venue & catering: The Hawk Inn and Mountain Resort, Plymouth VT
flowers: Vermont Country Flowers, Springfield VT
music: Nick Stryker, Top Hat Entertainment, South Burlington VT
cake: Slice of Life, Bridgewater VT
guitar: Dayve Huckett
signage: Emily’s Dad!
I will remember this wedding for quite some time. First, Sean and Emily are such a warm, wonderful couple that they’re hard to forget. You may remember their eshoot from last winter, taken on one of the most frigid December days. It was sooo much fun… proving again that all you need to bring to a shoot is your happiness to make it awesome.
There’s another reason Sean and Emily’s wedding was memorable and that would be thanks to Tropical Storm Irene. Their wedding was not -thankfully- the same weekend that the floods hit, but three weeks afterwards. However, the Hawk Inn and Mountain Resort was hit. HARD. Their wedding meadow…utterly gone. The Inn’s bottom floor flooded. The quaint iron bridge that carried couples over the normally tame river was swept away. Sean and Emily were given the news and a choice.
I know this story happened to many other couples with planned Southern Vermont weddings this fall. I can’t imagine what that must feel like after the months of planning. Weddings take a lot to coordinate. Sean and Emily probably felt their stomachs drop after they got that call.
The pair traveled…as soon as Vermont roads would allow them… to the Hawk to assess the situation. They chose to go forward with their plans, although it wasn’t quite the dream wedding they had originally planned. But then, like so many of the stories of Vermonter resilience and determination, the Hawk created a new dream wedding for Sean and Emily. The ceremony was moved to an alternate field, the reception tent was relocated and the Hawk staff work tirelessly to bring the Inn’s grounds back to shape. Sean and Emily’s wedding was the first there after the storm…all the other couples had postponed or canceled. Maybe it was in part the heartfelt thanks in the air from the family and guests but I think the result was a wedding even more spectacular than it originally would have been.
The first part of the day was a bit of a nail biter for me thanks to the storm too. Even allowing for ample travel time I wasn’t 100% sure how I was going to get there. So many roads had been closed but many were rumored to be opening. There was no way to be sure what routes would work. Fortunately I was able to make my way down Route 100 but it was an eery drive…the area looked like a war zone and I was the only traveler on the road. I was majorly relieved when I finally pulled into the Hawk. It was like a happy little oasis.
So with renewed spirit, I began to shoot. I was greeted first by a handmade sign directing foot traffic. The boomerang at the top was a personal touch…the couple met abroad in Australia.
My first stop was the groom’s room were he and the groomsmen were getting ready. Correction: they WERE ready. I was a little surprised because it was still early but my guess was that underneath it all a little bit of anxious nerves were at play.
Nerves? Maybe a quick drink to settle them.
I was there in time to catch Sean giving the groomsmen gifts. It was a really important moment for him to individually thank each and every person there. As an employee at Saucony, he gave each guy a custom pair of shoes. Not bad!
Sean took a minute to hand model the rings for me.
One last check.
The bride and her ladies were having a pretty good time downstairs. Debbie from Vermont Country Flowers had just arrived with the beautiful bouquets.
The colors were so romantic. And Emily attached a handwritten note to each vase to express her appreciation for each attendant.
…happily waiting to get dressed.
I love the personalized hangers!
So many buttons!
An approving hug from Dad.
On to the big moment. This was the new ceremony site. So sunny and pretty. Thank you too weather gods for blessing us with a fantastic day.
More flowers in those great colors.
Sean had great expressions (and maybe a few tears) as Emily approached.
Emily’s walk was amazing. She and her Dad rose into view from this hill and had a nice long walk together.
One of my favorites.
Another favorite. A sweet nuzzle.
Right next to the ceremony site was a fabulous tree-lined hill, perfect for the group shots.
And then I was able to take a walk down a winding road with just the couple. I think they enjoyed the time together…
Chauffeured back to the the Inn by golf cart!
We still had time so they decided to kick up their heels for a bit.
The Australian touch carried over into the reception with boomerang place cards. Awesome!
The tent was so elegant. Lanterns, birch branches, lots of white and accents of pale greens, plum and lavender.
The couple had an enthusiastic entrance.
It was a very sweet first dance. These were favorites too.
Teary eyes were aplenty during the parent dances.
You can always tell a lot about a couple by the toasts. You could tell that Sean and Emily are very loved by friends and family.
The rest of the night rocked. That was due in part to Nick from Top Hat Entertainment. And I love it when seemingly reserved grooms end up having slick moves on the dance floor.
Someone’s pair of shades circulated the dance floor.
The night only got more fun. I had such a great time. Sean’s grandmother didn’t don the sunglasses, but she did show off her own moves.
At one point during the night something happened and the Hawk crew had to bring out a ladder for a quick fix. I took advantage of the moment and thereafter was dubbed the “opportunist”. It’s always nice to get a new view!
The night was perfect. I think had the storm news not been shared, no one would have known that this wedding day was an “alternative” plan. It was stunning. It was elegant and intimate and beautiful. I’m so happy for Sean and Emily who deserved this wonderful day. And we were all so thankful for the folks at the Hawk and all the other vendors who pulled through to make the day so special.