Gliding into Forever: A Winter Wonderland Wedding with a Hockey Twist

Prepare to have your hearts do a little victory lap because we’ve got a love story that’s cooler than a fresh Zamboni-cut ice rink. Picture this: a beautiful Vermont backdrop courtesy of Mountain Top Resort, a couple madly in love, and a pair of ice skates for each. Yes, you read that right! This adorable couple decided to ditch tradition and lace up their skates for a first look that’s as unique as their love for each other. We’re excited to share with you every heart melting moment, perfectly captured by Courtney Cania Photography.

The Unique First Look on Ice

When planning their quintessential Vermont wedding, Stacie and Greg knew they wanted to have a laid back day. On the morning of their big day, Stacie and Greg embraced the essence of Vermont’s winter, opting for warmth and authenticity over traditional bridal norms. Stacie’s choice to wear fur-lined boots instead of the expected high heels was a testament to the couple’s desire for comfort and practicality. (without sacrificing style!) The bridal party donned matching Vermont Flannel Company shirts while getting ready, a perfect and practical choice for a chilly February morning.

Something Stacie and Greg share a love for is hockey and they found a perfect way to incorporate this into their special day! Amid the serenity of Mountain Top Resort’s ice rink, Stacie and Greg laced up their skates and created an unforgettable first look, infused with personal meaning and their shared passion. With the crisp air surrounding them, they glided toward one another to show off their wedding day attire. The scene was beautifully surreal, with their reflections dancing on the ice beneath them. (We’re melting over here!)

Crafting a Winter Wonderland Theme

The outdoor festivities didn’t stop there. Over at the venue’s terrace, guests were greeted with long, rustic wooden benches and cozy flannel blankets from Vermont Flannel Company to keep them warm while they anxiously waited for the ceremony to begin. For their ceremony, Stacie and Greg chose a palette of navy, brown, and balsam- all which effortlessly mirrored the natural hues found in the forested surroundings of the Mountain Top Resort. The deliberate choice of snowy white blooms by Meadows Edge Floral Design, intertwined with balsam sprigs, added a layer of elegance and enriched the rustic feeling that a Vermont winter typically brings.

Upon entering the reception area, guests were whisked away to a enchanting, winter wonderland adorned with delicate string lights, flickering votive candles, and a luxe seating area by Wild Fern Boutique. Whenever guests needed a little pick me up, they gravitated towards the bar where signature cocktails awaited them. Stacie and Greg crafted unique libations to pay homage to their cherished  four-legged companions, Jet and Mika.

To wrap up an already magical day, Stacie and Greg opted for a mid-reception horse drawn sleigh ride, complete with a ‘just married’ sign of course. Congratulations, Stacie and Greg, on your magical day!

Tips for Creating a Memorable First Look

Creating a unique and memorable first look during your wedding can add an extra layer of intimacy and excitement to your special day! This moment, when the couple sees each other for the first time in their wedding attire, offers an opportunity for an incredibly emotional and personal experience. Here are three tips to make your first look uniquely unforgettable:

1. Incorporate Personal Elements: Think about what makes your relationship unique and try to include those elements in your first look. This could be the location where you first met or a spot that holds special significance to your relationship. You could also integrate something symbolic, like reading letters you’ve written to each other before turning around to see one another, or playing a song in the background that has meaning to you both. Personal touches like these will make the moment feel even more intimate and tailored to your unique love story.

2. Use a Creative Setting or Backdrop: While first looks are commonly done in the venue where you’re getting married, consider choosing a unique setting that differs from the typical wedding backgrounds. Look for interesting textures, vivid colors, or striking natural landscapes that will not only enhance the emotion of the moment but also create stunning visual memories. The key is to select a location that feels meaningful or exhilarating to you as a couple, setting the stage for a memorable first look and exciting rest of the day!

3. Plan a Surprise Element: Incorporate a surprise element for your partner into the first look to make the moment even more special. This could be anything from wearing an accessory or piece of clothing that has sentimental value, like a family heirloom. You might even involve your pets or loved ones in the surprise, creating a multi-layered experience that encompasses more than just the visual aspect of seeing each other. Whatever surprise you choose, ensure it’s something that it is meaningful to your partner adding a layer of emotional depth to the first look experience.

Remember, the goal of a first look is to craft a moment that feels deeply personal and meaningful to both of you. By focusing on personalization and the element of surprise, you’re setting the stage for an unforgettable experience that celebrates your individual love story in a way that feels authentic and uniquely you!

Plan Your Wedding at Mountain Top Inn and Resort

Mountain Top Resort is a secluded and idyllic wedding venue located in Chittenden, Vermont. Situated on on 700 private acres of woods & meadow, with sweeping views of the surrounding Green Mountains and a pristine 740 acre lake, Mountain Top Resort is the perfect location for couples looking for a special place to hold a weekend long celebration!

Capture Every Moment with Courtney Cania Photography

Courtney Cania Photography is a wedding photographer who provides couples timeless, romantic images and an exceptional wedding experience. Courtney’s approach to wedding photography is a blend of lifestyle and documentary; her ultimate goal is to provide an exceptional wedding experience, and to show up as a good friend looking out for you on this most special day!

Vendors: 

Venue: Mountain Top Inn and Resort, Photographer: Courtney Cania Photography, Second Shooter: Amy Donohue Photography, Florals: Meadows Edge Floral Design, Rentals: Wild Fern Boutique, Hair & MUA: Blush Vermont, DJ: Big Handsome Entertainment, Desserts: Sweet Birch Bakery, Getting Ready Shirts & Blankets: Vermont Flannel Company.

Your Next Read:

Looking for another wedding infused with the couple’s favorite hobby? Check out this Killington ski elopement.

Want another real wedding post? Check out any of these.

Best of 2023: Readers Choice Awards

Over the past few weeks, we have featured a selection of remarkable Vermont weddings in our annual Best of Vermont Weddings series.  Like last year, we requested  you, our loyal readers, to partake in our Readers Choice Awards and vote for your favorites!

Today, as we conclude this series and look forward to 2024, we are so excited to reveal your top choices. Despite tight competition and a significant number of votes, these winners emerged victorious. Without further ado, the highly anticipated moment has arrived, revealing the esteemed winners of each category as chosen by you!

Best of Wedding Florals: Purple Passion

 
This enchanting purple-hued bouquet by M’s Wedding Flowers truly mesmerized us… and you! These beautiful blooms took first place this year in our floral category.
 
Photo by Sarah Peet Photography

Best of Elopements: Autumnal Romance

 
A Vermont elopement is beautiful no matter the season, but it was this photo by Kate Seymour Photography that reminded readers how romantic a secluded lakeside wedding in the fall can be!

Best of Desserts: Let It Snow

 
After a flurry of votes, this delectable and intricately decorated cake by Blue House Bakeshop ended up taking first place!
 

Best of Wedding Style: Tips Up

 
This fun ski lapel pin added a whimsical touch to the groom’s outfit. It’s a perfect nod to the overall theme for this winter wedding-  and inspired all of you!
 

Best of Furry Friends: Sweet Smooch

 
This was our closest category by votes in our Best of Series! (Who can resist animals?) Congratulations to Allison Macy Photography for this winning image.
 
 
 

Best of Vermont Wedding Venues: Sterling Ridge Resort

Sterling Ridge Resort won you over with its Vermont charm and incredible views!

Photo: Isora Lithgow Creations

Best of Just Married Moments: Picture Perfect Perspective

 
This look at the couple’s first kiss, captured by Courtney Cania Photography, gave you alllll those warm “just married” feels. 
 
Venue: Quechee Inn

Best of Wedding Design: Chic Camping

Siri, “Pack my bags, I’m heading to camp!” We swooned for this summer camp chic celebration, planned by NJOY Weddings & Events at Basin Harbor, and you voted it your favorite too!
 
Photo: Julia Luckett 

Best of Rain: A Shower of Smiles

 
Not even rain could dampen these newlywed’s smiles! A true snapshot of the excitement that comes with finally getting to say the words “I do!”
 
Photo: Melanie Ruth Photography

That’s a Wrap on Best of Vermont Weddings 2023

Thank you to everyone who voted in our Readers Choice Awards! And a huge congratulations to every featured member in our Best of Vermont Weddings series! Our Vendor Guide is truly made up of the most creative and dedicated wedding professionals in Vermont. We are grateful for their support and their incredible work that continues to inspire all of us.

While this is one of our most popular string of blogs post for the year, we write about engagements, elopements and weddings year round. Have a celebration you’d like to share with us? Fill out a blog submission form for a chance to be featured.

It’s safe to say that 2023 was an amazing year, and we can’t wait to celebrate along with you all in 2024!

Advice for Planning Your Own Vermont Wedding

Snag your copy of our Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide inspiration, advice & guides to plan your very best Vermont wedding! During this month the guide is on sale for only $20.24! Who knows…your celebration could be featured in next year’s Best of Vermont Weddings series. 

Plus, sign up our email newsletter to receive updates when each story in the series drops. 

Best of 2023: Just Married Moments

There is a unique magic found within ‘just married’ moments. It’s a magic derived from months, (sometimes even years!) of planning and anticipating this celebration. These captivating moments, forever frozen in time, serve as intimate glimpses into pure joy, boundless love, and the promising start of a shared journey.

Today, we’re thrilled to share our team’s curated selection of “just married” moments that stole our hearts.

But the excitement doesn’t end there! After you’ve seen our picks, it’s over to you to vote for your favorite in our Readers Choice Award below. 

Wrapped in Love and Traditions

This bright and beautiful wedding was full of Lithuanian wedding traditions! We love this photo of the newlyweds and their guests during their reception.
 

Cruisin’ In Style

Photo proof that motorcycle entrances at weddings should totally become a thing. This couple arrived to their reception in style!
 

Champagne Showers

If you’ve followed our ‘Best Of’ series before, you know our team loves a good champagne pop! (We had a whole category devoted to it last year.) This couple and their crew was clearly bubbling with excitement and we’re loving it.
 

The Gang’s All Here

One of the most special parts of your wedding day are the people who come to celebrate you! When will you ever have all of your favorite people in one place again? That being said, we love a good group photo at weddings and this one at The Grafton Inn was too sweet not to share!
 

Picture Perfect Perspective

When going over photo ideas with their photographer, this couple had the idea of capturing their first kiss as Mr. & Mrs with their guest’s reactions in the background – and what a fantastic idea it was!
 
Venue: Quechee Inn

On Cloud 9

We just love the pure joy in this photo! This couple is flying high on cloud 9.
 
Venue: Snow Farm Vineyard

First Dance Magic

A little sparkle, a little greenery and full attention on the bride and groom. What a beautiful image captured on this couple’s first dance!
 
Photo: Esra Y Photography
Venue: The Equinox Resort

Soaking In Newlywed Bliss

We highly recommend taking time on your wedding day to soak everything in, just the two of you. This couple did just that on the calm waters of Lake Bomoseen.
 
Venue: Lake Bomoseen Lodge

Blooms & Bubbles

Can’t choose between flower petals or bubbles as you make your way back up the aisle? Why not both!? The smiles here say it all.
 

A Timeless Treasure

This oil painting artfully captures the romance of this couple’s wedding day! Painted by Hope Sharp Art throughout the day, this piece added a joyful element of surprise and elegance for guests to observe- and is now a treasured heirloom for the couple to enjoy for years to come!

Whimsical Wedding

Blooms bursting with color, ribbons and a perfectly timed gust of wind… need we say more? We love this couple’s colorful and romantic vision!
 
Photo: Great Blue Photo Co.
Florals: Oak & Bee 

Bubbling with Excitement

After this couple exchanged their vows, their guests showered them with bubbles, creating a magical and heartwarming moment.
 

S’more Love

The campfire pit at this couple’s wedding ended up being a popular spot for guests to hang out throughout the night. When the crowd cleared, these newlyweds snuck in some one on one time to enjoy the fire and to roast marshmallows together!
 
Venue: Mad River Barn

Walking Into Forever Together

Rolling mountains, lush aisle markers and radiant smiles – it’s hard to pick our favorite element of this wedding. From the aisle to eternity! 
 
Venue: Kelly Way Garden 

Love, Laughter & Happy Ever After

After 3 years of rescheduling their celebration due to the pandemic, these grooms officially tied knot! Something truly special is that the couple led their own ceremony and it was full of love and tons of laughter! 
 
Photo: Moho Photo

A Romantic Recap

We bet this couple can’t help but fall in love over and over again when they watch their wedding recap video! A beautiful celebration perfectly captured.
 
Venue: Old Gray Barn

Fairytale Twirl

We’ll never pass up a photo of a beautiful bride twirling in her dream dress. A moment like this is one so many of us a dream of, a true fairytale feeling!
 

Let’s Get The Party Started

This photo screams “We did it! Now let’s get this party started!”  We guarantee this couple’s contagious enthusiasm evolved into an unforgettable evening of partying.
 
Venue: Mad River Barn

Grooms & Blooms

These joyful grooms were more than ready to tie the knot on this stunning summer day! We’re also crushing on the ceremony’s  beautiful florals, reflecting the couple’s love in full bloom.
 
Photo: Alex Paul Photography

Taking a Shot of Love

Nervous on your wedding day? A little bit of liquid courage doesn’t hurt! This image made us giggle and we’re sure those of you who have already planned a wedding can relate to it!
 

Readers Choice Awards

Now that you’ve seen our editorial picks for the best ‘just married’ moments of 2023, it’s your turn to pick your favorite! Vote between now and January 27 for your favorite to crown the Readers Choice Winner. 

Planning Your Own Vermont Wedding?

Snag your copy of our Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide  inspiration, advice & guides to plan your very best Vermont wedding! During this month the guide is on sale for only $20.24! 

Sign up our email newsletter to receive updates when new stories drop! 

Best of 2023: Vermont Wedding Venues

Ready to go on an adventure? Today we’re traversing across the state to highlight Vermont’s most captivating wedding venues! In our small but mighty state, you’ll find everything from serene lakeside settings to majestic mountain retreats, ensuring a perfect spot for every couple’s “I do.” Get ready to discover the venue where your love story will take center stage!

But the excitement doesn’t end there! After you’ve seen our picks, it’s over to you to vote for your favorite in our Readers Choice Award below. 

ECHO

Echo, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain is such a special venue! Located in Burlington, not only does it have sweeping views of beautiful Lake Champlain, but it is also a museum (which couples and their guests have full access to), making it the perfect spot for an all-ages event.
 
 

The Essex Resort & Spa

The Essex Resort & Spa provides a stunning backdrop for your wedding along with deluxe accommodations and fun adventures your guests will never forget! (Like a late night jumpt into the resort’s pool!)
 
 

The Mansfield Barn

The Mansfield Barn is a beautifully renovated 150-year-old barn with unique charm and modern amenities. For couples looking for a rustic location that is still easily accessible to bigger towns like Burlington or Stowe, this venue is in the perfect location!
 
Photo: Portrait Gallery

The Inn at Grace Farm

The Inn at Grace Farm is located in Fairfax, Vermont and is the perfect setting for a private celebration! From the moment you arrive and settle into your accommodations, the property becomes your private estate to enjoy with loved ones all weekend long. It also has on-site accommodations for up to 32 guests.
 
Photo: Coryn Kiefer Photography
Florals: Tipsy Tulip Designs

Sugarbush Resort

Sugarbush Resort  is a picturesque wedding venue set in Vermont’s majestic Mad River Valley. The Resort offers several options for gathering spaces, onsite accommodations and activities no matter the season. We also love the iconic “just married” chair lift!
 
Photo 1: Birke Photography

Mountain Top Resort

Mountain Top Resort is simply stunning no matter the forecast, as shown by the video of an indoor ceremony and photo of an outdoor ceremony here! Located in idyllic Chittenden, Vermont guests will be left feeling like they visited a postcard.
 
Photo: Cassi Claire Photography

Grand Isle Lake House

Grand Isle Lake House has views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains, onsite accommodations and more, making this wedding venue is a relaxing, lakeside oasis! This venue truly shines in the spring, summer and fall!
 
Photo: The Light and Color
 

The Barn at Boyden Farm

The Barn at Boyden Farm is a historic wedding venue nestled along the Lamoille River Valley, complete with a charming hayloft event barn, post & beam ceremony site and an outdoor patio area overlooking 54 acres. It’s a true slice of Vermont living!
 
Photo: Jessica Lyn Photography

Equinox Resort

No matter which of the Resort’s ceremony and reception venues you choose, The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa is a romantic, sophisticated backdrop for your celebration. It’s the perfect balance between historic charm and modern amenities, located in Manchester.

Photo: Coryn Keifer Photography

Inn at Mountain View Farm

Tucked away in the beautiful North East Kingdom, The Inn at Mountain View Farm is the perfect place to celebrate the adventure of a lifetime! Couples enjoy access to the 440 acre historic farm estate, the lovingly restored barn, and access to the acclaimed Kingdom Trails.

Photo: EmberPhoto

Grafton Inn

Known for its timeless village setting and beautiful surrounding mountains, The Grafton Inn is a top choice for couples dreaming of a romantic, storybook-like Vermont wedding venue. With several dreamy event spaces and elegant dining options, it’s the perfect place to start your happily ever after.

Photo: Courtney Cania

Weatherhead Hollow

Weatherhead Hollow is a romantic wedding venue located in Guilford, perfect for a serene wedding weekend. Creative couples have the opportunity to bring their vision to life utilizing the venue’s 10,000 square foot barn, guest cottages and rolling mountain views.

Photo: Anne Taylor Photography

Sterling Ridge Resort

Sterling Ridge Resort is a unique log cabin resort nestled in the mountains of Jeffersonville. With two, beautiful outdoor ceremony spots, on-site cabin lodging, and spectacular views across the property, guests enjoy a full weekend-long Vermont experience!

Photo 1: Isora Lithgow Creations

Photo 2: Ben Hudson Photography

Soule House & Carriage Barn

The Soule House and Carriage Barn, located in Fairfield, is an intimate, rustic wedding venue filled with charm. Couples enjoy exclusive weekend access to the barn and spacious grounds, to add their own personal touch. There’s also a home so the wedding party can stay conveniently stay on site. 

Photo Credit: Sincerely Liz Photography
Flowers: Narrow Path 

Topnotch Resort

Topnotch Resort is a premier wedding venue that blends the gracious charm of a ski lodge with the luxurious amenities of a world-class resort. Located in Stowe, the Resort specializes in tented weddings. On site lodging is available for guests, as are a variety of activities, adding to the fun.

Photo: Danielle Allendorf

Wilburton Inn

The Wilburton Inn is majestic, historic estate. The mansion is the centerpiece for a full weekend celebration with an outdoor ceremony on the grand lawn and receptions on the romantic Vermont Marble Pavilion Tent. Onsite lodging is available with many amenities. 

Photo: GarrenTee Photography

Maquam Barn & Winery

Distinguished by its magnificent barn and working winery, Maquam is a one of a kind Vermont wedding venue. Guests enjoy sweeping mountain views from every aspect of the wedding day, from ceremony to a final cheers on the covered patio. 

Photo: Colette Kulig Photography

Trapp Family Lodge

Nestled in the picturesque town of Stowe, Vermont, Trapp Family Lodge takes inspiration from the von Trapp family’s Austrian roots and offers luxurious lodging and stunning vistas that are perfect for your special day!

Photo: Jenna Brisson Photography

Readers Choice Awards

Now that you’ve seen our picks for the best Vermont wedding venues in 2023, it’s time for you to vote! We’ll share your top picks for each category at the end of the month.

 

Planning Your Own Vermont Wedding?

Snag your copy of our Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide  inspiration, advice & guides to plan your very best Vermont wedding! During this month the guide is on sale for only $20.24! 

Sign up our email newsletter to receive updates when new stories drop! 

Best of 2023: Elopements

Elopements let the couple focus on their connection and commitment, without distractions or expectations from others, making for a truly enchanting and romantic celebration. The below celebrations are proof! Here are some of our favorite moments from Vermont elopements in 2023.

But the excitement doesn’t end there! After you’ve seen our picks, it’s over to you to vote for your favorite in our Readers Choice Award below. 

Slope-side Vows

In a mix of romance and adrenaline, this couple chose to take their love to literal new heights with a snowy, slope-side elopement. We love this sweet snap taken on the ski lift on the way up to Killington’s summit.
 

A Fairytale Ending

Choosing to elope with a hint of fairy tale charm, this couple decided to rent a Vermont castle on Airbnb for their romantic nuptials! This beautiful location in Irasburg Vermont transformed their simple elopement into an enchanting, intimate wedding experience right out of a storybook.
 

Autumnal Romance

These brides chose the serene location of Lake Willoughby for their fall elopement. The cozy affair was perfectly adorned with warm flannel blankets, glowing lanterns, seasonal florals, and pumpkins, bringing their enchanting autumn wedding to life!
 

Vows with a View

* Sigh * This image perfectly exudes that just married feeling! In the picturesque setting of Middlebury, Vermont, this couple exchanged vows in a classic and timeless celebration of love.
 

Toasting to Forever

This vibrant, elopement photoshoot utilized classic designs with a mix of peachy-pink, and coral hues against soft light blue accents! Styled by wedding planner I Dews Design & Events it’s an elegant yet whimsical garden party we’d love to attend!
 
Photo: Anne Mientka

Love in the Snow

This couple braved chilly winter temps for their special day together! The dusting of snow on the nearby mountains, the bride’s veil flowing in the wind and a warm embrace – there is something so special about a wintertime elopement!
 

Dancing in the Rain

2023’s trend of rain didn’t stop this couple from fully embracing their love story. (In fact, the moody skies and mud added to it!) This couple giggled and danced in the rain during their misty photoshoot and we can’t imagine anything more romantic!
 

Readers Choice Awards

Now that you’ve seen our picks for the best Vermont elopements in 2023, it’s time for you to vote! We’ll share your top picks for each category at the end of the month.

Planning Your Own Vermont Wedding?

Snag your copy of our Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide  inspiration, advice & guides to plan your very best Vermont wedding! During this month the guide is on sale for only $20.24! 

Sign up our email newsletter to receive updates when new stories drop! 

Beach Bliss: A Romantic Lakeside Engagement Shoot in Milton, Vermont

What’s more romantic than walking on the beach and popping some bubbly? Lindsey and Ben recently celebrated their next chapter with a lakeside engagement shoot on the beautiful shores of Lake Champlain (complete with their adorable dog Tito!) Continue reading for all the details and images captured by Courtney Cania Photography.

Capturing The Magic of a Lakeside Engagement Shoot

When planning their engagement shoot, Lindsey and Ben knew they wanted something easy and relaxed. Ben’s family owns a house in Milton, Vermont just off the shores of Lake Champlain. The couple both have many sentimental  memories at this location and knew it would be the perfect place to capture even more memories

Vermont is home to many beautiful lakes, ponds and swimming holes that each provide a relaxed and romantic backdrop. (It’s no wonder that these locations are a popular choice for couples!) Complete with champagne, outfit changes, and pretty sea glass the couple found while walking this is the perfect lakeside engagement shoot. 

 

Your Next Read:

Looking for other ways to incorporate your favorite spots in your engagement photos? Check out this blog post!

Want  more engagement photo shoot ideas? Check out any of these.

Meet Wedding Photographer, Courtney Cania

One of the most exciting tasks on a wedding planning ‘to-do list’ is choosing a photographer.  How do you want your special day captured? How will your love story be told? Finding a photographer that matches your vision is so important! We recently sat down with Vermont wedding photographer Courtney Cania Photography, whose galleries are filled with authentic and inspiring light and love. Continue reading to learn more about Courtney and her work!

How did you get into the wedding industry?

I photographed my first wedding in 2009 at Eolia Mansion in Waterford, Connecticut. An acquaintance  from a college digital photography class loved my work and asked me to capture her wedding. I knew I wasn’t qualified and set expectations pretty low. However, I felt compelled to shoot the wedding despite not having any experience and the right gear. It all turned out okay, and I loved every moment! 

As more and more friends and family asked me to capture their weddings,  I launched a website “just to have a presence”… and inadvertently launched a business! I photographed a handful of  solo weddings, then spent a few years second shooting and shadowing talented wedding photographers. I made my return to solo wedding photography in 2021, and couldn’t be happier.

How would you describe your style?

I capture weddings with a blended lifestyle and documentary approach. I step in with direction and guidance when needed, and document all those wonderful unscripted moments as they unfold. I have a timeless, light-inspired aesthetic. My goal for my editing style is to reflect the wedding day accurately. I keep color tones a bit muted to avoid neon hues, but stay true-to-life.

What inspires your work?

Inspiration comes to me in many different forms. I’m inspired by beautiful light, the moment, and the energy of the scene. I draw inspiration from art, other photographers, and trends, however, my creativity is guided by one rule: look inside, then look outside. This helps me keep my work authentic to me.

Any special tips for couples for choosing or working with a wedding professional like yourself or a wedding tip in general?

My biggest tip for choosing a wedding photographer is to trust your instincts. There’s lots of practical advice out there on this topic, and I have even blogged about how to choose a wedding photographer. To sum it up, allow your intuition to navigate the process.

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding?

Weddings are full of incredible heartfelt moments, all of which hooked me as a wedding photographer. I am a sucker for portraits. I love the first look because it gives couples precious alone time on their day, and more time with family and guests after the ceremony. I love the joyful “just married” moment when a couple processes down the aisle. And I love the great times on the dance floor.

What’s your favorite thing to do in VT?

Spending time at farms or wading in the many brooks and swimming holes we have here in Vermont are highlights for me. I grew up next to a river with beautiful waterfalls. Spots like these feel like home. Also, I love to indulge in a maple creemee!

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

Before becoming a wedding photographer I worked in marketing and web development. Experience in these fields has helped a great deal in the daily management of my business. I love running a business as much as being out in the field photographing. Someday I’d like to help aspiring business owners gain the confidence and skills to set out on their own.

What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

As a kid I envisioned a life traveling to meet different people in unique circumstances to listen to their stories. I believe strongly that we benefit from hearing and sharing different perspectives. Perhaps not in the way I expected, being a photographer mirrors this vision.

Thanks, Courtney! View more of Courtney’s beautiful work by visiting her profile in our Vendor Guide.

Best of 2022: Readers Choice Awards

For the past few weeks, we’ve been highlighting a few of the incredible Vermont weddings from 2022 in our annual Best of Vermont Weddings series. New this year, we asked you, our devoted readers, to vote for your favorites in our first ever Readers Choice Awards. Today we’re sharing your favorites as we wrap up this series and get excited for 2023!

Thousands of you voted for your favorites – and the polls were very close – and we’re excited to celebrate these winners! 

Best of Cakes & Drinks: Wildflower Wonder 

This pressed flower cake by Blue House Bakeshop, which matches the bride’s dress, took the cake as your top pick.

Photographer: Rodeo & Co

Best of Style: Black and White Beauties

These brides’ style was stunning and you agreed! The classic white gown, the killer black beaded jumpsuit, the wildly lush bouquets by M’s Wedding Flowers … it’s absolutely gorgeous! 

Photo: Colette Kulig Photography

Best of First Looks: All Grown Up (Readers Choice Award)

This dad was brought to tears when he sees his daughter for the first time on her wedding day, and honestly, so am I watching this clip!

Film: Beyond Bliss Films

Best of Ceremony Details: Pretty in Pink 

You loved this beautiful ceremony at the Inn at Weathersfield! From the bold pink floral aisle decor, matching ceremony arch, and coordinated petal drop as they walked back down the aisle as newlyweds – it’s unforgettable! 

Photo: GarrenTee Photography

Best of Florals: Falling in Love

You swooned for these orange and corals fall bouquets by Fleur Du Nord Farm. They perfectly pop against the dark green bridesmaid dresses and are the sweetest nod to the beautiful Vermont foliage at Sterling Ridge Resort.
 

Best of Venues: Sterling Ridge

Sterling Ridge Resort, a log cabin resort hidden in the mountains, provides a unique, private space for couples to celebrate with loved ones for an entire wedding weekend. You crowned this spot your top pick this year!
 

Best of Dogs: On the Run 

Cheddar the dog was thrilled to be included in his parent’s big day. His “my-humans-just-got-married” excitement caught your hearts!
 
 

Best of Reception Details (Tie!): Chopped 

This couple included a friendly axe throwing competition for their Mansfield Barn wedding reception, and it slashed through the competition to the top! 

Photo: Juniper Studios

Best of Reception Details (Tie!): Ring Ring

This champagne welcome that Sara Judith Events helped design, deserves a cheers of its own! 

Photo: Adam Michaels 

Best of Elopements & Microweddings: Boho Beautiful

You loved this couple’s microwedding at Sugarbush Resort, with so many beautiful boho details!
 
Photo: Rae Ann Photo LLC
 
 

Best of Champagne Pops: Smoke & Spray

You loved this unique take on the famous champagne pop photo!

Photo: GarrenTee Photography

Best of Just Married: The Aisle Kiss

This couple was so excited to be married, they barely made it to the end of the aisle before stealing another kiss! In turn, they stole your hearts!
 

That’s a Wrap on Best of Vermont Weddings 2022

Thank you to everyone who voted in our Readers Choice Awards! And a huge congratulations to every featured member in our Best of Vermont Weddings series! 2022 was an amazing year, and we can’t wait to celebrate along with you all in 2023!

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Check out our Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide for more inspiration and actionable tips (plus spreadsheets you can use to get organized immediately) to plan your dreamy Vermont wedding!

Best of 2022: Just Married Moments

Can you believe this is our final installment in our Best of 2022 series?! It’s been an amazing year, and we can’t think of a better way to wrap things up than a look at one of our favorite parts of any wedding: those precious just married moments. 

Editorial Picks for Just Married Moments

The emotions of being pronounced newlywed is unparalleled, and while many of these features could fit under several categories, we think this important moment deserves to be celebrated in it’s own right! Check out our editorial picks for the best just married moments of the year, and see who you picked for your favorite in our Readers Choice Awards below!

Smiles & Sunshine

Everything about this moment at Sterling Ridge Resort is bright and sunny: the weather, the traditional Bengali wedding attire, the sunflower wedding arch by Flower Power VT, and of course, the couple’s beaming smiles.
 
Photo: Elizabeth Rogers Photography 

Cruisin’ Together

These two outfitted their old military style jeep with a “just married” sign, and took off for a drive together after the ceremony. You can feel that just married excitement in this clip!

Film: EightZero2 Productions

 

Party Parade

Following their ceremony at Inn at Weathersfield, this couple led their guests in a parade to their reception! This is such a fun way to get the party started!

Photo: GarrenTee Photography

Sunset Dip

This photo is all romance! The couple stole away for some evening portraits, and the groom practically swept his bride off her feet! Won’t lie, we’re swooning a bit.

Photo: Love Wins Photography

The Flip

This couple walked into their Mansfield Barn ready to start the party with a very impressive flip and a shot! Talk about a memorable, fun entrance! We can only imagine how fun the rest of the night must have been!

Lifted High

One of the most iconic moments at a Sugarbush Resort is the “Just Married” private chairlift ride after your ceremony! It’s an amazing opportunity to soak in the day privately with your partner, and get some killer photos!

Photo: Oliver Parini Photography

The Aisle Kiss (Readers Choice Winner)

This couple was so excited to be married, they barely made it to the end of the aisle before stealing another kiss! Too sweet!
 

Sparkling First Dance

NJOY Weddings & Events planned this stunning Indian wedding celebration, which featured one of the most epic first dances we’ve ever seen! Sparklers and smoke surround the elegant couple, but they only have eyes for each other…this just married moment is straight out of a movie! 
 
Photo: Virdee Films

Arriving in Style

This couple arrived to their Farmhouse Flowers VT in style on a motorcycle complete with streamers! We love this fun, unique entrance! 

 
 

Wildly in Love

I love the expressions on their faces following their Wild Sugar Homestead ceremony! You can just feel their “oh my gosh, we did it!” excitement. Such a beautiful moment of pure joy.

Photo: Hallie Jade Pictures

 
 

Romance in the River

This couple stole away for a private moment during their Lareau Farm Inn wedding to explore the area together. It’s a great reminder to take a few minutes on your wedding day with just your partner to check in, soak it in, and steal a kiss!
 
 

Confetti Blast

This post-ceremony confetti blast at ECHO is one of the most epic we’ve ever seen! The colors, the applause, the passionate embrace…we’re giddy just looking at it! 

Photo: Sam Simons

Streaming Love

This couple ran through a tunnel of streamers after their ceremony, resulting in some huge smile and amazing photos! This is a great, unique alternative to a flower toss!
 

A Cheeky Farewell

The bride’s makeup, courtesy of Jennifer Perellie, was the only thing left on for this late night, naked pond dive! It’s a cheeky, very fun, and (we’re guessing) refreshing way to end a wedding night and celebrate the start of the next chapter!
 
Photo: Carl Heyerdahl
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Best of 2022: Wedding Cakes & Drinks

From the initial cheers to cutting the cake, food and drink are major part of a wedding celebration. This year, couples expressed their individual styles through their wedding cakes and drinks, resulting in some truly amazing (and amazingly delicious) displays! 

We served up lots of inspiration below in our editor’s picks for Best of 2022 Wedding Cakes & Drinks, and you voted for your favorite in our Readers Choice Awards – scroll to see the winner!

Wildflower Wonder (Readers Choice Award Winner)

Pressed flower cakes had a moment in 2022, and this one by Blue House Bakeshop is one of my favorites. Not only is it stunning, but it matches the bride’s floral wedding gown!

Photographer: Rodeo & Co

Something Blue 

This 3-tier cake by Cronin Cakes & Sweets  boasts a variety of textures with small sugar flowers, real flowers from Tipsy Tulip Designs, rustic buttercream edges, and a soft blue ribbon. It’s elegant, sweet, and the perfect addition for a spring wedding!
 

Flying (Sugar) High 

This 3-tier butterfly cake made by The Goose Chase Cake Design is so unique! It rises above the display of equally unique meringue mushrooms, arranged on wood tree cookies and decorated with twinkle lights. The overall design is whimsical, magical, and woodland chic! 
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Check out our Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide for more inspiration and actionable tips (plus spreadsheets you can use to get organized immediately) to plan your dreamy Vermont wedding!