The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Surprise Proposal in Vermont

Are you considering popping the question in Vermont? You’re in luck; this post serves as our ultimate guide to planning a surprise proposal in Vermont. Who can resist a surprise proposal, especially when it’s one on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont? We’re excited to share Natalie and Brandy’s Lake Champlain proposal captured beautifully by Isora Lithgow Creations, with you all today, alongside our top planning tips.

In short: this guide is one to sail-e-brate! (Alright, we promise that’s the only pun!) Whether you are a local Vermonter or visiting from out of town, Vermont Weddings is here to help you plan an unforgettable surprise proposal in the Green Mountain State. 

The Story Behind the Serene, Surprise Proposal on Lake Champlain

When visiting Burlington for a recent day trip, Natalie and Brandy had a long list of things they wanted to do and see– one of which was a private sailboat ride on Lake Champlain through Sail Vermont. Little did Brandy know that one of the most exciting moments of her life was about to unfold!

The ingenuity behind Natalie’s surprise proposal took shape with a unique strategy: Vermont wedding photographer Isora Lithgow Creations assumed the guise of a Sail Vermont marketing team member. This innovative approach was pivotal in ensuring the proposal remained a complete surprise. Disguised under the pretext of capturing promotional content during the leisurely sail, Isora was perfectly positioned to photograph Natalie and Brandy’s special moment without hinting at the actual motive.

Needless to say, when Natalie got down on one knee Brandy was shocked! See the heart-warming images below, then continue reading for our top tips for planning your surprise proposal in Vermont.

Planning Your Surprise Vermont Proposal

Planning a surprise proposal can be both thrilling and, admittedly, a bit nerve-wracking! A proposal is a huge milestone in your relationship and a memory you and your partner will cherish forever. Since an even like this doesn’t happens very day, making sure the proposal is something your partner will want is important.To ensure it goes smoothly and becomes a moment both of you will cherish forever, consider the following points:

Know Your Partner’s Preferences: Make sure the proposal aligns with your partner’s personality and preferences. Would they appreciate a public proposal or something more intimate? Understanding what they would genuinely enjoy is crucial.

Privacy: Consider whether your partner would prefer a private moment just between the two of you or a grander gesture with friends and family nearby to celebrate immediately after. Respect your partner’s personality and preference for public or private moments.

The Setting: Choose a meaningful location. It could be the place where you had your first date, a dream destination like Vermont, or somewhere that resonates with your shared memories or dreams. The setting can significantly impact the ambiance of the proposal. We’re Vermonters, so of course we’re suckers for mountain top proposals after a hike, popped questions lakeside on Lake Champlain or Lake Willoughby, or something adventure filled during a ski run, sailboat ride, or after a bike ride. 

If you’re planning a proposal during a trip to Vermont, we highly recommend checking out Vermont’s state website for certain areas to explore, and ask your partner about certain activities or locations they may want to visit. (Then, you can use that information as you plan the element of surprise!) For actual proposal ideas, see proposal locations and ideas from real Vermont couples in the engagement section of our blog.

Capturing the Moment: Photography Tips and Tricks

Whether you’re working with a professional photographer or a trusted friend, the key elements when it comes to coordinating with a photographer are timing, communication, discretion, and having a flexible plan. A proposal is one of the few moments in life that is genuinely fleeting; capturing it can mean the world to you and your partner!

Start Early: Begin your search for a Vermont photographer at least 1-3 months in advance, or if you’re traveling –  as soon as you know you are going to pop the question during your trip to Vermont. This gives you enough time to research and select the right local photographer without feeling rushed. For family members or friends stepping into the photographer role, notify them as soon as possible to ensure they’re available.

Communication is Key: Share with the photographer details about your proposal plan – time, exact location, positioning, and a signal for the big moment (if needed!)  Use a messaging app for real-time updates on the day. If you’re visiting from out of state, a Vermont photographer can help provide their first-hand experience and expertise for these items.

Positioning: Decide beforehand where the photographer will hide. It should offer a clear view of the moment but also keep them sufficiently hidden. Think about using natural cover, like trees in a park, or urban elements, like parked cars or street corners, depending on the location. In Natalie and Brandy’s proposal above, they disguised their photographer, Isora, as a staff member of their sailboat ride. If you’re feeling creative in how elaborate you want to be, go for it!

A Back-Up Plan: 3 words- always have one! Vermont can be unpredictable, especially when it comes to weather! Additionally, crowded locations, running behind schedule, or other unforeseen circumstances might require a Plan B.  Discuss alternative locations or dates with your photographer and anyone else helping with the proposal to ensure everyone is organized and on the same page.

Making the Most of Your Vermont Visit

Vermont is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, including rolling green hills, vast forests, picturesque lakes, and stunning mountain backdrops! It would be a shame not to make the most of your visit, especially while celebrating such a monumental life event.

There is also truly not a bad time to visit our beautiful state either. Autumn brings spectacular foliage with vibrant colors, winter provides a snowy wonderland perfect for cozy nights in or out on the slopes, spring offers blooming flowers and lush greenery, and summer boasts warm weather, lush landscapes, and plenty of outdoor recreation.

For easy reference, here are some popular tourist destinations in Vermont, and their websites to assist you in your trip itinerary: 

You're Engaged! Now What?

First and foremost, this is a time to celebrate! Whether you choose to enjoy this special moment in private or share the excitement with your loved ones, it’s all about making the occasion memorable and reflective of your relationship. Here are some tips for celebrating right after the big question is popped:

Savor the Moment Together: Take time to bask in the joy and love of the moment. Share your feelings, and dreams for the future, and reflect on your journey together. This is a huge milestone! Amidst the excitement of sharing your news, make sure to stay present and soak in the joy, together.

Spread the News: In times when not everyone can be together physically, set up video calls to share the news with your family and friends! If friends or family are nearby, coordinate times to celebrate with them whether it be going out to dinner or a bigger celebration like an engagement party.

Remember, the most important thing is that the celebration reflects your unique bond and relationship. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate; it’s all about what makes you both happy and what you’ll remember fondly in the years to come.

Now it’s time to Plan: When you’re ready to officially start planning, we’ve got you covered there too! For couples looking for a robust planning resource from start to finish, we highly recommend getting The Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide which, includes 23 pages of advice and insights on topics you care about, like building a guest list, styling your bridal party, and tracking your budget. Plus you get access to the fully customizable Google spreadsheets. (Did you just breathe a little sigh of relief?!)

Your Next Read:

Looking for Pinterest-worthy real Vermont weddings to inspire your planning? Check out any of these posts.

Ready to assemble your wedding vendors, Avengers-style? View the best of the best wedding professionals Vermont has to offer in our Vendor Guide.

Want more wedding planning advice? Our blog is stacked with helpful tips!

An Intimate and Vibrant Wedding on the Shores of Lake Champlain

Today, we’re sharing the love story of  TJ and Tau, who tied the knot in an intimate ceremony at a private residence. The incredible day these two created goes to show that when every detail is crafted with purposeful intention and love, the resultant memories are ones no one will ever forget! Continue reading for all of the details and gorgeous images from Isora Lithgow Creations that beautifully capture TJ and Tau’s personalities, their love, and their commitment to each other.

Saying I Do with a View

The day started off with TJ and Tau getting ready together, side by side. The relaxing morning set the mood for the rest of their intimate and loving day. We love how, while different, the couple’s wedding style still has aspects that mirrored one and another. (Peep the matching heart converse sneakers!)

There was an undeniable whimsical feel to TJ and Tau’s wedding ceremony, not just from the vision they had in mind, but the location they had chosen to say their ‘I do’s’. Nothing says fairytale quite like tying the knot under the shade of a 200-year-old oak tree, with Lake Champlain glistening like an infinite mirror in the background.

As guests made their way to their seats, a live pianist played entry music. Tau walked down the aisle by their younger brother, and TJ walked down the aisle with their mother.

TJ and Tau each wrote their own vows and also asked friends to read excerpts from a book that holds meaning for both of them, called “The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran. There was not a dry eye in sight!

A Lakeside Love Story in Living Color

The predominant color scheme chosen for the celebration centered on terracotta and sage, prominently displayed in the couple’s custom-made signs, stylish table linens, and TJ’s remarkable cape. These enchanting hues seamlessly integrated with the awe-inspiring, uninterrupted vistas of Lake Champlain from the couple’s secluded residence. All of the flowers for the celebration came from SparrowHawk farm, a local Queer and woman owned flower farm in Charlotte, Vermont. While TJ’s bouquet was pre-arranged by the farmers, the table top bouquets and other florals were arranged by TJ, Tau and their close family and friends.

The wedding reception was also outdoors, held under a canopy of massive, towering trees. Strings of fairy lights adorned the trees and lit the area with a soft, magical glow. Harmony’s Kitchen, based out of Burlington, handled the catering, pleasing everyone’s taste buds! Another special highlight was the dessert – an exquisite cake crafted by Thistle and Honey Baking.

When it came time to dance, Tau and TJ had their first dance to the song “Real Peach” by Henry Jamison. The festivities were then ignited, beckoning guests to dance their way through the rest of the night.

To round out the evening’s celebrations, Tau, TJ, and their guests headed to a cozy beach bonfire, creating an intimate and friendly environment that perfectly embodied the events of the day. Congratulations TJ and Tau!

Capture Your Wedding Day With Photography By Isora Lithgow Creations

Isora Lithgow Creations is a BIPOC, Queer, woman-owned wedding and branding photography business passionate about capturing the essence of joy, fun, and vibrancy in every moment! I offer a unique blend of naturally posed and candid shots that capture my couples’ authentic personalities and relationships. Your wedding isn’t just about a day, it’s about a lifetime together. When you look through your timeless and vibrant wedding photo galleries, you’ll relive the details of your special day through keepsakes you’ll cherish forever.

Vendors:

Photographer: Isora Lithgow Creations, Florals: Sparrowhawk Farm, Rings/Wedding bands: Automic Gold, Caterer: Harmony’s Kitchen, Cake: Thistle and Honey Baking.

Your Next Read:

Looking for another wedding with unique and colorful touches? Check out this Waterbury, Vermont wedding at Zen Barn.

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

Best of 2023: Rain

2023 may go down in history as the year that redefined the phrase ‘raining on your parade’, literally. It was the wettest wedding season in Vermont we’ve ever seen – and yet, love was never dampened! Instead, couples and wedding vendors alike found new ways to turn downpours and misty skies into memorable moments.

Whether it was adapting photoshoots, rethinking venue locations or ensuring all guests had umbrellas, the 2023 wedding season was a time where love thrived no matter the forecast and today we’re sharing our favorites with you.

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. 

A Shower of Love

This couple’s special moment of alone time was made that much more romantic with moody skies and some rain!
 
Photo: Wood and Ether

Maid of Honor To The Rescue

To say this wedding was a complete washout would be an accurate statement! The bride and groom walked out to the ceremony site in 3 inches of standing water (all while it was still coming down!)  However, fear not – the Maid of Honor gets “MVP” for holding the umbrella for the bride during the ceremony, not giving a care in the world that she was getting drenched!
 

Waddle This Way

Pictured: a bride running out of the rain, but the best part? In the background, a delightful group of ducks waddling cheerfully under the soft, gentle drizzle.
 

Under The Same Umbrella

Nothing is sweeter than cozying up next to your partner! We love this snap of brides taking a moment for themselves on their wedding day.
 
Photo: Andy Madea Photography
Venue: Sterling Ridge Resort

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

Colorful Cuddles

A rainy morning transformed into a delightful afternoon, with the cherry on top being a spectacular rainbow arching across the sky! 
 
Photo:  Moho Photo

Moody and Magical

When a passing rainstorm leaves some of Vermont’s most iconic mountain views socked in, you make the best of it by finding the most dramatic clouds and go in for the kiss!
 

A Downpour of Joy

Despite the drizzling rain, joy was the only thing that showered this beautiful couple! We can’t help but smile when looking at these brides their laughter and love for each other is contagious.
 

Somewhere Under The Rainbow

Two words: epic rainbow! This moment captured  by Juniper Studios is like something straight out of a movie.
 
 

Relish The Rain

Rainy skies, a spot light and clear umbrellas make for a winning combination! We love this couple embracing the weather on their wedding day!
 

Love Is An Umbrella For When It Rains

This couple wasn’t going to let a little rain stop them from holding their ceremony outdoors.  The couple’s wedding planner, K Kerkorian Events, along with their venue, Basin Harbor, supplied everyone with umbrellas and made it happen!
 
Venue: Basin Harbor

Lake Champlain Love

These newlyweds chose a secluded pier off of Lake Champlain to capture this beautiful and misty moment!
 

Magical Mist

Despite the rain falling around them, this radiant couple shared a cinematic-worthy smooch! 
 
Florals & Venue: Farmhouse Flowers

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts

As you start to prepare for your own wedding, make sure to include clear umbrellas on your list! Not only do they keep you dry, but still let light in to create absolutely gorgeous and artistic photos, like this one!
 

Covered in Love

When the forecast called for rain, this couple moved their lakeside celebration at Grand Isle Lake House  up to the venue’s cozy wrap around porch for an even more intimate day!
 
Catering: Let’s Pretend Catering

Meet Me In The Rain

A sweet kiss captured in black and white. So dreamy and timeless!
 

Readers Choice Awards

Now that you’ve seen our picks for the best Vermont rain moments 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: 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: Wedding Style

Today, we’re diving into a category that’s all about self-expression and personal flair: Wedding Style! It’s not just about the dress or the suit; it’s the full ensemble of attire, hair, makeup, and the overarching vision that brings a wedding to life. 

From sweeping trains boho chic boots, this category celebrates the unique choices that make a wedding genuinely reflective of the couple’s personality and love story. It’s where fashion meets passion!

Prepare to be inspired by the creativity and personal touch each couple brought to their big day.

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. 

Dazzling Duo

This bride wowed us with her dual looks. The first: golden and glowing, with traditional Indian jewelry and dress. The second: casual elegance with loose locks and a stunning off the shoulder gown. 
 
Makeup Artist: Hopcraft Collective
Photo: Liz Andolina Photography
 
 

A Vision in a Veil 

A sweeping veil paired with stunning sleeves adorned with intricate lace creates a harmonious blend of contemporary and classic. It’s absolutely gorgeous! 
 
Photo: Sarah Surette Photography

Lovely on the Lake

Envisioning an Italian getaway at Lake Como, this bride brought her dream to Vermont’s shores! Her classic sweetheart dress with a dramatic train is the perfect look for this elegant lakeside wedding.
 
Photo: Amanda Young 

A Sunny Start

Adorable, custom pearl sunnies added a playful touch to this bride’s look and became a memorable prop, circulating among guests to create a fun TikTok!
 

Cool & Chic

With a seafoam green suit for him, a gorgeous low-back dress for her, and a vintage car serving as a backdrop, this couple’s style is effortlessly cool.
 

Radiant & Romantic

This bride’s natural beauty shines through with a refined updo and glowing makeup. It’s simple and stunning; perfect for a Vermont wedding day!
 
Photo: Idena Beach Photography

Hey Shortie

Rocking a short satin dress with a dramatic bow and matching bowed heels, this bride’s outfit is playful, chic and oh-so-fun!
 

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.
 

Dragon Dance Delight

This couple wanted to incorporate traditional Chinese elements in their wedding, including this enchanting Chinese dragon dance performed by some of their talented guests.
 
Videographer: Todd Stoilov
 

Boho Beauty

From macrame dream catchers to the colorful bouquet; the off-the-shoulder lace gown to the a white cowboy hat and boots, this couple’s boho style is goals.
 

Flannel Forever

Does anything say “Vermont style” quite like flannel? These brides rocked matching Vermont Flannel shirts while getting ready for their wedding morning. 
 
Photo: Andy Madea Photography
 

Elegant and Classic

This couple is the picture of elegance. From the luxurious white floral ceremony arch to their classic black and white attire, the overall effect is elegance at its finest. 

Photo: Jackie Fox
 

Adventurous Sole

Perfect for this trail-blazing couple, these hiking boots and socks are the ultimate under-the-dress accessory for the ultimate adventure!
 

Rainbow of Love

A vibrant rainbow of bridesmaids dresses add to the celebratory nature of this vibrant wedding.
 
 
 

Party Pizzazz

Sequins, feathers, hats, and all – this couple is dressed to the nines and ready to revel on the dance floor!

Photo: Ben Hudson Photography

Readers Choice Awards

Now that you’ve seen our picks for the best Vermont wedding style 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 2022: Vermont Elopements & Microweddings

For couples who want to celebrate on their own terms, Vermont elopements are an excellent option. While we swoon for weddings of all sizes, elopements and microweddings offer couples a few unique benefits that we go giddy over (rounded up here for your consideration).

Our Editorial Picks for Vermont Elopements and Microweddings

It’s truly impossible to choose a “best” in this category, but we rounded up a few of our favorite, intimate celebrations from the year. Check out our editorial picks for the best Vermont elopements and mciroweddings of 2022, and check out your favorite in our Readers Choice Awards below!

Serenity on Champlain

This couple’s elopement at Shelburne Farms features the scenic shores of Lake Champlain…can you picture a more dreamy, serene backdrop? The landscape adds to the romantic feeling that these two lovebirds are the only ones in the world.

Photo: Allison Macy Photography

Autumn Elegance

This couple’s microwedding at a private residence in Stowe was nothing short of a romance novel. Think: sweeping mountain views, an emotional first look, thoughtful vows…and tight knit families to witness it all. Dreamy!
 
Wedding Film: Beyond Bliss Films

Lakeside Love

This couple got married in front of their family and closest friends on the dock at the bride’s family lake house, with her brother officiating. What an amazing memory to add to an already beloved family home!
 

Vows with a View

This stylish couple traveled all the way from Texas to elope in Vermont with their dog! They were down for exploring and the result is stunning: swimming holes and lush forest trees make for an amazing, uniquely Vermont backdrop for their portraits.

Photo: Kate Seymour Photography

A-Frame Amazing

This micro-wedding held at Sterling Ridge Resort‘s iconic A Frame home is quintessential Vermont! It feels both cozy (we love the use of the porch for the ceremony) and elegant (the ceremony decor is perfectly boho-chic). In a word: A-mazing.

Photo: Markella Kyprios Photography

Romantic Retreat

This couple prioritized quality time together for their wedding celebration, so an elopement was a natural choice! They planned an intentional, romantic summer elopement at Twin Farms followed by an intimate dinner and wine tasting. How romantic!
 

The Family Embrace

Try looking at this photo without completely melting into a puddle! After the couple tied the knot, the newly blended family of six shared this sweet hug as they celebrated their next chapter together. 

Photo: Blooming Photo Company

The Surprise Wedding

What’s better than an engagement party? A surprise wedding! This adventurous couple successfully pulled off a surprise microwedding for their closest loved ones. this is such a fun, unique celebration!

Photo: Photos by Kintz

Colorful Celebration

This couple planned a stunning. colorful elopement celebration. Vermont’s mountains set a scenic backdrop for their beautiful vow exchange. This couple did an amazing job of honoring important family traditions and celebrating on their own terms – inspiration for weddings of all sizes!

Photo: Isora Lithgow Creations

Al Fresco Dinner Party

This outdoor dinner party is one we’d love to attend! The table set under the trees adorned with twinkle lights, the bride serving up champagne, the table ready with loved ones… it’s casually elegant, and oh-so-fun.

Photo: Hannah Photography

Falling in Love

The couple knew they wanted to get married on the shores of Lake Champlain this past October, and their team brought their dream to life. Weddings by Janet Dunn oversaw their early morning elopement ceremony on a very private section of lake in Shelburne. The calm blue waters and the changing foliage make for a lovely backdrop for their special moment. 
 

Cold Hands, Warm Hearts

This couple braved single digit temps for their winter elopement! Their winter fashion is 10/10 (peep the bride’s tights and boots!) and the blizzard backdrop is lends a romantic, snowglobe quality to their portraits.
 
Photo: Juniper Studios

Feeling the Spark

This couple stole away for a quiet moment under the twinkling lights during their intimate celebration. With a little help of the shutter speed, the couple’s magical moment looks even more fairytale-esque!
 
Photo: Margaret Michael Photography
 
 

Boho Beautiful (Readers Choice Awards Winner)

This couple’s microwedding at Sugarbush Resort featured a stunning macrame backdrop for their ceremony, lush pampas grass details, and a gorgeous moody color palette that perfectly matched the natural autumnal landscape. So many beautiful boho details for this intimate celebration!
 
Photo: Rae Ann Photo LLC

On Top of the World

We imagine this couple’s portrait by is what floating amongst the clouds would feel like! This couple eloped on top of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s tallest peak, and took some lovely, epic portraits! (Just look at that dress sweep!)
 
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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 2022: Wedding Style

This year like never before, couples slayed their wedding photos in style. From elegant, timeless looks to one of a kind outfits, Vermont couples came dressed to impress!

Check out the style inspiration below in our editor’s picks for Best of 2022 Style, and scroll to see who you voted for your Readers Choice Awards pick! 

In Vogue

This unbelievably chic couple looks like they stepped out of the pages of Vogue. Jennifer Perellie created a sophisticated look for the bride that complimented their unique elopement style perfectly.

Photo: Illume by Paul Reynolds

Timeless Beauties

This couple’s style is as elegant as it is timeless! His black tux, from McNeil and Reedy and her embellished gown from Fiori Bridal, are stunning choices for their wedding at The Essex. (And if the arbor by Tipsy Tulip Designs looks familiar, it’s because it was a pick for the best florals of 2022!) 

Photo: Amy Demos Photography

The Two for One 

Just look at the ruffles on her skirt – how can you help but soon?! This Veilmonté Bridal Showroom gown had a surprise though; not only was it perfect for a romantic ceremony but the skirt detached revealing a sleak, ready-to-dance reception dress. Amazing. 

Black Beauty

This bride was determined to show off her darker style in her wedding attire, and she nailed it! Her black lace top and dip dyed skirt combo are stunning. (She even painted her nails black to match!) 

Photo: Madison Anne Studio

Shades of Green

Jaclyn Watson planned this stunning wedding which featured shades of green from the wedding party to the decor. This bridal party totally nailed the mismatched look with their coordinated green dresses. I especially love how their bouquets kept in the same green and white palette, perfectly complimenting the style. 

Photo: Kelsey Regan Photography

Classy and Classic

I love this timeliness look by Fawn MUA! The subtle makeup and lush lashes compliment her traditional gown and beaded veil perfectly. Perfection.

Photo: Rob Springs Photography

The Winter Wow

This is what happens when your wedding party not understands the assignment but completely rocks it. From the goggles to the boots to the fur shawls, this wedding party has the après party look locked down!

Photo: Juniper Studios

Black and White Beauties (Readers Choice Awards)

The bride’s beaded black suit is truly unlike anything I’ve seen before; I’m obsessed! Add to that her beloved in a stunningly elegant white gown and the wildly lush bouquets by M’s Wedding Flowers and I’m rendered speechless. Their entire look is a showstopper! 

Photo: Colette Kulig Photography

The Cape Sweep

This glamorous couple works in theatre, so it came to no surprise to planner Odyssey Events that they understood drama! The bridal cape adds an unparalleled sense of drama and elegance to their classic look.

Photo: Savannah Brown

Wild and Wonderful

Photographer Hallie Jade got married this year at Wild Sugar, the venue her and husband own and maintain. I love their colorful style – from her veil to their wedding party…it’s a little wild, and totally wonderful. 

Photo: Jessica Dantowitz (Miranda Photo Co., second shooter)

Modern Love

I love the contrast between the clean, modern lines of the space (how cool is that metal arbor?) with the lush, colorful flowers by Yanique Events. Designed by Ehmann Events, this look is so fresh and lovely! 

Photo: Isora Lithgow Creations

Radiant in Red

The bride wore a stunning red sari for her Sikh marriage ceremony, known as the ‘Anand Karaj’, meaning blissful union.  This grand, multi-day event was planned by NJoy Weddings & Events. From the rich colors to her sparkling jewels to her natural excitement, this bride is positively radiant! 
 
Photo: Virdee Films 

The Getaway Look

I love this bride’s feathered jacket for the most perfect getaway outfit! It adds a touch of whimsy and elegance to their sparkler exit.

Photo: Idena Beach Photography

French Fête

This couple’s celebration was inspired by classic French culture (they even shared their first dance to a classic French song!). The bride wore an off the shoulder gown, and the groom wore a white tux jacket. The elegant style was mirrored by their decor, including the lush florals by Anaphora Flowers. Each detail provided the perfect ambience for their intimate fête.
 

Nailing It

I love this close up shot of the bride’s bedazzled nails. The design is fun and glitzy, and the neutral color palette keeps it sophisticated. Hands down, a great look! 

Photo: Jess Rene Photo

Dark and Dreamy  

This couple embraced their dark side with a color palette that was both dreamy and dramatic! It’s a great choice for their emotional fall wedding (just try to watch their vows without crying). 
 
 
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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

Indoor Engagement Session Ideas

Have you considered an indoor engagement session? These are amazing and often overlooked! As the weather turns colder in Vermont, this is especially a great idea to consider for your winter engagement photos.

Two of the biggest benefits of indoor engagement photos are that they are unique and not weather dependent.

While I love a Vermont scenic engagement shoot, your personality can really shine with your indoor location choice! Plus, an indoor shoot gives you more options for when you schedule your photos because you don’t have to worry about the weather. 

Convinced? Here are some of my favorite indoor engagement ideas from Vermont photographers.

Jess Rene

A Brewery, Wine Shop, Bar, or Coffee Shop

Head to your favorite brewery and cheers to saying “I do” over a brew or two! (Also, holding your mug is a great way to show off that new ring!) Plus, the industrial vibe is a great backdrop for your photos. Beer isn’t your thing? What about a wine bar or coffee shop? 

Think about places that are meaningful to both of you as a couple. Years from now you can look back on these photos and remember all the times you spent there together! 

VT coffee shop engagement photo
Moho Photo
fancy bar indoor engagement session idea
Kelsey Regan Photography
winter brewery engagement session
Kelsey Regan Photography
brewery engagement session ideas in the winter
Kelsey Regan Photography

Greenhouse for an Indoor Engagement Session

This is one of my favorite ideas! If you were dreaming of an outdoor shoot but the it didn’t work out, a greenhouse can give you that feeling without worrying about the weather. As a bonus, I’d pick out a new plant to bring home and grow to remember your shoot!

greenhouse indoor engagement session idea
Isora Lithgow Creations
greenhouse indoor engagement session idea
Isora Lithgow Creations

Indoor Engagement Session at the Arcade

If posed engagement photos aren’t your thing – head to the arcade! You can your partner can play around and just hang out together while getting some awesome photos. This is a great indoor engagement session idea for the any time of year. 

This has been one of our most popular engagement blog posts to date at The Archives Bar.

indoor engagement session ideas
MoHo Photo
Couple playing arcade games during engagement photoshoot in Vermont
Moho Photo

Library or Bookshop

There’s something extra cozy and romantic about this idea! If you are both bookworms this is the perfect way to spend an afternoon while taking some unique photos. Stroll through an adorable downtown and roam in and out of bookshops and libraries. 

library engagement session idea
Kelsey Regan Photography
bookshop engagement session
MoHo Photo
Jess Rene Photography

Record Store for Your Indoor Engagement Session

Love music? Visit a record shop together – maybe you’ll find inspiration for your first dance song! 

record shop engagement session idea
Keith MacDonald

Your Home

I think couples often overlook their own space for their photos! Taking indoor engagement session photos in your own space has a lot of advantages.

First, you’ll be comfortable, and have access to your stuff to do activities you love like play guitar, make food in your kitchen, or mix up a drink. It’s also good way to include your pets (and then have put in another room if needed, without the help of another person).

Also, I think it’s really special to have part of your actual, daily life captured by a professional.

engagement photos taken inside of your home
Kelsey Regan Photography
Jess Rene Photos
Jess Rene Photos
Jess Rene
Jess Rene

A Hotel Lounge or AirBnB

Make your engagement session a weekend away! Hotel lobbies and lounges can be stunning, and make for a great backdrop. You can also book a beautiful Airbnb for the weekend. This will be a fun weekend away and you get to make use of a beautiful interior. 

indoor engagement session at an airbnb
Jenna Brisson
unique engagement photo ideas for Vermont couples
Jenna Brisson

Plan Ahead

If you want to take your pictures at a local business, it’s a good idea to call ahead and ask the manager if it’s okay beforehand. I’d say something like: My partner and I love [business name] so much, we’d love to take our engagement pictures on site! Is that something you allow? When would be a good time for you? 

Going at a slower time will be less stressful for everyone; you can take your time taking photos without worrying about inconveniencing the business or random other patrons jumping into your shot. Depending on the location and their availability, they may even be able to open to you before/after hours so you can have the place to yourself! 

And be sure to leave a tip to show your appreciation!

What do you think? Where would you plan an indoor engagement photo shoot?

Your Next Read:

Looking for more Vermont engagement sessions? Read more here