturally.

What inspires your work?

Meeting the couples, their families, learning where they’re from, and their stories. Creating that connection, feeling all of the love, and emotion from the wedding day is so essential for me. 

Any special tips for couples?

The vendor you will spend the most time with on your wedding day will likely be your photographer. So, I think it’s really important to meet, talk, and laugh. It makes sure that you can be just that much more comfortable on your wedding day. 

Ask your wedding photographer for full wedding galleries. Make sure you like what you see, that all of the special moments during the day were captured, and you like the way the lighting looks, especially through reception. 

Create a timeline, but create buffer times just in case you start to run behind. 

Most importantly, relax and be present on your wedding day. It only happens once, and your families, friends, and vendors are there to help you along the way. 

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding?

First looks! It’s the anticipation of getting to see each other, followed by getting to witness some real beautiful reactions and relief. It’s just so beautiful. I also love the fact that it’s one of the only times that couples get to themselves on a wedding day, which I think is just really important when the rest of the day is so busy.

What’s your favorite thing to do in VT? / Local spot to visit? Etc.

I really look forward to skiing in my offseason. I usually ski at Sugarbush. It’s always a good excuse to meet up with friends, and goof around like when we were growing up. 

If you had to choose another career, what would it be?

That’s really a tough one. I’ve always been pretty good with computers, so maybe like cyber security or IT. 

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I was the New Year’s baby in Central Vermont in 1996, but we didn’t get any of the gifts from the hospital because they were all going to the leap year baby!

What’s a song that always gets you on the dance floor?

“September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire.

 

Thanks, Sean! Learn more about Sean Hood Photography in the vendor guide.

MEET JASMINE, VERMONT WEDDING FLORIST OF A CLOVER AND ONE BEE

Jasmine’s interview reminds me a bit like her florals: vibrant, lovely, and with some surprises thrown in for good measure! This Vermont wedding florist, the guru behind the brand A Clover & One Bee, sat down with Vermont Weddings to share her take on floral design, and a bit about life outside the shop. Read on to learn more! 

How did you get into wedding florals?

It was the creative genius of my flower friend, Nina Towne, who owns Proud Flower in Waterbury (VT).  I helped her with a mutual friend’s wedding.  We had a blast flowering that special event, and when I solved a day-of bridesmaid dress issue with scissors, a stapler, and a broach, she exclaimed – ‘That’s it! We’re going into business together!’.  

A year later, I said goodbye to my previous career, and partnered with Nina. It wasn’t the first time the idea had crossed my mind, but I needed Nina’s enthusiasm, persistence, and wisdom to give me the guts to do it.  Everyone who is close to me says it made perfect sense: I’ve always needed plants and flowers around me, have a penchant for design, am project-oriented with a particular eye for detail, and love celebrating with people!  Seriously, pop the cork on those bubbles!   (Sidebar: while we’re no longer business partners, Nina and I are forever flower sisters, and I am grateful beyond words to her for shining the light for me.)

How would you describe your style?

Fluid, animate, textural.  There is a quote from an Ani DiFranco song. “Evolve,” that goes: I have the kind of beauty that moves. I feel that way about floral design.  It should look alive and have movement.

What inspires your work?

People.

Any special tips for couples?

Make sure you jive with the floral designer and their natural style, and then don’t stress!  Because this is what they do, and they’ve got you.  Your wedding is going to be amazing.  Your wedding flowers are going to be beautiful.

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding?

The moment the officiant announces that you’re married.  That moment is the reason this whole amazing party is happening. The look on the faces of the couple when they realize that they have really just done what they came to do is always a winner.  (Here’s a photo of my husband and I at that moment on our wedding day!)

Jasmine’s interview reminds me a bit like her florals: vibrant, lovely, and with some surprises thrown in for good measure! This Vermont wedding florist, the guru behind the brand A Clover & One Bee, sat down with Vermont Weddings to share her take on floral design, and a bit about life outside the shop. Read on to learn more! 

How did you get into wedding florals?

It was the creative genius of my flower friend, Nina Towne, who owns Proud Flower in Waterbury (VT).  I helped her with a mutual friend’s wedding.  We had a blast flowering that special event, and when I solved a day-of bridesmaid dress issue with scissors, a stapler, and a broach, she exclaimed – ‘That’s it! We’re going into business together!’.  

A year later, I said goodbye to my previous career, and partnered with Nina. It wasn’t the first time the idea had crossed my mind, but I needed Nina’s enthusiasm, persistence, and wisdom to give me the guts to do it.  Everyone who is close to me says it made perfect sense: I’ve always needed plants and flowers around me, have a penchant for design, am project-oriented with a particular eye for detail, and love celebrating with people!  Seriously, pop the cork on those bubbles!   (Sidebar: while we’re no longer business partners, Nina and I are forever flower sisters, and I am grateful beyond words to her for shining the light for me.)

How would you describe your style?

Fluid, animate, textural.  There is a quote from an Ani DiFranco song. “Evolve,” that goes: I have the kind of beauty that moves. I feel that way about floral design.  It should look alive and have movement.

What inspires your work?

People.

Any special tips for couples?

Make sure you jive with the floral designer and their natural style, and then don’t stress!  Because this is what they do, and they’ve got you.  Your wedding is going to be amazing.  Your wedding flowers are going to be beautiful.

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding?

The moment the officiant announces that you’re married.  That moment is the reason this whole amazing party is happening. The look on the faces of the couple when they realize that they have really just done what they came to do is always a winner.  (Here’s a photo of my husband and I at that moment on our wedding day!)

What’s your favorite thing to do in VT? / Local spot to visit? Etc.

My favorite thing to do in Vermont is to be outside.  Three years ago I would have said: mountain biking and skiing.  Now, it’s watching my 2 year old daughter explore and discover.  A few years from now, I hope it will be mountain biking and skiing with my daughter and my husband!

If you weren’t a wedding florist what would you do?

Write novels. Hey, dream big.

What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

When I was a teenager I won a fashion design contest judged by Oscar de la Renta.  And, yes, I would looooooove to do a fresh floral wedding dress for a bride, so hit me up if you’d looooooove to wear one.

What’s a song that always gets you on the dance floor?

“Let’s Dance” by David Bowie. Ha!  Some things are just that simple.

 

Thank you, Jasmine! Learn more about A Clover & One Bee in the vendor guide.

CRAFTING YOUR WEDDING SIGNATURE DRINKS MENU – AND FIVE DELICIOUS RECIPES FROM MAD RIVER DISTILLERS

Offering a signature drink at your wedding is a fun way to add a personal touch to your celebration. A signature drink menu allows couples to showcase their personal tastes and creativity. We especially love it when couples infuse their cocktail menu with local flavors and ingredients! 

Our friends at Mad River Distillers, a Vermont craft spirits producer of whiskey, rye, rum and brandy, mixed up five delicious signature cocktail recipes for you to try for your own Vermont wedding. (Or really, anytime you need a special drink!) We’re sharing their delicious recipes and our best tips on creating your own wedding signature cocktails menu. Cheers!

This blog post is sponsored by Mad River Distillers. We’re excited to partner with and share this Vermont business!

Why have a signature drink at your wedding? 

Signature drinks are an easy way for couples to add a personal touch to their bar menu. Between the cocktail selection, the name, and the menu sign, there are several opportunities to showcase your personality! 

Offering a signature drink is also an opportunity to showcase local flavors and makers, like the cocktail recipes below from Mad River Distillers. 

Can you have a signature drink and an open bar at a wedding?

For sure! Many couples who provide an open bar offer a signature drink for the reasons above. 

Other couples may choose a signature menu in lieu of an open bar, as it limits the number of spirits needed to stock the bar. A signature drink in addition to a beer and wine bar is a great option for many couples, especially ones who are DIYing their bar.

How many choices should you offer on a wedding signature drink menu? 

We recommend offering one to three signature cocktails for your wedding. More than that may be too confusing for guests trying to quickly order a drink at the bar! 

If you offer more than one drink, you could select a cocktail for each partner (think “yours” and “mine”) and a combination drink (“ours”). 

Ideas for a signature drink name and sign

First, you don’t have to have a fancy name for your drinks. Straightforward names ensure guests can quickly make a selection at the bar. 

If you do want to get creative with your names, here are a few ideas:

  • Use your last name: “The Smiths Spritz” 
  • Refer to a special location: “The Stowe Sour” 
  • Include your pet: “Duke’s Daiquiri”  
  • Play off the marriage theme: “The Mint to Be Mojito”

Signature drink ideas and recipes from Mad River Distillers 

Mad River Distillers is a craft producer of whiskey, rye, rum and brandy in the heart of Vermont’s Mad River Valley. The ingredients for their spirits are sourced regionally from non-GMO, fair trade and organic suppliers and the mashing, fermenting, distilling and aging occur on site at their distillery in Warren, Vermont. You can visit their tasting rooms in Waitsfield and Burlington. 

In creating these five cocktails, the Mad River Distillers team says, “We wanted to offer recipes that are beautiful, taste delicious, and are also not too complicated for a wedding caterer to put together.”

We’re excited to share these delicious cocktail recipes with you for your wedding! We’ve broken the recipes down into drinks featuring whiskey and ones featuring rum so you can pick and choose based on your tastes. 

Signature drink recipes featuring whiskey

Bourbon Spritz

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Mad River Distillers Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 oz Aperol
  • .75 oz Lemon Juice
  • Prosecco / Sparkling Wine / Club Soda
  • Orange slice

Instructions:

  1. In a large wine glass, add all ingredients over ice.
  2. Top off with your choice of Prosecco, sparkling wine or club soda.
  3. Add an orange slice for garnish.

Rye Smash

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Mad River Distillers Revolution Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz Royal Rose Raspberry Syrup
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • .25 oz Fernet Branca

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice.
  2. Shake briefly.
  3. Strain contents into a Double Old Fashioned glass.
  4. Top off with Fernet Branca. 
  5. Garnish with a mint sprig and raspberries.

Maple Bourbon Sour

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Mad River Distillers Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 oz Vermont Maple Syrup
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters

Instructions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake briefly.
  2. Strain contents into a Double Old Fashioned glass over a large ice cube.
  3. Top with Angostura Bitters.
  4. Garnish with a slice of lemon and orange.

Signature drink recipes featuring rum

Grapefruit Daiquiri

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Vanilla Rum
  • .75 oz grapefruit juice
  • .50 oz lime juice
  • .50 oz simple syrup
  • 6 dashes Scrappy’s Grapefruit Bitters

Instructions:

  1. In a shaker, add all ingredients with ice.
  2. Shake for about 8-10 seconds.
  3. Strain contents into a coupe glass.
  4. Add a rosemary sprig for garnish.

Black Currant Mojito

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz RUM 44
  • .50 oz Black Currant Syrup
  • .75 oz lime juice
  • Club soda
  • Mint sprig

Instructions:

  1. In a shaker, add all ingredients with ice.
  2. Shake for about 8-15 seconds.
  3. Strain contents into a Highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with club soda. 
  5. Add a fresh mint sprig for garnish.

A final tip to manage the costs of a signature drink menu

If you offer a signature drink menu, be prepared for guests to order those cocktails – and lots of them. Even with an open bar, they will likely be the most popular choices of the night. That means you’ll want to be sure to have lots of drink ingredients on hand. 

Also, talk with your bar service ahead of time about the cost for these drinks. (Editor’s note: we didn’t heed this advice, and our final bar tab was hundreds higher than it could have been if we had paid attention to the ingredients in our signature drink!) One thing we love about the recipes from Mad River Distillers is that they utilize common ingredients!

How great do all five of those cocktails sound?! Any of them are sure to be a hit for your signature drink! 

We hope these recipes and tips inspire your own signature wedding cocktail menu. We’d love to hear which of these signature cocktails you’ll be trying first – and what you’ll name it!

Tag us on Instagram when you make your special drink and learn more about Mad River Distillers and their cocktail recipes.

MEET WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER AMANDA OF EIGHTZERO2 PRODUCTIONS

Amanda of Eightzero2 Productions is a talented wedding videographer who helps her couples relive their wedding day memories through her journalistic, beautiful wedding films. Clients describe her a true professional, with an eye for details, and genuinely fun to work with. From this brief interview, we can totally see that! Amanda’s passion for her craft and her fun loving spirit shine through. Read on to learn more about Amanda! 

How did you get into wedding videography?

I’ve always been fascinated with storytelling. I created my first film when I was in the sixth grade, a historic look at the Lyndon Outing Club. Since then, I knew I wanted to pursue a career that incorporated storytelling in a medium that suited my interests. I graduated with a Broadcast Journalism degree and ventured into the world of television news in South Carolina. That experience shaped me in many ways including teaching me how to select the best sound bites. 

Now, I get to travel and meet inspiring couples who constantly blow me away. It is such an honor to be welcomed into a couples’ life and share in some very intimate moments. I do not take this work for granted. It fills my cup and then some!

How would you describe your style?

My background really crafts my style. I approach every wedding from a journalistic perspective. I want the couple, friends and family to relive the day as it happened, key moments, how the energy was, the tears shed, the laughter that ensued.  

What inspires your work?

A major part of my life revolves around travel. Prior to the pandemic I took long, international trips each year to soak up new cultures, learn new traditions and immerse myself in a different environment. I find these experiences really enhance how I see the world. 

I also soak up a ton of inspiration from other vendors I work alongside or follow on social media. It is such a luxury to have social media as a way to connect us all and share ideas!. 

Any special tips for couples?

I think it is incredibly important to know the style you want and to be clear with your vendors about moments that you want captured. We all do our absolute best not to miss a beat but that can be challenging if something happens we weren’t made aware of. Be as transparent as possible about how the day will go and if either party is planning a surprise, let us know! I promise we will keep it under wraps!

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding?

I’m a complete sucker for first looks. Whether it is with the couple or the parents… #waterworks, every single time. 

What’s your favorite thing to do in VT?/ Local spots to visit?

I’m addicted to golf. It is by far my favorite passion outside of filming. When I’m not editing or at a shoot I’m likely at the golf course (Rutland Country Club). I love the challenge of the game, the mental focus it takes allows me to fully immerse myself in something outside of work. 

Aside from golf, you can find me sitting on a dock at Shadow Lake in Glover where my family has a summer camp. It is a small, charming spot where I can disconnect and really enjoy nature and time with my family and friends. As I get older, this time is what I cherish most.

If you weren’t a wedding videographer what would you do? 

I would likely be a patient-care advocate. Living with an autoimmune disorder I’m constantly on the phone advocating for my own care. I’ve learned through my own experiences that this is crucial in getting the care and medications I need. It is a luxury to work for myself and have the flexibility to be on the phone with insurance companies and doctors offices. Most people do not have this time. I’m thankful I do. 

What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

I used to play trombone in a jazz band and absolutely love when a couple has live music at their wedding.

What’s a song that always gets you on the dance floor? 

For a wedding reception there are two that I love: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder and “Low” – by Flor Rida and T-Pain – both offer a good time!

 

Thank you, Amanda! Learn more about Eightzero2 Productions in the vendor guide.

MEET WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER GARREN OF GARRENTEE PHOTOGRAPHY

Whenever Garren’s name pops up on my Instagram feed, I’m going to smile – guaranteed (see what I did there?). Inspired by his fun, fearless couples, GarrenTee Photography specializes in wedding photography that is bold and evocative. Curious about the business name? That’s inspired by Garren’s other passion: golf. Read on to learn more about this Vermont wedding photographer!

A Black and White Photo of Garren of GarrenTee Photography

How did you get into the wedding industry?

I stumbled into photography back in 2003 when I bought my first digital camera for a trip to Indonesia. I fell in love with photography on that trip, and immersed myself in learning all I could about it. I met a wedding photographer in 2005, and he took me under his wing. I worked with him for 2 years and then started my own business in 2007. 

How would you describe your style?

I always tell my clients that I have a hybrid style. I shoot documentary style for most of the day but love including big giant landscape portraits and cinematic edits. So in short, I do a little bit of everything! 

What inspires your work?

I’m inspired by a lot of things! Mostly documentary style photography from other photographers such a Two Mann studios, Cafa Lui and Victor Lax. I take a lot of inspiration from our home state of Vermont. It’s such an amazing canvas to create big bold landscape portraits. I always love including my couples into that canvas!  We live in such an amazing place, it’s hard to not be inspired by it.  

Any special tips for couples?

I think one of the most important parts of choosing your wedding photographer is to make sure you click with them and their personality. You’re going to spend tons of time with them and if you get along it always comes out in the pictures!  

Secondly, ask for a full gallery so you know their “whole” style.  It’s easy for photographers to post the best of the best on Instagram. 

Lastly, make sure you communicate to your photographer what you like! Share images from their portfolio with them that speak to you. We might not recreate those exactly but we love to have ideas on what you like so we can create something similar in our own style!

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding?

Oh man this is hard, so many moments are so much fun. I particularly love when I get 20-30 minutes with my couple to create amazing portraits. I also love heartfelt moments, like the post ceremony hugs and emotions, a couples’ first look, a bride’s mom seeing her in her dress for the first time, etc.  

 

What’s your favorite thing to do in VT? / Local spot to visit? Etc.

I’m a big golfer and play all over. My wife and I also love to get in the car and drive around Vermont – you may get lost, but you’ll never really be lots! I’ve also stumbled upon some of my favorite engagement spots by exploring the state in the car. 

 We love Worthy Kitchen in Woodstock, Hops on the Hill in Killington, and spending time at our home golf club, Rutland Country Club. 

If you had to choose another career, what would it be?

I grew up in the restaurant business so most likely still bartending somewhere warm! 

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

Like I said, I’m a big golfer and I play competitive amateur golf all over the US. I’ve won 6 state amateur titles!

What’s a song that always gets you on the dance floor?

I’m usually on the dance floor from the start of dancing till we leave. I’m a huge 80/90’s hip hop guy so anything old school hip hop will get me going! There’s nothing I love more than an amazing, wild dance party at a wedding…love to get in the mix! 

Thank you, Garren! Learn more about GarrenTee Photography in the vendor guide.

MEET WEDDING BAKER BEATRIX OF BLUE HOUSE BAKESHOP

One surefire way to treat your guests (and yourself) on your wedding day – a dessert table laden with sweet treats that look like art and have a homemade, delicious taste! Beatrix from Blue House Bakeshop shares her approach to creating these standout wedding desserts and a bit about her life outside the kitchen. 

How did you get into the wedding industry?

I first fell in love with the wedding industry in college while working for a Vermont catering company. When I finally started my own baking business, I knew I wanted to get into wedding desserts. I started by making my friends’ and family’s wedding cakes, and quickly expanded from there.

 How would you describe your style?

My baking style is fun and approachable with a touch of elegance. I always want my desserts to look like they will taste delicious, and then actually BE delicious and make you go back for seconds (or thirds).  

What inspires your work?

When it comes to wedding desserts, I take so much inspiration from all the other amazingly creative and talented Vermont wedding vendors. I’m usually one of the last vendors that couples book with, and that is actually so helpful because it allows me to see the overall wedding style and create desserts that will complement all the other elements. 

One surefire way to treat your guests (and yourself) on your wedding day – a dessert table laden with sweet treats that look like art and have a homemade, delicious taste! Beatrix from Blue House Bakeshop shares her approach to creating these standout wedding desserts and a bit about her life outside the kitchen. 

How did you get into the wedding industry?

I first fell in love with the wedding industry in college while working for a Vermont catering company. When I finally started my own baking business, I knew I wanted to get into wedding desserts. I started by making my friends’ and family’s wedding cakes, and quickly expanded from there.

 How would you describe your style?

My baking style is fun and approachable with a touch of elegance. I always want my desserts to look like they will taste delicious, and then actually BE delicious and make you go back for seconds (or thirds).  

What inspires your work?

When it comes to wedding desserts, I take so much inspiration from all the other amazingly creative and talented Vermont wedding vendors. I’m usually one of the last vendors that couples book with, and that is actually so helpful because it allows me to see the overall wedding style and create desserts that will complement all the other elements. 

Any special tips for couples? 

I always encourage couples to consider 3 questions when trying to plan out a dessert menu: 

1. What are your favorite desserts to eat? 

2. What will be seasonal at the time of your wedding? 

3. And what types of desserts fit the overall vibe of your wedding?

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding? 

As a wedding vendor, my favorite moment is when I get to put the finishing touches on the dessert table and stand back and take in the overall aesthetic. It’s the best! As a wedding guest, obviously my favorite part is the cake cutting!

What’s your favorite thing to do in VT? / Local spot to visit? Etc.

My favorite thing to do in Vermont in the summer is to hit up a local maple creemee stand after a successful wedding delivery. Canteen Creemee Co’s maple creemees are a particularly special treat. 

If you had to choose another career, what would it be?

If I wasn’t running a home bakery I would probably still be working in the wedding and event industry in some capacity. I love everything about it! 

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

A “little known” fact these days is that I used to be a pretty decent athlete! I played competitive soccer my whole life into college and then took up running half marathons after that until a knee injury sidelined me (womp womp). 

What’s a song that always gets you on the dance floor?

I am a horrible dancer, but the second I hear “Crazy In Love” by Beyoncé and Jay Z at a wedding, I am the first one to bust a move.

Thank you, Beatrix! Learn more about Blue House Bakeshop in the vendor guide. 

AN CLASSICALLY ELEGANT INTIMATE WEDDING AT THE INN AT WEATHERSFIELD

This lovely wedding is prettier than a picture. Hosted at the Inn at Weathersfield, beautiful details and heartfelt celebration combine for this wow-worthy, intimate wedding. (Which happened to fall on the bride’s parents’ 39th wedding anniversary!) Honestly, we can’t say we’re surprised; the bride, Liz, is the wedding sales manager at Topnotch Resort, so she has an industry insider’s perspective! 

The Benefits of a Microwedding

Liz and Scott had to reschedule their wedding not once, but three times due to the pandemic. They ended up dropping their guest list from 120 people to 25, and although the hassle of rescheduling was exhausting, the end result was amazing. “We never would have been ones to suggest a microwedding, but after it happened, we realized that we got to spend a full weekend with our immediate families and closest friends without distractions,” says Liz. 

Inspired by the Vermont lakes and a breezy vibe, they created a truly magical setting. Classic white and pastel blooms by Blossoming Bough added effortless elegance to the event. Kelsey Regan Photography captured the beauty and love of the day. Check out the full gallery below! 

Bride and groom kissing on the front lawn of the Inn at Weathersfield during Vermont wedding

A Mountain Top Golden Hour Engagement Shoot

Megan and Ryan took a Sunday drive up from Boston last September for an engagement session in Vermont. They hiked up the Wu Ledges overlook in Waitsfield where they were greeted by the beautiful, natural Vermont foliage right at golden hour. Clear skies, warm weather, and a couple in love…what could be better?!

Photographer Keith MacDonald shared how much he loves doing engagement sessions with his wedding clients. “It’s a great way to get to know each other better before the wedding day and shake out any photo-taking nerves.” He also mentioned, “I love working with couples to find new locations, and always recommend timing their session around the late afternoon for that sunset glow!” This couple definitely nailed that timing – check out their gallery below!