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!

GET TO KNOW HOPE SHARP, THE ARTIST BEHIND THESE CUSTOM WEDDING PAINTINGS

There are many ways a couple will commemorate their wedding, but a custom wedding painting may be one of the most unique and treasured! 

Figurative painter Hope Sharp creates oil paintings live at weddings that are unique to each event. She sat down with Vermont Weddings to explain the process of creating these timeless, romantic heirlooms. 

What is a custom wedding painting?

A wedding is an incredibly special day in a couple’s life, and a wedding painting captures the essence of the celebration. The paintings are bespoke, custom gifts that become treasured family heirlooms. I like to think of them as little jewels a couple will want to hand down to their grandchildren someday! 

How did you get into wedding painting?

I was in the wedding business before I was a wedding painter! Years ago I worked as a florist in NYC and then in San Francisco. I eventually made my way to Vermont, where I earned my Masters in Fine Arts degree from Johnson State College and began my career as a live wedding painter. 

As an artist, I’ve always been fascinated with the body in motion. I spent a lot of time observing at a local dance studio (with permission, of course!) observing and learning to paint how people move. 

One day a friend asked if I’d paint at her daughter’s wedding. I was excited to combine my love of weddings with my interest in capturing movement. Plus, weddings are such gorgeous events to paint – the flowers, the beauty… it’s a dream! From there, the word got out and the requests started to come in.

What is your process for creating a painting?

I first get a sense of who the couple is. Often, it’s one of the parents who has commissioned the painting as a wedding gift to the couple. Sometimes they will have a particular moment they know the couple wants captured, like the first dance, and other times it’s very open.

On the day of the wedding, my job is to observe. I don’t start my paintings before the event, so they are truly 100% unique to each couple’s event. I watch for the right moment, and then I strike! In addition to painting, I take a lot of photos for reference. 

I’ll continue to work on the painting throughout the event; guests love to watch the progress. The live painting is a memorable part of a couple’s celebration, and they appreciate the joyful element of surprise and elegance it brings to their day.

I continue to finish the painting back at my studio (this is where the photos come in handy). Typically within two months couples can expect to receive their finished painting.

How would you describe your style?

If I had to sum up my style in three words, I’d say “contemporary; expressionist; impressionist.” That said, no two paintings are the same! 

I have some that are more defined portraits and others that are more abstract. My goal is to capture the emotional state of the moment, so the style I use in each painting reflects the emotion of that moment.

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding? 

I love watching the couple walk back down the aisle after their ceremony. That moment is filled with such joy and romance, and you can tell the couple is excited to celebrate. 

One of the reasons I love painting at weddings, however, is that no two are alike! While there are similar elements the story is always different. That’s exciting for me to capture as an artist. 

Thanks, Hope! Learn more about Hope and her custom wedding paintings on her profile page