Stowe, Vermont is overflowing with stunning wedding locations, but if you are looking for the perfect combination of luxury accommodations, delicious food and stunning views, look no further than Topnotch Resort. This is the location that Monique and Joe decided on for their summer Vermont wedding. After a year of patiently waiting through rescheduling, they shook the grounds with a wild danceparty.
The day started off with light rain, which made for picture perfect clouds over the Green Mountains. Monique, along with her sister, mother and close friends spent the morning laughing, reminiscing and getting ready for the day. The suite is laid out perfectly for bridal prep, with a brightly lit room for hair and makeup, a large living room big enough to fit a room full of bridesmaids, and a separate bedroom. Once the wedding dress went on, champagne was popped and the celebration was kicked into high gear.
Joe followed suit, with his brother helping make sure all the details were done. With his father lending a hand in the final touches, the guys headed out into the courtyard to stretch their legs prior to heading down to the ceremony site.
An emotional crowd watched as the two of them said their vows with a stunning backdrop of mountain views. Their entrance into the ceremony was full of high fives and cheers, and the toasts were heartfelt and had the entire room laughing and crying. The clouds turned into a wild orange sunset just long enough to sneak out for some portraits, then it was right back to the dance floor.
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With their full sized celebration put on hold until 2021, Emily(Nalini) & Josh decided to have an intimate lakeside ceremony followed by an amazing outdoor dinner complete with bistro lights, rustic wooden table and chairs, and a New England classic main dish of Lobster.
Nalini spent the morning with her maid of honor and mother relaxing at Church Landing. With a waterfront room, champagne and endless laughs, the day started off on a tone that set the day in a direction of relaxed fun and celebration. Since this was an intimate celebration with immediate family and the closest of friends, the quick pace and sometimes frantic moments of a large wedding were nowhere to be found. Moments such as ‘well I guess it’s time to put the dress on’ were the norm, and made for beautiful photographs.
Josh’s grandparents have a house in a quiet bay on Lake Winnipesaukee where the ceremony took place. Staying in tune with the relaxed feel of the day, the ceremony site was set up by close friends, and Josh finished getting dressed on the back patio overlooking the lake. Rain came in sheets for a few minutes, but cleared up into a stunning bluebird summer afternoon. A quick wipe down of the chairs and things were back in action. With a casual ‘cocktail hour’ after the ceremony with shrimp, champagne and delicious beer, Nalini & Josh took the boat for a cruise up to the reception location.
An outdoor first dance and parent dances were followed up by a classic New England classic; Lobster dinner. If you know New England, a ‘table cloth’ of brown paper is a staple for Lobster dinners. With a family style long table set in the back yard, surrounded with bistro lights and a path of candles, the ending of this day couldn’t have been better. Although not the original plan, Nalini & Josh turned what most would consider an enormous roadblock (a wedding in the time of covid) into one of the most beautiful, heartwarming and true-to-themselves days I have ever had the pleasure of photographing.
Cheers you two, thanks for a real good time! Stay tuned for the big celebration next year!!
To plan your wedding or elopement, click here
Sometimes life shakes up that proverbial snow globe without your permission. For Tara & Andrew that came in the form of COVID-19 forcing them to postpone their full wedding from 2020 to 2021. When the initial talks of postponing first started, there was the obvious disappointment in needing to wait a whole year for the celebration. Then the excitement got a whole new kickstart, why wait until 2021 to say ‘I DO?’ Tara had always daydreamed about having a mountain top elopement, and this was the excuse needed to turn it into reality.
The day started with a 6:30am meet in the trail head parking area for Zealand Pond trail. Splitting into 3 smaller groups to avoid any crowding on the trail, Tara, Andrew and guests headed into the woods. A few hours later we arrived at the cliff overlook, and had it all to ourselves. Having handy guests is key, and a ‘changing area’ a.k.a. strategically hung tarp was set up for the wardrobe change. Summer mornings and afternoons are a dice roll in the White Mountains. You can hike for hours only to be met with thick haze and or clouds interrupting your views. This was definitely not the case for Tara and Andrew! With one of the best views in the Whites as the backdrop for their ceremony, they exchanged heartfelt vows and stomped on the ceremonial glass to seal the celebration. Champagne, sandwiches and smiles filled the lookout with an energy that instantly put smiles on the faces of other hikers that came through.
Because she is a badass, Tara hiked the majority of the way down in her dress, bouquet in hand. To the shock and excitement of all the hikers heading up as we headed down, there was copious amounts of congratulations and smiles guiding us back to the parking lot.
A BBQ with corn on the cob, heart shaped burgers and coolers full of cold beers rounded off the dream elopement day.
All of the uncertainty that this global pandemic has caused in planning weddings, the one thing that stays true to course is the love that brings you and your loved ones together. Large weddings are amazing, but intimate celebrations can be just as memorable. Congratulations Tara & Andrew!!!
To plan your wedding or elopement, click here
Planning a wedding can feel like a full time job in an of itself. Toss a global pandemic into that equation and it might feel downright impossible to figure out. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your wedding, regardless of where it is or how many people are there, is all about the love and companionship of you and your partner.
For the safety of themselves and their guests, the majority of my couples have postponed their large event until 2021 either eloping or having an intimate ceremony this year.
If you are thinking about something similar, I’ve put together a list that will hopefully shed some light on the situation!
When facing the challenges imposed by the Coronavirus, an elopement is a simple and savvy solution. It allows you to still celebrate your love on your original wedding date, but with a much smaller guest count, or no guests at all!
For a State-By-State list of current guidelines view my other post HERE
Do I still reschedule my wedding day to next year?
Just because you decide to make it official this year, doesn’t mean your plans for a large celebration cannot happen the way you wanted! Most of my couples that are saying ‘I DO’ this year are still having their full wedding day next year. The large event still looks the same as before, but with a slight twist. The day looks EXACTLY the same! The one difference is the ceremony; vows are switched to expressing the feelings of your first year of marriage, what you are looking forward to in the coming years, and saying ‘I DO’ to the continuation of your love for each other.
From here on out, dances, speeches and a party go on as planned! (If you have further questions on how my couples are navigating this, contact me HERE)
Now, on to this years event!
Having a no-guest or limited guest ceremony can be incredibly special. After all, the vows you and your partner are making are about your love for each other. The number on the guest list does not change that. If you still want your initial guest list to witness this event, consider a videographer! There is a lot of discussion around live streaming ceremonies these days, but keep in mind the logistics behind this. Having a VERY strong internet/cell signal is key for this, and depending on your chosen location, this may not be possible.
Selecting a location that doesn’t require extensive travel might be easier than you think! Check with local parks, event spaces, or private AirBnbs in your area.
If you must have guests, limit it to a few loved ones
With all the anxiety around travel, your guests will most likely feel relieved about a postponement! Keeping an open line of communication is key.
If you feel that you must have guests present, keep the guest list as short as possible, and remember that keeping a safe distance (between 6 to 10 feet away) is recommended. Be thoughtful about who you choose: people with compromised immune systems and the elderly are at greater risk should they contract the coronavirus, so use the utmost consideration when selecting guests. If you do choose to invite guests to your day, be sure to have products like antibacterial hand sanitizer readily available for guests to use.
Having items like hand sanitizer or Custom Facemasks can be helpful to ease any anxiety.
The best thing you can do is educate yourself with everything we know so far. Continually checking in on the CDC guidelines and any updates they may have will keep you and those around you informed and educated on how you can best prevent yourself from the COVID-19 coronavirus.
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“The business of life is to acquire as many friends and memories as possible”
When it comes to the documenting you and your partner, my goal is to capture the REAL you. The belly laughs, the loving looks, and the quiet moments in between. These are the images that your next generations will look at and say, “They really were a couple of badasses, huh?” Its the genuine moments that make lasting memories, these are the moments I hope to record for you and your loved ones.
Andy Madea Photography is based in Vermont, and frequently travels across New England for weddings and elopements. To find out more about photography for your event, Contact Me Here