Meet Vermont Wedding Planner Rachel Vitagliano Events

Planning a wedding is a big time commitment.  If you’re looking to reduce stress and hand off certain tasks to a professional, a Vermont wedding planner like Rachel of Rachel Vitagliano Events is a great person to add to your team!

Benefits of a Wedding Planner

Wedding planners and day of coordinators can help you with so many components of your big day such as: budgeting, scheduling, and organizing vendors. Not only that, but they are a treasure trove of industry knowledge and can offer ideas, support, and advice during every step of the wedding planning process.

We recently sat down with Rachel to learn more about wedding planning and how she got her start in the industry. Read on for swoon-worthy wedding photos and Rachel’s advice!

Wedding aisle decor by Vermont Wedding Planner Rachel Vitagliano Events

How did you get into wedding planning? 

Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a wedding designer or planner and as I got older that dream, unfortunately, took a back seat.

Since high school, I’ve been in the food, customer service, management, and hospitality industry (10 years in total). My previous job, however, just wasn’t a good fit for me!

I like to think I got a lucky break when one day I was scrolling through Indeed a Wedding Coordinator position opened up at a local Vermont resort! I immediately jumped on it, and now here I am! After gaining so much valuable experience, and creating so many relationships with couples and vendors, Rachel Vitagliano Events has finally come to life! 

How would you describe your wedding planning style? 

One word: FUN! Whether you have a planner or not, you’re bound to get stressed out by something, no matter how amazing that planner is! My hope is that with any stress aside, your wedding planning experience will be fun and unique to you!

What inspires your work? 

Seeing that glow and excitement on a couple’s face when they enter their reception space! That’s what makes this career so special and inspires me to always go above and beyond for each and every couple.

Any special tips for couples for choosing a wedding planner? 

It may sound obvious, but choose a wedding planner or coordinator you truly connect with. Seriously! The planner or coordinator with the most 5 star reviews isn’t always going to be the best fit for you. Chat with different planners, ask about their personal lives, and make a genuine connection! After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time with them!

Wedding reception decor by Vermont Wedding Planner Rachel Vitagliano Events
Wedding reception decor by Vermont Wedding Planner Rachel Vitagliano Events
Wedding tablescape design by Vermont Wedding Planner Rachel Vitagliano Events

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding? 

The couple’s first dance! It’s such a special moment and even after seeing hundreds of them, I still get teary-eyed.

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

Skiing, duh! If you’re near the Killington area, or just visiting, you HAVE to go to The Garlic for dinner! If you’re a pasta lover like me, you can thank me later!

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

If I wasn’t a wedding planner, I would love to be an interior designer! 

Wedding favor station by Vermont Wedding Planner Rachel Vitagliano Events
Wedding favor station by Vermont Wedding Planner Rachel Vitagliano Events

What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

I have two differently shaped thumbs. Wait, is that fun or weird? 

Thank you Rachel! Learn more about Rachel Vitagliano Events in the vendor guide.

Meet Wedding Photographer Gabriel Confrey of Rowan Oak Studios

What everyone says is true: one of the best days of your life will be over in a blink of an eye. That’s why investing in an experienced wedding photographer to document it all is so important; their work is what will allow you to reminisce the big day over and over!

How to find your wedding photographer

When searching for a wedding day photographer it’s important to find someone who can support your vision. Someone that knows to put you at ease amidst the chaos. (and of course, someone who effortlessly captures all the details- big and small- that you’ll swoon over for years to come)

No one checks all of those boxes quite like Gabriel, the Vermont wedding photographer behind Rowan Oak Studios.

We recently sat down with Gabriel to learn about his photography style, favorite moments at a wedding, and everything in between. Continue reading to learn more about Gabriel and view the gorgeous, ethereal work Rowan Oak Studios is known for! 

A all Vermont wedding captured by Rowan Oak Studios

How did you get into wedding photography? 

I started my professional life as a journalist (after attending Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism) following the threads of narrative that connect our day-to-day. 

While I sought out in-depth profiles and investigative work, my first jobs relegated me to covering advertisers’ events and restaurant openings. Obviously disappointed, I looked for other avenues where I could engage with humans at a deeper level, and witness meaningful moments. 

After stumbling into my first wedding clients while trying to fund a documentary project, then spending 4 hours talking like old friends in what was supposed to be a 30 min coffee meet-up, I was hooked.

 

How would you describe your photography style? 

My style is calm and intentional, attentive and human-centric. It starts with trust and relationship building, which I view as indispensable throughout the wedding process. I don’t impose, I don’t make people into something they aren’t. I give them room to breathe and encourage clients to be themselves – whether that’s loud or subtle, expressive or reserved. I ask them to focus on how they feel, not how they look, and let me take care of the rest.

What inspires your work? 

I draw inspiration from two main sources: my clients’ stories, and the world as I find it (intersections of environments, people and light). My best images have aspects of both, and allow clients to immerse in the memories of them – remembering the warmth of their partner, the breeze off the mountains, the sense of relief/joy/expectation for what was coming next.

Etheral Vermont wedding photography by Rowan Oak Studios
Etheral Vermont wedding photography by Rowan Oak Studios
Etheral Vermont wedding photography by Rowan Oak Studios

Any special tips for couples for choosing a wedding photographer? 

Set aside price, set aside logistics, and focus on personality. Find a photographer who makes you feel seen because a full day of deeply emotional moments is going to be uncomfortable if you’re being photographed by someone you don’t trust and who doesn’t know when to push the shutter, or drop the camera and lend a hand instead. 

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding? 

The first time I get the couple alone for portraits after the ceremony, they let out the biggest smiles of relief and realization. Seeing the looks on their faces gives me a feeling of aspiration for everything that comes next.

Two brides on their wedding day by Vermont wedding photographer Rowan Oak Studios

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

I’m relatively new to VT and still discovering new spots daily. I’m very partial to several experiences as of late – Kestrel coffee for an afternoon of editing, Grand Isle’s farmer’s market for fresh produce, Green Mountain Nat’l for mushroom foraging…and when I need to just sit on a rock and stare at beautiful things, Red Rock point and Oakledge Park really fit the bill.

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

It would be hard to replace the peculiar cocktail of client relationships, art, and world discovery that wedding photography offers, but I have branched out the past year into floristry, mushroom farming, and contract work as a researcher for an AV company, so who knows where’d I land!

What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

I always struggle with this question! I think I have an undeniable compulsion to learn everything all the time (whether that’s fun, you be the judge) – how to juggle, fiddle, embroider, code…I’m endlessly fascinated by most things and can find meaning and value in even the most overlooked.

Thank you Gabriel! Learn more about Rowan Oak Studios in the vendor guide.

Meet Vermont Florist, Emily, of M’s Wedding Flowers

When you love what you do, it shows! We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Vermont wedding florist, Emily,  the brains behind the beauty that is M’s Wedding Flowers.

Located in Moretown, Vermont, Emily works with couples of all budgets and wedding aesthetics. (Think: romantic to rustic to garden party… she covers it all!) M’s Wedding Flowers offers uniquely beautiful bouquets, centerpieces, arbors, and more for your special day. Read on to see Emily’s stunning work and learn more about her take on floral design.

Bridal Bouquet by M's Wedding Flowers
Emily of M's Wedding Florals
How did you get into wedding floral arrangements?
 
I was fortunate enough to be hired at my local floral shop fresh out of high school. I worked there for a few years before going to school, where I studied plants and landscape architecture. Once I left school I worked for a landscaping company in Woodstock before switching back to floral when I was laid off for the winter. Once I got my hands back on floral arranging, there was no turning back!
 
How would you describe your floral arrangement style?
 
I love building natural bouquets that really show off the individual flowers. I also love working with unique florals, and I love to add fruits to bouquets.
 
What inspires your work?
 
The flowers themselves and each couple’s individual style. I love picking out the right flowers to bring a couple’s vision to life!   
Wedding Florals by M's Wedding Flowers
Any special tips for couples for choosing/working with a wedding florist in general? 
 
Have a good vision for your florals but be flexible in letting your florist guide you. Floristry is an art.
 
What’s your favorite moment during a wedding?
 
My favorite part of a wedding is getting to see the space transformed! It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve been to a particular venue, it always looks new and magical once everything is set up and in place! 
 
What’s your favorite thing to do in VT? 
 
My favorite things to do in Vermont are gardening, swimming in the river, bonfires, and playing around with snow photography.
 
If you weren’t a wedding florist what would you do?
 
I would probably be drafting landscapes and gardening!
 
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
 
I love to draw and sometimes draw out my bouquets before I build them for clients.
 
Bridal Bouquet by M's Wedding Flowers
Bridal Bouquet by M's Wedding Flowers
Bridal Bouquet by M's Wedding Flowers

Thank you, Emily! Learn more about M’s Wedding Florals in the Vermont Weddings Vendor Guide.

Wedding Planning Dilemmas and How to Solve Them

Being engaged and starting the wedding planning process is not always as exciting as it’s portrayed on social media. *sigh*
 
Whether you’re struggling to find your perfect vendors, your guest list or budget is out of control, or you’re just feeling overwhelmed by the whole wedding planning thing … wedding planning dilemmas happen. Off days happen.
 
I felt it when planning my own wedding – and I’m here to reassure you that you are not alone in wondering: WHAT THE HECK? Isn’t wedding planning supposed to be fun!?! 
 
Sometimes, even good things like planning your wedding can feel stressful. (And that’s completely normal.) When you’re ready for a reset, I got you. Keep reading for common wedding planning dilemmas and how to solve them.
Isora Lithgow Creations

When you're arguing with your partner over wedding details

Can this decision wait? Put it on the back burner and come back to it at a set time. (Even if it’s 20 minutes from now.) 
 
One of the best pieces of advice I heard was to set a “wedding date night” with my partner. That way, I knew we’d have dedicated time to talk through questions and decisions…but we didn’t have to spend every night talking about wedding planning. It’s important to continue to have a life outside your wedding plans! 

When you're feeling disorganized in your wedding planning

Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down everything in your brain right now. Then, look through your list and mark what absolutely must be done now, what can wait, and what can actually be ignored. 
 
(Feeling like you need a bigger organization system overall? Check out our Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide.) 

When something goes wrong with your plan

Your DJ fell through, your mother-in-law handed you a guest list that’s 50 people long, and the forecast is calling for rain … it sucks. Honestly, sometimes the best thing to do is to feel through these feelings and allow yourself to grieve that some parts of planning aren’t going exactly how you wanted them to. 
 
Showing yourself compassion isn’t the same as wallowing endlessly. By being kind to yourself, you can remind yourself that you’re capable and scrappy and able to problem solve. 
bride and bridesmaid colorful bouquets
Kelsey Regan Photography

When you're feeling overwhelmed making decisions

Put down your phone. Step away from Pinterest and Instagram. Put the bridal magazine away. It’s so easy to get caught up in a million visions for your day. Sometimes, you just need to reset. 
 
My best advice is to pick a couple of trusted accounts and unfollow the rest. And, once you’ve made a decision, stop searching for other ideas or options. Move on and go celebrate your progress!
 
And when all else fails, please know that wedding planning isn’t all champagne and romance. It’s totally normal to have bumps along the way. 
 
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not having the perfect day. In fact, it’s on those days you might just take a break and get back at it tomorrow.
 
You can always turn to our Instagram or Facebook for help when you hit a wedding planning snag. And don’t forget about our Vendor Guide filled with knowledgeable wedding professionals who are more than happy to help navigate you through the wedding planning process!
Your Next Read:

Looking for advice from a bride who has already planned her wedding? Check out Wedding Planning Advice from an Expert

Want even more advice, tips, and tricks? Check out any of these.

Meet Vermont Makeup Artist, Fawn MUA

It’s every bride’s dream to feel pampered and beautiful on their wedding day. That’s why hiring a professional hair and makeup artist is an important task to add to your to-do list! We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Vermont wedding makeup artist, Fawn MUA, who has over 10 years of experience making brides look and feel their best!

Fawn has helped hundreds of brides step out of their normal routine and into something radiant and timeless for their big day. From an elevated all-natural look to radiant and sophisticated glam, Fawn works closely with each bride to discover their dream wedding day look. 

Why is a Professional Wedding Makeup Artist Worth The Investment?

Wedding makeup is a whole different ball game than your typical day-to-day look. Experienced professionals, like Fawn, will help pull your entire wedding look together, know the right products to ensure all-day coverage,  put you at ease, and most importantly- make you feel gorgeous!

Keep reading to learn more about Fawn and her beautiful work.



How did you get into wedding makeup? I have always been into makeup and products, I started doing weddings when I was working at a local salon and the stylists started referring me to their bridal clients, I ended up leaving the salon to stay home with my daughter and started to build my wedding business. How would you describe your style? I can do all types of makeup looks but I am known for soft and natural glam for bridal looks! What inspires your work? Each bride I get to work with! I truly love what I do.  It’s an honor to be part of someone’s wedding day and seeing their reaction when they look in the mirror after I am finished glaming them, it’s just the best.

Any special tips for couples for choosing/working with a wedding makeup artist in general?  Book your wedding hair and makeup professionals as soon as you can! I don’t think brides realize how fast we book up for the season, especially for popular dates. What’s your favorite moment during a wedding? My favorite part of a wedding is getting to see the bride’s first reaction to her wedding glam.  A bride almost cried when she looked in the mirror because she loved her makeup look so much- it was so rewarding! I have kept in touch with her and also have become friends with many of my brides.  What’s your favorite thing to do in VT?  My boyfriend lives in Keene, NH so I am always driving through Vermont. I love Bennington, Manchester, and all of the country stores! If you weren’t a wedding makeup artist what would you do? I would love to own and manage a salon. What’s a fun fact about yourself? I am a car nerd! I love old, new, and expensive cars – you name it.


Thank you, Fawn! Learn more about Fawn MUA  in the Vermont Weddings Vendor Guide.

How to Get More 5 Star Reviews

Today’s blog post is for all of my wonderful Vermont wedding vendors. When it comes to wedding planning, there are a lot of vendors out there for couples to wade through – and it can be extremely daunting if they don’t know where to start. 

One of the best ways for couples to quickly identify who they want to work with is through reviews. 

We’re breaking down how to get more 5 star reviews so you can stand out and attract more ideal clients. Reviews help couples determine if you’re legitimate, trustworthy, and in line with their values. (After all, who knows your work better than the couples who have worked with you?!)

However, if it feels awkward or time-consuming to ask clients for reviews, then keep on reading– this post is for you. 

How To Ask For A 5 Star Review

I recommend sending an email to couples within 1-2 weeks after the wedding so the experience is top of mind. One thing to be aware of is that some couples may be on a honeymoon.
 
Save your email (sample script below) as a template. Gmail has this feature, and I’m sure other providers do too, so you can just tweak it for each couple – this also saves a lot of time.

Sample Email Script

Congratulations [NAME & NAME] on your wedding! What an amazing celebration. We are so excited to have been a part of your special day! 
 
As you look back on your wedding, I have a favor to ask of you. I’ve had more couples finding me via Vermont Weddings and reading my reviews, so I’m putting more energy into increasing my 5-star reviews there.
 
Would you be willing to leave me a review? Your feedback is so helpful to couples in their wedding planning.
 
Here’s my direct link: [LINK TO YOUR VERMONT WEDDINGS PROFILE]
 
Thank you so much, [NAME & NAME]! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out. 
 
Congratulations again! 
[YOUR NAME]

If you have particular aspects of your business you’d like to highlight, you can mention those in your request too. 
 
For example: “Could you include a comment about how quickly our team was able to accommodate the change of venue due to the rain? We want to highlight our adaptability for future couples!” 
 
Honestly, it may feel a little funny at first but it’s WILDLY effective. Everyone is busy, and giving them language to work from is actually really helpful. 

Reviews are not only great for potential clients, but also for supporting other vendors

One thing our members love about our Vendor Guide is the chance to meet and work with other professionals in the field.  If you’ve had a great working relationship with a wedding vendor, consider leaving them a review! (and ask if they can do the same) Here are a few examples: 

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with [VENDOR] for a few weddings. She goes above and beyond not only for her clients but also all the other vendors at the event to ensure the big day runs smoothly on all levels. No detail is overlooked! [VENDOR] has a unique gift, and those who get to experience it firsthand are richer because of it! “

“I am always put at ease when I learn that I will be working with [VENDOR] for a couple’s special day.  [VENDOR] and their team provide some of the best [XX] out there. I cannot recommend their services enough.”

“Whenever couples ask me about photographers/florists/caterers/etc.,  [VENDOR] is always the first person I recommend. He really takes the time to learn about each couple and their vision. His attention to detail and creative eye are unparalleled. And the photos/flowers/food? Always breathtaking!”

As your new glowing, 5-star reviews come pouring in, here’s how to make the most of them:

  1. Use them across your website or mailing list
  2. Include them in your Welcome Guide or other sales materials
  3. Screenshot them and share on Instagram or Facebook, Linkedin, or on your website.
 
We know you are amazing at what you do, and hopefully now you have the confidence to get more five star reviews to show it! Tag us on Instagram when you share your next glowing review! 

Meet Vermont Wedding Caterer Pauline’s Restaurant (Plus, Learn Their Best Catering Tips!)

Crafting the perfect wedding menu can feel like a daunting task– especially if you’re stuck on where to start or are unsure of the right questions to ask during the planning process.

Luckily, our team sat down with the team at Vermont wedding caterer Pauline’s Restaurant and learned all things wedding catering!

From accommodating dietary preferences to details to consider when it comes to outdoor venues, this is post will not only make you hungry, but it’ll also be one you’ll want to bookmark and refer back to.

How can couples accommodate their guests’ dietary preferences in their wedding catering menus? What’s the best way to communicate those needs to a catering partner?

Try to communicate any dietary needs during the initial inquiry process, along with your budget!

There’s the big four: poultry, seafood, beef, and vegetarian/vegan. (With beef always being the costliest option) However, if you are trying to tighten your budget, it helps to have flexibility in terms of protein types and cuts, especially now with suppliers raising their prices.

Our off-site catering packages usually include 2-3 proteins standard, whereas our in-house events can accommodate 4, sometimes 5, without having to tack on additional fees. (Hosting your wedding at a restaurant allows you a wider selection of protein choices without breaking the bank, allowing more room for guest accommodation!)

We recommend that one of your options is gluten-free or vegetarian, especially if you’re looking at a larger guest list.

What suggestions do you have for vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free options for a wedding?

If a caterer sees your gluten-free or vegan menu request as a challenge, you’ve gone to the wrong caterer!

The right vendor will not only meet your needs, but will see it as a chance to get creative with their menu options! Usually, couples come to us because they’ve already dined in-person at our restaurant before and want that same Pauline’s experience at their wedding, so accommodating these requests are super easy.

If you are planning a vegan menu, your best bet is to consider vegetable-based meals that can stand on their own, like a classic ratatouille or a seared cauliflower “steak.” These dishes should also have a range of flavor profiles so you can accommodate a range of palates.

What do you wish couples knew about wedding catering?

There’s a common misconception that the most affordable route is to pick an outdoor venue like a park or a barn. One of the biggest unexpected expenses you can run into when it comes to catering is your equipment rentals, which significantly increase with these types of venues.

If your location doesn’t have an on-site kitchen (meaning any stoves, ovens, sinks, etc. on the property), you’re looking at possibly up to a few extra thousand dollars in equipment charges. (Food trucks are one way to remedy this, but it’s still likely that you’ll have to rent your own supply of plates, glassware, flatware, etc.)

You can also run into supply issues since most equipment providers have dates booked out very far in advance. Not to mention booking a restaurant or inn allows you to choose a plated dinner (as opposed to a buffet) for a much more affordable rate since they already have the staff and chinaware on site.

Few couples realize that booking a restaurant or inn as your venue truly does help provide one of the most hassle-free experiences!

How would you describe your culinary/ catering style in general?

I couldn’t talk about our culinary approach, especially in regards to wedding catering, without mentioning the sense of love and community that is felt in the restaurant.

The vibe at Pauline’s is sophisticated, yet unpretentious dining and the catering side is just an extension of that. You can tell just from entering the restaurant that there’s a lot of care put into the place and the food. Everything’s purposeful and intentional. It’s this rustic, kitschy little spot that most tourists and out-of-towners tend to ignore because it’s not downtown, but ask anybody with roots in Vermont and they’ll let you know about how special the place is.

Our culinary approach is all about high-end, locally-sourced cuisine that feels familiar yet exciting. It’s about sincerity, care for the quality of your work, and love for your community, which is why so many families see Pauline’s as the spot to celebrate every important occasion in their lives. The majority of our customers are regulars, so we see the same faces every year. We see kids grow up and families get bigger. The act of dining at Pauline’s in itself is a tradition that gets passed down from generation to generation, making it the perfect venue or caterer for a couple who really believes that marriage should be a celebration of unity and family.

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding?

That moment of relief! Mothers, bridesmaids, couples, etc. have been coming to us for over 45 years now, so we know how much stress, anxiety, and uncertainty comes with wedding planning. Whether it’s coordinating a bridal brunch, crafting up couples’ custom cocktails, or serving up a completely vegan wedding, it’s our job to make sure you can actually enjoy your event and have the best experience possible.

For us, there is no better moment during a wedding than seeing our customers letting go of all of their wedding planning anxiety and actually getting the chance to celebrate their occasion!

What’s your favorite thing to do in VT or a local spot to visit?

Going to the farmer’s market. We try to use local ingredients as much as we can in our cuisine and it’s important to support our partners both inside and outside of the restaurant. There’s nothing better than being able to go to the farmer’s market and find new products to work with or revisit our favorite stands. These small businesses are really the heart and soul of Vermont.

Forming a partnership both during and outside of work hours lets you form a better connection to the food and makes you more appreciative of all the care that goes into your work.

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

Suavemente by Elvis Crespo! We love a good merengue hit over at Pauline’s.

 

Thank you! Learn more about Pauline’s in the vendor guide.

Meet Wedding Florist Fleur Du Nord Farms

Love the idea of lush floral arrangements mixed with fresh greenery that compliment your special day? Then you’ll fall head over heels with wedding florist Fleur Du Nord Farm.

Located in Milton, Vermont husband and wife team Sam and Elena specialize in timeless wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, table arrangements, and more. Just as exciting, you can even visit their beautiful 11-acre farm yourself and pick your own stems.

Elena sat down with Vermont Weddings to share what got her into floral design, and what she loves most about weddings. Read on to learn more.  

Fleur Du Nord Farm wedding Florists Sam and Elean on their wedding day

How did you get into wedding floral arrangements? 

We started doing wedding florals when we grew and designed the flowers for our own wedding. We were able to do this after buying our 11 acre homestead in spring of 2021. Since then, we have been expanding the farm to a low us to grow flowers all season long.

How would you describe your floral arrangement style? 

My style is classic, lush floral arrangements. We love to mix greenery and focal florals to add dimension and balance but not take away from the couple on their big day. 

What inspires your work? 

I am inspired by the seasons in Vermont as well as the couple’s personal style. I try to balance the two to create florals that match your and the environment where the event is.

Any special tips for couples for working with a wedding florist? 

Wedding flowers work in the background to accentuate the venue and to draw the attention of the guests to the romantic moments. As a wedding florist we want to ensure that we are able to make your vision come to life while balancing your budget.

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding? 

My favorite moment is watching the couple’s faces as they walk down the aisle. The emotion is so pure and beautiful.

What’s your favorite thing to do in VT? 

We love going to Cold Hollow Cider in the fall and getting cider donuts with a hot cup of apple cider. There is nothing better. 

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

Wedding floral design is only part of my career. When I am not working with flowers or tending to the farm, you can find me working in public health to improve the health of the perinatal population.

What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

Although Sam and I love flowers, we love our cat, Pabst more!

 

Thank you, Elena and Sam! Learn more about Fleur Du Nord Farm in the Vendor Guide.