Adventurous Engagement Session Ideas

Whether you are proposing or planning your engagement photo session, we have some out-of-the-box adventurous engagement session ideas for the bold and fearless Vermont couples today!

My favorite thing about all of these sessions is the authenticity in each of these photos. Each couple is doing what they enjoy together in their photos – and their genuine excitement shines through! Scroll below and get inspired.

skiing engagement photos
Kelsey Regan Photography

Skiing and Snowboarding Engagement Photos

If you love to ski or snowboard, this is such a fun way to show off your love of the slopes. (Side note: I’m amazed how many Vermont wedding photographers can ski or snowboard while taking amazing photos!) The photos are always epic! 

Related: Tips for your winter engagement session.

adventurous skiing engagement session
Ben Hudson Photography
adventurous engagement session skiing down the mountain
Ben Hudson Photography
skiing engagement photos
Kelsey Regan Photography
skiing adventurous engagement session
Kelsey Regan Photography

Adventurous Engagement Session: Hiking

Hiking is a no-brainer way to add some adventure to your engagement session. There is no shortage of places to explore in the Green Mountain State! If you can find a hike with a waterfall or swimming hole to cool off in – even better. 

Plan on going early in the morning or around sunset to capture some amazing lighting!

Related: Golden Hour Hike Engagement Shoot

hiking couples with dogs at a waterfall for engagement photos
Kate Seymour
couple at a waterfall for adventurous engagement session
Kate Seymour
hiking engagement session
Jenna Brisson
adventurous engagement session hiking
Garren Tee Photography

Hot Air Balloon Ride Proposal

Talk about taking your love to new heights! This would be an amazing bucket list date for your engagement shoot or, in the case of this couple, an EPIC surprise proposal! 

hot air balloon proposal
Kelsey Regan Photography
hot air balloon surprise proposal
Kelsey Regan Photography

Urban Adventure

Exploring a new place is always an adventure, and Vermont has plenty of charming towns to discover.

In Burlington, we’d head to Church Street Marketplace and Waterfront Park. Or, head to your favorite ski town (maybe after hitting the slopes!) for an adventure.

 
snowy aadventurous engagement session in downtown Burlington VT
Keith Macdonald
adventurous engagement session in downtown Burlington VT
Keith Macdonald
Juniper Studios

Adventurous Engagement Session at the Carnival

If there is a local carnival or fair in town around the time of your engagement photos, why not take advantage? I think this would be such a fun idea! Hop on the Ferris wheel, ride the swings,  and play some games together! 

Related: This Vermont Carnival Engagement Shoot Is Sure to Make You Smile

Couple kissing in front of carousel at carnival engagement shoot in Vermont
MoHo Photo

Explore A Lake

Vermont has lots of lakes, and the water always is a great backdrop to use for your engagement photos. Depending on your mood, you could simply just walk on the beach and dip your toes in the water. (Splashing each other optional, but encouraged!) Or you can go all out and go swimming or ride in a canoe together!

adventurous engagement session with couples in a canoe
Kate Seymour
adventurous engagement session on a lake in a canoe
Kate Seymour Photography
Isora Lithgow Creations

Fly Fishing Adventurous Engagement Session

To be honest, I never would have thought a fly fishing engagement could be so romantic and sweet, but THIS IS SO CUTE. This couple’s love for each other and the outdoors shines through their gallery and I can’t get enough.

fly fishing unique engagement session
Garren Tee Photography

Just goes to show you that anything you love to do with your partner could be an amazing photoshoot. Be sure to talk to your photographer about your plans so they can prepare for how to best capture you in your element.

These adventurous engagement sessions are a special and unique way to make memories together while taking your engagement photos!

Your Next Read:

Read about more Vermont engagements! Check out this Downtown Winooski Session & A couple’s session in all of their favorite places

MEET VERMONT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER BEN HUDSON

One thing that really stands out about Vermont wedding photographer Ben Hudson is his love for his family, and how that inspires his work as a photographer. He commits to each couple’s wedding fully, and and honors the specialness of their weddings by only taking on about 15 clients a year so he can give his full energy to each. He describes his work as documentary style, intent on capturing the unforgettable moments of each couple’s celebration. Read on to learn more about this talented wedding photographer and visit the vendor guide to reach out to Ben! 

How did you get into wedding photography?

I fell in love with photography at a summer camp in Maine when I was 12 years old and that is where I learned how to work in a dark room and develop my own film. My passion for photography grew through high school and college when I focused mainly on landscape photography and concerts. It was in 2006 that a friend asked if I would photograph their wedding. I said yes and then from there forward I have not looked back. Weddings have been my focus ever since. 

How would you describe your photography style?

I am a documentary style wedding photographer. I want you to enjoy your family and friends and let me capture your day as it unfolds. I feel as though your wedding should not be a photoshoot where I direct you throughout the day. It should be your wedding. I will direct you when it comes to portrait time…other than that, I capture what happens.

What inspires your work?

My family. The most important thing in my life is my family and friends. I only take on 15 weddings a year so that I have time to enjoy my family. When I am photographing a wedding it is all about you, your family, friends and your day. Weddings are a very unique celebration as this may be the only time you are surrounded by almost every person you love in the world. My job is to document this day, the location and the people who are gathered around you.

Any special tips for couples for choosing a wedding photographer?

Have someone capture the day that you are comfortable with. If possible, meet in person before your wedding, read reviews and view a full gallery to make sure you are a good fit. They will be around you for one of the most important days in your life. 

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding?

I love the beginning of the day and the reception. I feel as though this is when everyone’s true personalities come out. Things are not as stiff and formal and everyone is being their true self; their guard is down and they are just living their best day.

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

In the winter I love to snowboard and my main mountains are Sugarbush and Jay. In the fall and summer I enjoy getting out on my bike and exploring the swimming holes with my wife and kids. I also LOVE the ocean….so I go to Maine, North Carolina, or Puerto Rico.

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

I would travel the world with my family, run a small travel company focusing on ecotourism and possibly run a B&B or hostel on one of my favorite islands in the tropics or the Greek isles. 

What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

I was in the movie A Man without a Face, and my great grandmother was mother superior in the Sound of Music. When I got married, my mom chose the song we danced to, and she chose, “Climb Every Mountain” from the movie which my grandmother sang….It was interesting.

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

“Poker Face” – Lady Gaga

Thank you, Ben! Learn more about Ben Hudson Photography in the vendor guide.

BEST OF 2021: COMMUNITY

The best part of weddings in 2021? Hands down: the community moments. While the people are always the true highlight of celebrations, 2021 weddings were even sweeter after months of social distancing. Long awaited hugs and overwhelming joy to be together again…that’s what stands out the most across Vermont weddings in 2021. 

As we close out our Best of 2021 series, we hope you enjoy these moments of community, and that it inspires gratitude for your own family and friends. 

Bride and bridesmaids popping a bottle of champagne on wedding morning

Besties & Bubbles

A bottle of bubbly and your best pals by your side… the best way to kick off your magical wedding day, planned by NJOY Weddings & Events at Hildene.

(Photo: Corinne Parker Photography)

Painting of a bride and groom walking down the aisle and being showered with confetti at Vermont wedding

Just Married

In this painting, wedding painter Hope Sharp captures that “just married” magic of twirling down the aisle as a married couple at The Essex Resort and Spa.

Flying High

This couple is quite literally being lifted by their community, and by the looks on their faces, they are soaking in every celebratory moment! (Photo: Ben Hudson Photography)

Groom lifting bride off dance floor during an epic first dance at their Vermont wedding

Epic First Dance

This couple’s first dance on the marble court at the Wilburton Inn looks amazing – check out that lift and twirl. And the looks on their wedding party’s faces… priceless! (Photo: Jesse Schloff Photography)

The Quiet Family Moment

We love this special, intimate moment soaking in the excitement of the day as a family before rejoining the party. (Photo: Jess Driver Photography)

The Tear Jerker

This couple postponed their wedding over a year, so they and their community was VERY ready to celebrate their wedding. From their emotional vows to their family’s toasts, the entire day was filled with love. (Video: Beyond Bliss Films)

Epic Champagne Toast

When The Old Lantern Inn’s owners’ daughter tied the knot this year, the celebration was epic. One standout moment? The groom, father of the bride, and father of the groom all sabered champagne bottles and poured a toast to the union of the families. (Photo: Andy Duback)

 
Bride and groom kissing as their friends lift them into the air on the dance floor at their Vermont wedding

The Glow Up

The glow sticks are super fun, but the real glow comes from the couple in love who know their community is always there to lift them up. (Photo: Kelsey Regan Photography)

 

Confetti Toss

This theatrical wedding planned by Destinations Found included an epic, colorful confetti drop that is sure to be a standout moment for these wedding-goers for years to come! (Photo: GarrenTee Photography)

Bride and groom dancing and laughing under parachute during Vermont wedding reception

Parachute Party

Who remembers these parachutes from elementary school?! This couple busted one out during their reception at Topnotch Resort to the delight of guests. What a fun idea! (Photo: Henry Cotton)

 
BIPOC couple walking through sparkler exit at Vermont wedding

A Sparkling Beginning

The end of your wedding day is the start of your next chapter as a married couple. If this couple’s sparkler exit is any indication, we’d say they have a very bright future ahead! (Photo: Juniper Studios)

 

The Childhood Reading

The bride had asked her nephew to read Shel Silverstein’s “The Romance” during their wedding at The Inn at Weathersfield. During dinner, he worked up the courage and delivered a memorable performance. (Photo: Kelsey Regan Photography)

 

A Royal Send Off

Talk about a fairytale ending to a romantic wedding day! (Photo: Keith MacDonald Photography)

 

That’s a wrap! Thank you to everyone who submitted for the Best of 2021 series. This was truly an incredible year.

The Full Best of Vermont Weddings 202 Series:

Don’t forget to pop over to Instagram to see even more community moments, and the “semi finalists” for each of the other categories.

We’re excited for another year of memorable weddings ahead!

BEST OF 2021: Location

Vermont may be a small state, but we have an impressive, long list of beautiful locations to get married! From the shores of Lake Champlain to the tops of the Green Mountains … and everywhere in between… there are a variety of venues to set the stage for your romantic wedding. Here are a few of the best places couples exchanged vows in 2021.

Love this story? We’re sharing our “semi finalist” picks on Instagram. Go check it out for even more inspiration!

Mountains Majesty

Sparkling waters and sweeping mountain views make The Equinox Resort’s pond one of the most romantic, majestic to tie the knot. (Photo: Kelsey Regan Photography)

The barn and firepit at dusk at Lareau Farm Inn in Vermont

Home Away From Home

With lodging on site, a cozy firepit, and plenty to explore, the Lareau Farm Inn makes you feel like you’re at home – if you’re home was really, really cool. (Photo: Hannah Photography)

Lakeside & Lovely

With views overlooking Lake Champlain, sparkling aquariums and more, ECHO is a unique, modern setting for a true Vermont wedding. (Photo: Madison Anne Studio)

Backyard Bliss

From getting ready at the elegant Inn at Burkyn to a lovely backyard celebration, this wedding in the mountains is a total stunner. (Video: Beyond Bliss Films)

Bride and groom walking down country road in Vermont in the fall

Falling For You

With rolling hills and colorful foliage, Sterling Ridge Resort sets the scene for a truly lovely Vermont wedding. (Photo: Cait Borgault Photography)

Garden Romance

A gorgeous barn and colorful, sprawling gardens …it’s no wonder Farmhouse Flowers is one of the best backdrops for a Vermont wedding! (Photo: Danielle Allendorf)

 

Riding High

If you fell in love with Vermont for the skiing, you are going to love Sugarbush Resort‘s mountain top ceremony location and iconic “Just Married” chair lift sign. (Photo: Jenna Brisson)

 
Bride and groom walking up a hill at sunset with dramatic clouds and mist

Edge of the World

How breathtaking is this image? It looks like the couple is in the middle of an epic, romantic movie (but really they’re at private home in Shelburne, Vermont). (Photo: Ben Hudson Photography)

Into the Woods

This couple tied the knot under a canopy of trees at The Inn at Weathersfield before celebrating dinner in the quaint, romantic Inn. (Photo: Kate Seymour Photography)

 
Bride and groom on the lawn at VT historic estate

Bridgertons in Vermont

The Hildene’s splendor and elegance is unmatched and the views are unparalleled. It’s definitely one the best! (Photo: Juniper Studios

 

Perfect Pairing

The rolling hills and vineyard at Maquam Barn and Winery are the perfect pairing for a romantic wedding. (Photo: Danielle Allendorf)

 
 

Thank you to everyone who submitted for the Best of 2021 series! Don’t forget to check out our “semi finalists” on Instagram, and sign up for our newsletter to get each Best of post emailed to you weekly this month!

***

Quick recap: what is Vermont Weddings Best of 2021 Series?

A little backstory if you’re unfamiliar: we started the Best of series last year (2020) to highlight some of the amazing work by the talented teams in the Vermont wedding industry. It’s an opportunity to both celebrate a year’s worth of weddings and inspire couples who are planning a future Vermont wedding. (A quick note on the word “best”: the intention isn’t to make this a competition between weddings, but to share a small, but representative, sample of the weddings in Vermont this year.  To that end, please know that we love each and every wedding that was submitted, and the final picks are carefully chosen based on a variety of factors to create a compelling series.)

Here’s what you can expect:

All December, we’ll be rolling out inspiring stories in various categories:

Plus, because the submissions were just THAT good, we’re sharing our “semi finalist” picks for each category on Instagram. That means you’ll want to follow us to see even more highlights, and come back to the blog each week to see the “best” picks in each category.

We recommend signing up for our newsletter – we’ll send you an email each week with the highlights so you won’t miss a thing. (Going forward we only send 1 – 2 emails a month.)

THIS COUPLE DIY-ED A LAKEFRONT MICROWEDDING THAT WAS PURE FUN

When you want to get married, nothing will stand in your way. Kate and John’s original wedding plans were postponed due to Covid, but they were determined to tie the knot in 2020, so they planned a lakefront microwedding at the Burlington Surf Club.

Their day was a true DIY effort; the couple set up the camera so loved ones could join virtually, and picked up food and margaritas to go to enjoy with their guests. Even the weather couldn’t hold this couple back; while there were predictions for a big storm, the day turned out to be perfect! See this super fun, laidback microwedding celebration, captured by Ben Hudson Photography, below.

Couple walking on Burlington lakefront beach during Vermont wedding

More Real Vermont Wedding Inspiration

Be sure to check out more posts of our real Vermont wedding posts here.

Photographer: BEN HUDSON PHOTOGRAPHY | Venue: BURLINGTON SURF CLUB

BEST OF 2020: ELOPEMENTS & MICROWEDDINGS

Given gathering restrictions this year, small microweddings and elopements were popular choices for couples in 2020. Every wedding is wonderful in its own way, so narrowing down the “best” in this category is truly impossible. That said, here are a few special moments that stood out from these beautiful, intimate wedding celebrations.

Mountain High

This couple braved the mountain for a truly dreamy elopement.

Danielle Allendorf Photography

Autumn Jewel

This intimate wedding is inspired by autumn in Vermont with beautiful jewel-toned amber and burgundy accents and florals.

Sugarbush Resort | Anne Lee Photography

Confetti Celebration

The colorful confetti toss is the perfect complement to this couple’s exuberant joy.

Ben Hudson Photography

Pond Side Bliss

The rug and floral arrangement anchor the couple’s ceremony, and their beloved dogs get in on the celebration.

Sterling Ridge Resort | Jenna Brisson Photography

New England Charm

This couple celebrates their beautiful, heartfelt wedding in an idyllic New England setting.

Grafton Inn | Loveland Creative

A Canoe Built for Two

A canoe ride on your wedding day? Why not! This couple enjoys a special moment alone before rejoining friends and family to celebrate.

Odyssey Events | Back of the Moon

Falling in Love

This vow exchanges feels both intimate and epic under a canopy of towering trees in full color.

Jessica Notargiacomo

 

Pretty as a Picnic

A picnic reception is such a fun twist, and this one is lovely, festive, and intimate.

Lareau Farm InnAmanda Young Photography

 

Cheerful Cheers

Virtual weddings were popular this year, and this couple was all smiles as they toasted to guests online during their beachfront wedding.

Ben Hudson Photography | Burlington Surf Club

Elegant Estate

The mansion, the gardens, the sunlight… this whole wedding is straight out of a fairytale.

Hildene | Jesse Schloff

BEST OF 2020: DESIGN AND DECOR

Wedding decor is as unique as each couple’s love story and interests, and it sets the stage for the celebration. Here are a few of the most unique and beautiful design moments from 2020 Vermont weddings.

Natural Beauty

This tablescape celebrates the natural beauty of Vermont. Small blooms pop against the light blue napkins and add a special, personal touch on each seat. The elegant glassware provides a great, delicate contrast to the stately wood tables.

Jaclyn Watson Events | Hannah Photography | Nectar and Root

Elegant Elopement

Candles and white flower petals create a simple, elegant aisle and urns spilling over with flowers create a ceremony focal point for this couple’s elopement. Their adorable dog even matches the theme with a floral collar!

Kimpton Taconic Hotel | Mountain Hearts Photography | Haley Goodrich of Nancy Bishop Floral Design

Cozy Elegance

Flickering candlelight down a banquet table adorned with fall flowers creates a festive, cozy atmosphere for a small wedding celebration.

Inn at Weathersfield | Two of Us Photography

Backyard Bliss

This tented wedding is the definition of casual elegance. Small tables were set up around the sail tent to maintain social distance, but the beautiful, natural table decor makes it feel more intimate.
(Read the blog post)

Hannah Photography

Beauty & The Beach

This private beachfront residence is transformed into a boho wedding venue reminiscent of a tropical oasis. A ceremony space is crafted with lanterns, bright florals and beach grasses. Oriental rugs and twinkle lights create a dance floor in the sand. Overall, it nails the tropical boho beach party vibe.

Lindsey Leichthammer Events | Ben Hudson Photography

Lush & Luxe

This tented reception is beyond gorgeous. The chandeliers highlight the soft drapes of the tent and cast a warm glow on the lush, dramatic floral arrangements. 

Jaclyn Watson Events