Happy Thursday morning, SMPr’s! It’s with much fondness that I can once again introduce a wedding from Amanda at Orchard Cove Photography! Way back when… I first started writing at SMP, Amanda was one of the first photographers that I came to call my friend. She helped me learn this whole crazy wedding blogging world- and helped me realize what a fantastic bunch of vendors we have in our Little Black Book! So thank you, Amanda- for staying with us- and for continuing to share your wonderful images with us. SMP Family = LBB and it means more to us than you can possibly imagine.

Moving right along – to today’s featured wedding… When your parents own acres and acres of loveliness in Vermont, a huge part of the decision-making process can be checked off the to-do list. Venue selected. Check. And then, when you snag the fun-loving and talented Amanda of Orchard Cove Photography, an even bigger decision, crossed off the list. Check plus! Weave in all the bits and pieces of bride + groom personality that make you, well… it makes you, plural… and you have a wedding filled to the brim with pretty. A wedding your friends and family will recognize as the new, plural mister and missus.

Join us in the full gallery for even more!

From the Bride… Andrew and I were two years apart at Middlebury and did not meet in college (or at least we don’t remember meeting). We were properly introduced at an alumni cocktail event on the waterfront in Boston by a mutual friend – one of Andrew’s best friends (a future groomsman) and a teammate of mine on the Middlebury tennis team. The rest, as they say, is history!

We are both graduates of Middlebury College, so we have an affinity for the Green Mountains and the Champlain Valley. My parents (who also attended Middlebury and were married there) retired to Vermont after I graduated from college and bought a home with 50+ acres of land, gorgeous views from the front yard across the neighboring orchard and the Adirondacks in the distance. Having our tented reception in their front yard gave us the ability to customize the evening while putting our guests at ease in a beautiful outdoor setting. We wanted our guests to to laugh, dance, and enjoy a special evening together.

I guess I’d describe our wedding day decor and style as Swiss kitsch – alpine. Andrew and I have done a bit of exploring together over the years, and two of our favorite trips were ski holidays in Zermatt, Switzerland and St. Christoph (St. Anton), Austria. I speak German and have spent quite a bit of time in Germany and Austria over the years – the alps and alpine living has always appealed to me – simple, natural design in a stunningly beautiful, relaxed setting. Red wooden hearts, wildflowers, Austrian beer and wine … simple bar signs on chalkboards and dinner by candlelight.

Walking down the aisle toward Andrew was my favorite part of the day. I don’t think I have ever smiled as much as I did in Mead Chapel on September 15, 2012.  I was just so happy! Watching it all come together was also so much fun for us, as we had planned so much of it from London. It was so much fun to step from the car into my parents’ driveway with Andrew and to see all of our family and friends together in this beautiful location. It made me happy that I had spent so much time thinking through all of the details and logistics – it just all flowed together so nicely, and we had so much fun!

For the wedding, I carried the silver sixpence that my mom wore in her shoe on her wedding day, and I wore a pair of family heirloom diamond drop earrings dating back to the 1800s. We had lots of little touches at the ceremony, from the signpost denoting places with special meaning to us, to the cupcake tower that we had in lieu of a wedding cake. Our signature cocktail was a dark n’ stormy, one of our favorite drinks from annual fall trips to Bermuda.

My advice to couples planning their wedding – It is your day, and you should really, really enjoy it and have so much fun. A wedding is an opportunity to get all of the special people together in your life – take advantage of having your friends and family together and spend as much time with them as you can. Your day does not need to be perfect! Having everything match and coordinate is not natural – life and relationships are full of variety, and your day should reflect this. I really enjoyed the opportunity to be creative – from working on designing our custom wedding stationery with our amazing stationer, to creating a bespoke Anya Hindmarch bag, to selecting the gifts for my wonderful bridesmaids (custom earrings, bracelets, monogrammed royal blue cashmere wraps in a Fortnum & Mason bag).

Make sure you pick good vendors that come with recommendations and are reliable. It will make your day so much easier! I would highly recommend all of the vendors we worked with – they were all so great! If you are having an ‘at-home’ wedding, make sure to get a day-of planner … you can plan all of the details and logistics in advance, but come the actual day, you need someone to understand your vision and execute your plan. And this should not be you or any of your relatives – you all need to relax and enjoy the time together!

Photography: Orchard Cove Photography / Getting Ready Venue: Cornwall Orchard B&B / Ceremony Venue: Mead Chapel, Middlebury College / Reception Venue: Bride’s Family Home / Floral Design: Bloomers Garden Flowers / Catering: Wales Farm Catering / Invitations: Magpie Paperworks / Rentals: Celebration Rentals / Entertainment: Body n’Soul / WeddingDress: Monique Lhuillier / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Flower Girls’ Dresses: Boden / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Hair  + Makeup: The Hair Network / Bride’s clutch: Anya Hindmarch / Bridesmaids’ Jewelry: Emily Condon

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