Sarah and Patrick’s Woodstock Vermont Destination Wedding

Last year I traveled to a destination wedding in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This year, almost one year to the date, I traveled to Woodstock, Vermont to photograph the wedding of Sarah and Patrick.

Sarah (my album designer) and Patrick are beloved friends. They say you should never work for family or friends, but I was honored when asked to photograph their wedding. Sarah sees the work of countless photographers and Patrick is very detail oriented. They do their homework. I’ve been all over the United States, but have never traveled to the Northeast corner. This was a trip I was looking forward to all summer. I was not disappointed.

Vermont is draped in history. There are buildings that date to the beginning of our country. My head was swimming with nostalgia and awe. The natural beauty reminded me of Washington and Missouri, both places I’ve spent a great deal of time. Rich, vibrant greens with rolling hills of leafy trees. Red barns, granite curbs and people with Northeastern accents. I was as far from Washington as you could get.

What I enjoy most about destination weddings is immersing myself into the story of the wedding. The stormy backyard rehearsal dinner, where we all silently prayed the weather would clear, if only for an hour, on wedding day to becoming a part of the intimate core of family and friends celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Sarah’s parents hosted the celebration at their property. Sarah’s mom is an avid gardener and her touch was evident in every detail. Sarah’s father is an amazing craftsman and I dubbed him Marty Stewart. He grumbled a bit, but he knew I meant it as the highest compliment. From the barn he built by hand with blueprints in his head to the marshmallow sticks for the after wedding bonfire, his skill and handiwork were readily apparent. As a wedding gift, Sarah’s father built a table using pieces of wood that have been in the family for generations. The craftsmanship was astonishing.

Patrick’s family all traveled from Portland. In fact, we were all on the same flight to New York, a wedding entourage. They were walking around with cameras in hand and I kept running into them every morning at breakfast. Woodstock is definitely a small town. Patrick’s sister turned me on to ChaCha. Text any question to 242242 (ChaCha) and you get an answer. You can even ask them for jokes. We spent the entire weekend trying to stump ChaCha. From asking why the curbs were made of granite to whether the weather would be nice for the wedding. Good times!

I have so many wonderful memories of this trip that will always bring a smile to my face. I will definitely visit Vermont again with my family, especially since Sarah and Patrick are moving there in October! Thank God for the internet as I’d hate to lose the best album designer I’ve ever known. I will miss Sarah and Patrick immensely, but I know they’ll miss the Portland brews even more.

Congratulations to both families. Thank you for welcoming me into your home and hearts— for making me feel like a part of your family. A stranger, tagging along to document the coming together of two families. Sarah and Patrick—best wishes for a lifetime of happiness and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Blessings and Peace!

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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Sarah

    Randy…where do I even begin!?

    We are so honored and grateful that you took on the adventure of photographing our wedding. Your images are — as usual — amazing. Your artistry is evident, not only in the photographs you took, but in the processing and presentation of the images as well — you truly captured what it FELT like to be there and that is a gift beyond measure.

    Thank you for becoming a part of our family — from teasing my grandmother, talking shop with my dad, to tearing up when you saw me in my dress – I can’t imagine our day without you, or your photographs.

    Okay, enough of the mush!

    From the bottom of my heart – thank you. 🙂

  2. Tammy

    As I’ve said a few times this past week, you really knocked this one out of the park…simply amazing!

    It’s really the work of a true artist who can make one feel like they were there when they weren’t. Every time I see these images, I felt as if I had been a part of the festivities.

    I don’t know how you do what you do, but I’m very proud of you! You still move me with your photography. 🙂

  3. Sarah Bad

    Randy you did such a wonderful job on all the photographs!!!

    It was so nice to meet you and even more fun to learn all the ways of ChaCha together! (I actually used it today to get the weather.) You have such a great eye and we will enjoy your photographs for years to come!

  4. Randy

    Thanks Sarah, Sarah and Tammy! 🙂

  5. Gary Canazzi

    Randy it’s apparent that you shoot from your heart on all your weddings, but I think you maybe had a little more to give on this one. Just looking at the (brief) slideshow I get quite a feel for the day. Masterfully done!

    I’ll be sad to see Sara move out of the area too. She has been an immense help to me. Looks like I’ll have to Fed-Ex my files to her now instead of just dropping them off at her doorstep.

  6. Gill

    Great work as always. Great colours, too, very different to the grey skies we mostly get here LOL

  7. Mark and Karyn

    Hi Randy…I’m one of Sarah’s aunts that was not able to make it to her wedding.

    Wow! Your slideshow takes me there anyway. What an amazing thing for Sarah and Patrick to have forever to look back on. Your other pictures were awesome too. I’m sorry that words can’t convey how beautiful we think your images are of them, but my husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed savoring your work today. Thanks so much for helping us to catch a glimpse of what the day was like.

    Mark and Karyn

  8. Patrick

    Your work is amazing Randy — thank you again for making the journey out to Vermont with us. I really appreciate you taking the time to relax and hang out with everyone and really get to know our family and friends, it means a lot.

    You captured our entire weekend in great detail, not just what was going on, but in the mood and feeling of each particular moment — something we will be able to look back on and be drawn right back in every time.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful talents.

  9. Barbara

    “The most beautiful things in the world are not seen nor touched. They are felt with the heart.” — Helen Keller

    But, I would say that your images have truly captured the depth of love between Patrick and Sarah and the absolute joy that all of us had at being present and part of their wedding.

    Your photographs have absolutely succeeded in expressing the essence of this day. It’s a great gift you have, Randy. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  10. Shelly Davis

    Hi Randy,

    Finally have a chance to drop by and check out your work, you have been busy since last time i visited!

    Wow! i have to say totally gorgeous pic of the groom and bride on the road kissing from the side view that is really neat, and so natural.

    I really hope you can make it back this way again sometime with your family, so we can have a big family get together, Gotta remember you have 2 new sisters in neb and ark. and would love to have a big reunion with you and Richard. Take care and keep up the awesome work!


  11. Randy & Carie


    Joni Mitchell talked about the art form of live music as being “living” and “dynamic” and “fresh” in a way that pictures could never express. She made the comment that no one ever said to Van Gogh: “Hey man, paint A Starry Night again!”. Up ’til now, I thought she was right. Randy, you made the day sing. And we get to go back and be in the joy of it again and again through the generous gift of your art, and your heart in it all.

    Thanks so much for blessing my daughter and son-in-law not only with your amazing talent, but also by so deeply caring about them and their day. You have added much to the sum total beauty of the world and have made us all richer.

    With gratitude, Randy M. Stewart-Good

  12. Randy & Carie


    I’m stunned… You share a collection of images that so masterfully captures all the sights, sounds, moods and fullness of that day, and brings it all alive once again. I’ve watched your video at least once each morning since it was posted, and still find the tears. Thank you so much for the precious gift you’ve given.

    While we are awed and admire your art, we also very much enjoyed getting to know you and having you here. It’s easy to understand why Sarah was so certain that she wanted you to be her photographer.

    Take care Randy,
    Hope to see you again someday.

  13. Randy

    I’m truly blessed and touched by the outpouring of sentiment. Thank you for taking time out of your day to come visit the blog and for share your feelings about these images.

    I’ve always felt that images were a touchstone. A way to get back to that place, that moment in time. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to do that for people.

    I’m humbled and honored to have met all of you and be a part of your lives. Thank you!


  14. Panji Nushantara

    Frankly it’s been quite a while since my last visit to your blog, and look what i’ve missed!

    Your photos do deliver the “atmosphere” of the moment, great job.

    and to the happy couple, congrat!

    Panji Nushantara