This darling summertime wedding from Amy Donohue was held on the couple’s own gorgeous property in Vermont. They even said their vows on the same mountainside where the groom had proposed five months earlier. Plus, they gave favors of maple syrup, which had been made right there on the property! (And on a personal note, I love that they included a slightly unconventional ceremony reading from one of my all-time favorite books, Phillip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass.)
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? At our rehearsal dinner, Bridget wore her grandmother’s necklace and Tyler wore the tie of his dear friend Michael. On our wedding day, Bridget wore her mother’s sapphire earrings as something borrowed and blue. Tyler carried his late maternal grandfather’s career service pin from the National Park Service. We also gave monographed Irish handkerchiefs to our parents with the instructions to only use it for tears of joy. During the father of the bride dance, Bridget’s dad said he had already had multiple occasions to use it!
Bridget & Tyler had their pick of lovely locations on the property to do their first look, and chose this sweet wooden bridge over a little stream!
What was your ceremony music? A quartet from the Vermont Symphony Orchestra played the following:
Parents’ Processional: All You Need Is Love, The Beatles / Bridal Processional: Concerning Hobbits, Howard Shore and Stolen Kiss from Lord of the Dance / Recessional: Calliope Jig (traditional Irish jig) and Slip into Spring from Riverdance
(The bride did Irish step-dancing as a child so that influenced our choices!)
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We were married at the top of Crow’s Field, and exchanged our vows in exactly the same spot as where Tyler had proposed five months earlier (although, the weather in January when he proposed at the top of a mountain was very different than in June!) We held the ceremony at 6pm, to enjoy the summer evening’s golden hour.
Your ceremony in three words. Personal, joyful, grateful.
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her?
Our best friend Christian Buss. Christian was Tyler’s RA in college, and became one of Bridget’s closest friends when the three of us lived together in New York. It was actually during our time living together that Tyler and Bridget decided Christian would have to be the one to marry them.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? Shortly after our engagement, we sat down with our officiant and best friend Christian Buss. Christian had gotten married a year earlier, and we asked him about what he found to be important in planning his own wedding. After that, we sat down one afternoon at our favorite coffeeshop El Beit and just talked through the music we wanted to hear as we got to the top of the hill, what types of readings were important to include and who we wanted to read them, and what we wanted to say to each other, and to our guests. Months later, just before the wedding, I read Tyler my vows at the same coffeeshop.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? One of our vows came from a traditional Irish vow.
What were your ceremony readings?
A Blessing for the Journey – Buddhist Prayer by Sensei Wendy Egyoku Nabao (read by friend Brittany Gardner)
A Time to Laugh by Sister Joan Chittister (read by friend Tait Foster)
Selection from The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (read by friend Mike Newman)
A moment of remembrance for departed family members (spoken by bride’s Aunt Jane)
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? The expression on each other’s faces. Reading the vows we had written to each other. The feeling of when we put the rings on each other’s fingers.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Don’t over think each decision. There are so many choices in planning a wedding that you could get overwhelmed by the options. We had a short engagement, but even so when you find an option you agree on – be it a vendor, location, or entree – go ahead and do it. Oh, and Bridget liked getting her dress made, because that way it will be exactly what you want for the same cost!
Bridget had one extra piece of advice for couples in the midst of planning that we really love: “Decide right away that you are going to do as a couple and what you are doing to make other people happy.”
How would you describe your reception? Held during the magic hour, we had incredible food (all of which was eaten), and everyone had super high energy. We kept speeches and reception traditions to a minimum to maximize the parts we enjoy i.e. the eating, visiting and dancing. We wanted to celebrate, not talk about celebrating!
How did you go about planning your reception? Our engagement was only five months long, because we had already been together for six years, and had been talking about our ideal wedding for some time. Of course, we were very lucky to have the flexibility to be married on the farm as soon as possible. Bridget’s mother’s help was invaluable in the beginning stages of planning. She quickly researched florists and bakers in the Woodstock area, and found ideal people for both – Birds of a Flower and A to Z Cakes. Tyler’s sister, Charanie, browsed caterers and found our perfect match – The Nomadic Chef.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We tried to picture the most fun party, while still communicating to our loved ones what our commitment means to us. We wanted everyone to feel relaxed and comfortable; we wanted it to feel easy and really, really fun for everyone!
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? Yes, thanks to our friends! A friend of mine, Maggie McGowan, did my hair and makeup. And our friends came early and arranged all our flowers for the rehearsal and the reception.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Our main cake was three-tier gluten free, fondant, fancy cake. We also served a groom’s cake that was a two-tier chocolate cake, and 120 whoopie pies including blueberry cake with maple filling and banana cake with peanut butter buttercream.
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance? Bride-Groom Entrance: You Can Call Me Al, Paul Simon / Bride-Groom First Dance: In My Life, The Beatles / Mother-Groom Dance: Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole / Father-Bride Dance: Across the Bridge Where Angels Dwell, Van Morrison
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Do the cake cutting earlier and more central to the dancing! We didn’t want to leave the dance floor!
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? All of it. From the first song the dance floor was full and the DJ even played an extra 30 min because everyone was having such a great time!