Mountain Top Inn Wedding, Chittenden, VT :: Aly + Keven

Just last month I was in Vermont at the Mountain Top Inn to photograph the most beautiful outdoor winter wedding ceremony ever! I've been holding back this blog post as I knew Aly and Keven wouldn't be together until today due to work/travel commitments.

Where to start? Imagine gathering with your closest friends and family at a beautiful winter resort in snowy Vermont? Imagine a weekend filled with firepits and s'mores, midnight sledding and hot tubs, catching up with old friends and great conversation with new friends. Sleigh rides through the snow, amazing food, cozy cabin rooms with thick handmade quilts. Sounds pretty good right?

Now imagine ALL of that PLUS a wedding!!! A carefully planned wedding with all sorts of meaningful details and thoughtful touches - travel coffee mugs, blankets, s'mores kits, signature drinks AND a couple that couldn't be more right for each other. Aly and Keven were beyond excited for their wedding weekend but just as excited about their marriage and all the days that will follow in their lives together.

Enough rambling from me, want to see some pictures? Are you sitting comfortably? We shall begin...

Aly and the girls got ready in a spacious cottage in the grounds of the Mountain Top Inn. In my best Oprah voice, "A plaid shirt for you, and a plaid shirt for YOU!"

How amazing is this vintage style, mongrammed hat box from Trousseau & Co., a gift from Aly's sister, Kristin.

Meanwhile, just a few doors away, Audrey photographed Keven and the guys hanging out, as guys do:

Aly was helped into her dress by her sisters and her Mom:

Aly and Keven exchanged cards and they may have broken the "cards only" rule and surprised each other with gifts:

Love, love, love excited bridesmaids!

As it would be dark around 4:45pm, AND Aly and Keven really wanted to spend cocktail hour with their friends and family, they wisely decided on a first look. I'd assumed we'd take the formal pictures inside but everyone was fearless and with the help of warm boats, cozy shawls, handwarmers and assuming the penguin cuddle huddle, they made it through!

At the Mountain Top Inn, there are all sorts of winter activities, like skiing...

...and horse-drawn sleigh rides:

I would also like to point out that Aly was not only a stunning bride, but also super fun (we won't mention the midnight sledding that led to a minor hand injury the night before the wedding right?)

Seriously, look at these two!

We were joined by the fabulous families who were also troopers in the chilly conditions!

Super fun wedding party and those colors! Loved the pop of the flowers and the shawls against the snow!

And with that, it was time to get married! Guests stayed warm in the tavern before cozying up on benches with warm blankets for the short, yet super personal ceremony, masterfully conducted by Aly & Keven's friend Sacha.

I'm not sure who was more emotional during the processional, Aly's mom or Keven. Interestingly, just last week I was at a photography conference where a fellow photographer was insistent that a first look removes all emotion from the ceremony.

If Aly and Keven hadn't done a first look there would have been no time for their little sleigh ride, no daylight for pictures, no chance for them to hug and kiss and share how excited they were for the upcoming ceremony. But most importantly, I believe (and have photographed it many, many times), emotion happens when that "Whoa, we're doing this! We're standing in front of everyone we love and we're saying these HUGE vows to each other" moment hits you. And whether or not you've seen each other already doesn't change that moment! Here's the proof ;)

Fun fact, when Audrey and I checked out the ceremony site we noticed a little balcony atop the main lodge. Sadly, the balcony is part of a guest room so getting access isn't usually possible. But then - a miracle! - the guest room was occupied by none other than Aly's Godparents who graciously lent me their room key. During the readings I raced up three flights of stairs and back to make an image showing the wedding with the mountain range.

Smiles and giggles and laughter and tears - perfect!

Ringbearer Bobby was kind of over it. 


Guests made their way to the barn to warm up with signature cocktails and all sorts of delicious hors d'oeuvres. Hot tomato soup shooters and grilled cheese bites? Yes please! Now would also be a good time to mention Caitlin Reid, the Wedding & Event Coordinator at Mountain Top Inn. Caitlin couldn't have been more helpful, friendly, professional and caring! It was an absolute joy to work alongside a venue coordinator who takes such a team approach realizing that we all have a mutual client in common. A+++ And....a huge shout out to Nora from SP Films who was also beyond amazing to work with. You can click here to see a little teaser from the wedding video (but come straight back for the wedding reception pictures!) 

With the light fading fast behind the mountains, we took literally 90 seconds for pictures so Aly & Keven could go celebrate with their guests.

The barn was a masterpiece of long rustic wooden tables, twinkle lights galore, beautiful centerpieces and romantic candlelit lanterns.  

Why have one cake when you can have three? 

Aly & Keven's first dance managed to be rather spectacular with twirls and dips but also very romantic

The toasts by the MOHs (also Aly's sisters) and the best man were excellent but Keven's grandfather brought the house down sharing his marital advice for newlyweds:

Time to cut the cake:

Aly and Keven then danced with their Moms in turn:

We popped outside for a few seconds of nighttime portraits:

The dancefloor was packed thanks to DJ Ruben:

And with that, it was time to head off into the night while the dancing continued into the wee hours. Aly & Keven - hugest congratulations! It's been an absolute pleasure working with you both (not to mention meeting Gunner the dog!). Your wedding was such a joy to document, you both just embraced everything and everyone and you might possibly win the prize for "couple that had the most fun at their own wedding!"

Wishing you both a lifetime of love, laughter, health and happiness - and if the last image below is anything to go by I don't think the laughter and happiness will be an issue :)

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