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. 

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A Sweet and Sentimental Spring Wedding at The Grafton Inn

On a beautiful June day, Jed and Deborah finally got to say “I do” at the wedding of their dreams. Their celebration had been postponed due to the pandemic (check out those cheeky cocktail napkins in the gallery!) and the anticipation of the day made everything that much sweeter. The long awaited wedding was held at the beautiful Grafton Inn in Grafton, Vermont and Hannah Photography captured the memories; check out the gallery below!

A Romantic Wedding Venue in Grafton, Vermont

The Grafton Inn is a romantic, full-service wedding venue. Known for its timeless village setting and beautiful surrounding mountains, Grafton is a top choice for couples dreaming of a storybook, authentically Vermont wedding day.

The Grafton Inn features 45 individually-decorated rooms in a combination of suites and guests houses, blending its historic atmosphere with modern amenities. During the wedding weekend, guests can indulge in inclusive amenities like morning coffee service, seasonal activities at the outdoor center, use of the fitness center, and daily afternoon refreshments in the main lobby. 

A Sentimental Wedding Worth The Wait

Jed had been ribbed time and again for not proposing to Deborah on a visit to Paris in 2018. When he finally did pop the question a few months later, as the sun set over Lake Champlain, he bent down on one knee in front of a miniature Eiffel Tower he brought along in his backpack. Deborah  said “yes” before he even got the ring out of his pocket. 

Despite the many setbacks and changed wedding dates caused by the pandemic, the couple’s commitment to celebrating their love never wavered.  After a long wait (728 days, to be precise) Jed and Deborah finally got to exchange vows surrounded by loved ones.

Meaningful Wedding Details

Deborah was a classic bride in her  beautiful lace gown from Fiori Bridal Boutique. For accessories, she attached a gold locket with a photo of her sister inside to her bouquet. Deborah lost her sister quite early in life, and wanted to make sure she could have her sister be with her in spirit as she walked down the aisle.

During the ceremony, Deborah and Jed chose to play Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles’ version of “Both Sides Now” to honor family members who had passed – and released butterflies during the song to remind everyone that love always remains, even as it changes form.

(Related: How to Honor Loved Ones at Your Wedding)

For one more unique touch, the couple hired Hope Sharp Art to paint a live wedding portrait. Guests truly enjoyed watching the painting come to life as Hope worked throughout the reception.

View even more sweet and sentimental details from Jed and Deborah’s big day below.

Vendors:

Venue: The Grafton Inn, Photographer: Hannah Photography, Videographer: New England Creative, Florist: Fast Pony Flowers, DJ: Evan LeCompte, Vocals: Peter Miles, Live Wedding Painter: Hope Sharp Art, Wedding Dress: Fiori Bridal Boutique .

Your Next Read:

Looking for another Grafton Inn Wedding? Check out this dreamy spring wedding.

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

Best of 2022: Wedding Ceremony Details

Your wedding ceremony is the foundation of your wedding day, and therefore, it should be personal and full of meaningful details that reflect your love story. To inspire your own ceremony, we’re sharing some of our favorite ceremony details from this year’s weddings. 

(Related Reading: How to Create a Personal Wedding Ceremony)

From gorgeous decor to meaningful traditions,  these are our editorial pick. Take a look and check out who you picked for your Readers Choice Awards below!

Pretty in Pink (Readers Choice Awards Winner)

The chapel in the woods at the Inn at Weathersfield, is always a lovely spot for a wedding ceremony. However, this couple took it to another level with the bold pink floral aisle decor, matching ceremony arch, and coordinated petal drop as they walked back down the aisle as newlyweds. 

Photo: GarrenTee Photography

Devoted Flower Girls

These flower girls were devoted to their duties and their enthusiasm kicked off this summer wedding with an unbeatable energy. Weddings by Janet Dunn shared that one emptied her basket of rose petals long before the end of the aisle, and both were so joyful, the guests cheered! We can’t think of a sweeter start to a ceremony.

Planting Roots

This bride thoughtfully considered every detail of their ceremony set up, including transforming this beautiful old maple tree at The Soule House & Carriage Barn into a simple, elegant ceremony backdrop with draped linens and a boho floral display. Gorgeous! 
 
Photo: Candid Memories Studio
 
 

A Grand Entrance

This epic Indian Sikh wedding ceremony, planned by NJOY Weddings & Events, began with the BARAAT, a parade during which the groom makes his way to the wedding site. After the groom and his party were situated, the bride made her way to the groom in front of the holy text. The colors, the traditions, the lavish decor … each detail of this ceremony is memorable.

 
Photo: Virdee Films

Bubbly and Joyful

This couple opted for a bubble shower instead of throwing flower petals to close out their Sleepy Hollow Inn wedding ceremony. The effect is unique, whimsical, and oh-so-fun!

Holiday Magic

Destinations Found Events & Travel helped set the stage for this festive, winter wedding ceremony at Essex Resort and Spa. The backdrop of sparkling trees and glowing candles is stunning and perfectly Christmas-chic.

 
 

A Warm Welcome

This couple welcomed their guests to their ceremony with a unique display featuring an antique sleigh, complete with an “unplugged ceremony” sign, a water station, and card box.

Photo: Isora Lithgow Creations

The Heirloom Moment

There’s something magical about this painting that draws you in and makes you feel like you are there, watching the couple exchange vows. Undoubtedly, it will be a treasured heirloom for generations that will remind the couple of this sacred moment!

Painting: Hope Sharp Art

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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