October 1, 2005
The 1824 House
Cake: Ashley Woods Flowers: Theo Hengstenberg Floral Design Invitations: Peculiar Pair Press
Music: Nancy Atlas Project
Photography Jay Ericson
Sometimes you just know when you’ve found the right person. When Jodi and Chris met each other in New York City, they knew. They spent a lot of time together exploring the Village, walking, talking, and falling in love. Soon, they were taking trips to the beach in Connecticut, where Chris’s family lives, enjoying the train ride, nature, and summer barbecues. Jodi fell even further in love after meeting Chris’s family, and her confidence in the relationship quickly grew. Six months after they began dating, Jodi brought Chris to Bend, Oregon, where her family lives. Another wonderful connection was made.
A year after they began dating, the couple moved to Connecticut, where they both found jobs and could enjoy boating and fishing on the Long Island Sound. On November 16, 2004, Jodi and Chris went for a quick walk after work. Chris hoped to cheer up Jodi, who was sad that the next day her visiting family had to return home to Bend. Little did she know how joyful the walk would be.
Chris had already asked Jodi’s father’s for permission to marry her, but she had no idea. As they sat softly on a rock jetty staring out at the water, Chris pulled a lovely bottle of champagne and two flutes from the depths of his coat. The moon was full as Chris presented Jodi with a diamond ring, which, not surprisingly, she fell in love with. All four parents were in town — and ecstatic about the good news. At a dinner that Chris had already arranged for that evening, the celebration began!
Jodi and Chris love traveling to Vermont and happily decided on Waitsfield for their wedding location. “We decided to pick a place that meant something specifically to the two of us, and to invite our friends and family to share in that beauty,” Jodi says. As most of the guests would be traveling from a distance, Jodi and Chris wanted them to have a rewarding experience, something “picturesque” and serene. “You may worry at first that your guests might be concerned about how far they have to travel,” Jodi says. “But once they arrive in a location as wonderful as Vermont, they move into vacation mode mentally and are bound to be in a good mood.” At their wedding, she says, “there was a real sense of happiness, and everyone was destined to have a great time.”
Though the weather in Vermont is unpredictable, it can be wonderfully surprising. The week preceding the wedding was full of rain; electricity went out in neighboring towns. The couple was faced with the prospect of drastically changing all the plans they had made. But they woke that Saturday in October to a beautiful blue sky and an unusually warm autumn day. As planned, the ceremony was held outdoors alongside the river. The combination of warm acoustic music, sunshine and flowing water made for a truly extraordinary setting.
The celebration bore an unmistakably personal imprint: Place cards were made of thinly sliced wood and centerpieces were bowls of river rocks with floating leaf-shaped candles, flowers and beaded vines. Carved pumpkin lanterns, candles and luminaries filled the barn with a lively glow, as guests danced gleefully to the music of Jodi’s dad and enjoyed views of the hilly Vermont countryside.
Jodi and Chris’s wedding in many ways exemplified the elements that make weddings in Vermont so magical. The key to pulling it all off, they say, was the help of talented professionals. They have particular praise for photographer Jay Ericson, who in addition to being “a great person,” perfectly captured “all the details and the many beautiful moments,” Jodi says.
Jodi and Chris advise choosing decorations that mean something to you and reflect something about your connection to one another, and they emphasize that these not cost a fortune. What’s important is that they come from the heart. To keep the overall budget under control, they also suggest carefully reviewing all of your contracts to avoid the surprise of unforeseen costs on your big day. And if you’re planning an outdoor wedding, they say, make sure to have an alternate plan in case of less than perfect weather. Most important, Jodi and Chris have this to say: “Keep it fun and enjoy it all.”