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!