Planning this charming Vermont wedding was nothing short of thrilling; we had our fair share of inspiration and pivoting with plenty of room for creativity.
Bradley and Mallory called me to discuss their Vermont wedding in early July. They were planning a September wedding, with a ceremony ceremony held on the yoga deck platform at the summit of Stratton Mountain, overlooking the grand rolling chains of Vermont’s green mountains. Their reception, was originally set to be hosted at their in-laws summer home nearby. Their wish was to host a wedding beneath the stars, no tent, just freedom and celebration under the night sky.
Mallory, a fervent and spunky woman, was the most fun and exciting person I have met to date. She may only stand around 5 feet tall, but she packs a lot of punch! She lamented the difficulties she was having with finding a good florist, her deep desire to dance under the stars all night and gather her friends and family close. She made it known to me from the very beginning she had no interest decorating and that was just fine by me! Styling is certainly my favorite part. This Vermont wedding was going to be one of true joy, spontaneity, and meaningful connection.
Bradley, a tall teddy bear with gentle manner, he’s the kind of guy who can talk to anyone and is secretly the life of the party. Watching him care for Mallory during the wedding planning process was striking. I think it was his kindness, his anticipation of her needs, his love for all things antique, and the familiar spark all of us entrepreneurs have for the unknown was evident in him.
September approached and I was able to secure flowers from my favorite organic farm in Thetford, Vermont Cedar Circle. Mallory was relieved to remove that item from her to-do list and I was more than happy to take care of it for her. As the wedding date approached, I helped Bradley and Mallory source unique antique furniture for their wedding. Us wedding planners know where all the things are and who to get them from!
The week of the wedding arrived. Do you recall earlier when I said these two would be spontaneous? I knew I was right about that the moment they called to let me know their reception location would be changing, and I would arrive at a reception space site unseen to plan a dinner under the stars. I had to laugh because this decision was so like them. I packed preparing to create something at the moment for these two, embracing the unknown factor this wedding had to it. My only prayer was for the rain to be withheld from this Vermont wedding. I headed to Stratton Mountain to see what we could do.
Cedar Circle did not disappoint in their delivery of flowers. The description I provided the head florist was just enough for them to pack us buckets and buckets of deep purple Gladiolas and eucalyptus branches. I arrived to receive the florals and assess the site. A rusty basketball hoop attached to an old barn crowned the space where the head table would sit. Bradley, the free and motived spirit he is, was building the very farm tables we would use for dinner the following night. Our setting was a driveway, and the groomsmen had adorned the outline of our soon to be a reception with lights. At first look, you might’ve just seen a dirt driveway leading to an old farmhouse Air BnB. What I saw though was the foundation for a beautiful autumnal celebration. This Vermont wedding would be grand if I had to use my last breath to make it so.
Surprise! We did not pack vases for our flowers. Mallory expressed her disgust for the old basketball hoop. I saw opportunity. As the ladies left to prepare for rehearsal practice and dinner, I gathered flowers and began creating swags to serve as the centerpieces to each table. I found a ladder, and a once rusty basketball hoop became my frame for a floral chandelier.
On the morning of the wedding, I set to work to create more swags and add to the floral hoop. Bradley had enlisted the help of two friends to build the custom hexagonal arch atop of the mountain, I provided these friends with their materials and wished them well. I spent the following 8 hours styling the space with gold candelabras, white candles, gold utensils, and creating a lounge space. I set out baskets of eucalyptus, set up a bar space, and lit every candle.
The lovely venue coordinator of Stratton Mountain handled the ceremony flawlessly as I prepared to receive the buses of guests. Our cocktail hour string band trio arrived, and I set them up beside the bar. Just as the bus arrived, in true Vermont wedding fashion, the skies open and a torrential downpour commenced. Quickly, I ushered guests inside for an impromptu indoor cocktail hour. I ran to the custom guest book the couple had made and threw it under my dress to keep it dry! I welcomed guests, moved our trio indoors, and found private spaces for nursing mothers. When you work with a wedding planner, we can handle all of these little emergencies for you. While Mallory and Bradley were safe from the rain atop Stratton Mountain taking portraits, our team was making the decisions needed to keep this wedding afloat.
I and the catering team set to work. We replaced every wet candle, rummaged for every single available towel in the Air BnB, and dried everything off. Every fork, plate, seat, and even the dance floor was wiped dry. Within an hour, we had reset this entire reception space.
To our pleasure, a rainbow appeared. The stars did shine that night. The numerous strands of lights and fairy lights hidden in the bushes twinkled. Helpful guests lit tiny campfires for warmth, and the couple was granted their wish to dance under the stars. This Vermont wedding was everything you could imagine – fun, spontaneous, beautiful, emotional and connected.
Thank you Bradley and Mallory for allowing me to help you with this one. Big hugs to you and all my love!
Copyright 2020 Kay mae design
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