Janna and Don got married on a very New England-ish blustery day in Vermont, at a quaint little farm on the side of a hill with views of the mountains surrounding. Janna was a picture-perfect bride, full of calm and all smiles and laughter. She could teach any bride a thing or two about enjoying her wedding day, she was really that at ease. Janna’s brother officiated a heartfelt ceremony with all of their close friends and family in attendance. Afterward, the fire lit reception was perfectly quaint with sweet rustic details.
Janna + Don
Amee Farm, Pittsfield, VT
November 8, 2014
Wedding day weather: Crisp & cool, little breeze & a bit overcast.
Number of guests: 95
Biggest splurge: Photographers/Videographers. Love & Perry are AMAZING!
Biggest savings: I have a very crafty family – so we had a lot of handmade, DIY pieces that really made everything special -and saved money!
Why did you choose the Mountains for your wedding?
We absolutely love Vermont and whenever we have a free weekend – we like to get-away there. We love the easy-going feel and how beautiful it is. When we got engaged we realized we wanted it to be in our favorite place – Vermont! When we started looking at venues, we fell in love with Amee Farm – it is the perfect location – quaint and intimate with an absolutely breathtaking background. There is a small pond and the b&b is on the side of a mountain with breathtaking views. We loved that our family and friends could stay with us at the B&B and the ceremony and reception could take place downstairs in the venue. We love the bed and breakfast atmosphere and the accommodations at Amee Farm were perfect. We knew we wanted to get married outside – even if it was cold (and it was!) and there was the perfect spot for it, right on the mountain side.
Wedding day theme:
I would say “classy rustic” – everything was cream and gold – with touches of sparkle. We wanted it to be classic and clean looking but also have a bit of glam mixed in with the rustic atmosphere of Amee Farm. We used cream candles in cylinder, clear candle holders throughout and kept the flowers to a minimum. A touch of sparkle with our sweetheart tablecloth, table numbers and custom made “M” for our last name added a fun pop.
Where did you find your inspiration?
I think the theme and color scheme tends to be what I like in my everyday life. I knew I wanted the sequin tablecloth and rustic touches including burlap and handmade wooden piece. I knew I wanted everything bathed in candlelight. As a wedding photographer myself, I have been to so many weddings and knew what I definitely did and didn't want. I wanted it to feel cozy and full of love – and look beautiful!
How did you choose to personalize your wedding?
We have a very crafty family and many of the pieces were handmade. The personalized touches and the time, energy and love everyone so freely gave was amazing.
-Officiant – my brother, Chase, married us. He got a one-day license in VT. I can think of no better gift in the world – it was the most perfect ceremony and he did an amazing job. We're still so touched he did that for us!
-Brooch bouquet – my mom designed & made me a one-of-a-kind brooch bouquet and it included brooches from many family members. It was incredibly special to me. My stepdad, Larry, handcrafted a wooden stand for it as well. It's displayed in our house now and every time I see it, I'm right back to our wedding day.
- Ceremony arch – my stepdad made it for us – incredibly special as well. It's now in our garden at home!
- Cake – my friend is a baker, and baked it as our gift! She designed it based on our theme – amazing and SO delicious!
- Cake topper birds – my sister made them for us! I knew I wanted birds and she ran with it!
- Our gift to our guests were handmade wooden keychains made by my stepdad – my mom made the custom tags to go with them.
- Calligraphy on the invitations & placecards – were hand done by my friend Lorrie who is a very talented calligrapher. She gifted them to us and her amazing work tied everything together so nicely! It all looked so classy.
And the list goes on – everyone was incredibly supportive and gave so much to us – their time, their talent and their love. We are so lucky to have such amazing people in our lives.
What was your favorite part of the reception?
The whole thing was SO much fun! Everyone seemed to have a blast and danced the night away! The food was amazing, the space looked beautiful and it was everything we dreamed of.
There was one moment though, we crafted a very specific playlist, so a lot of our favorite songs were played – there was a slow song that we just fell into and seemed to forget everyone else was there. It was just a few minutes, but it seemed like it was just us. It was perfect. It was one of my favorite moments of the reception.
What are three things you're super glad you did?
- Hired Love & Perry Photography – seriously! Meshing with your photographer(s) is so important. When we first met with them, we hit it off immediately and now we consider them to be friends. Having them there was having friends capture our day. They did the most beautiful job and we had so much fun with them. They did both our photography and videography and we will cherish the amazing photos and video forever – best decision ever. You're going to want to look back and see every detail and relive your day through these captured memories – splurge on a photographer. It is so, so worth it.
- We crafted a timeline for the day that ensured no rushing and stress. We did a First Look (which I absolutely recommend), followed by family portraits, and then bridal portraits. We did not have a bridal party (also recommended) – so family photos were finished and then we had a full hour + for bride & groom portraits. We got to go to Amee Farm's sister property – Riverside Farm, and got to use their amazing fields, covered bridge, etc. All day long we got to just enjoy and take part of it – we were at our entire cocktail hour and got to greet and welcome everyone, so by the time the reception came, we were enjoying with everyone!
- We technically had a “destination” wedding – as people had to drive a couple hours to get there and most people stayed over. It turned into an entire weekend of celebration – it made it last longer and we got to enjoy our friends & family the day before and the day after which we loved.
What was the biggest challenge in planning your mountain wedding and how did you overcome it?
Since we were not local to VT and it was just over a 3 hour drive – we couldn't just “stop by” for various consults during the week. We did a lot of planning via email and over the phone and really condensed our meetings and in-person chats to two planning weekends. We initially visited venues in November '13 and chose Amee Farm. We came back in May for a weekend of consults (menu tasting, florist appointment, etc.) and then returned in September for final meetings. I kept a wedding binder with a section for each aspect – photography, accommodations, transportation, etc. and I used Real Simple's wedding checklist to make sure we were on track time-wise. Staying organized helped a lot! And rolling all the appointments into 2 visits was a lot, but also made everything doable.
How did you find and choose your vendors?
We chose our photographers first (they live locally to us in MA), and the rest happened fairly organically. We used the florist Amee Farm recommended (and she is AMAZING!) We spoke with a couple different local catering companies but chose the newest in town who we hit it off with right away. I did a lot of research for hair & make-up as I didn't know the area and did a trial in September (which I definitely recommend). The DJ was local to VT and I narrowed it down with location/price, etc. Lots of research and decision making – but we were so pleased with all our choices. We wanted to really like all of our vendors as we would be spending so much time with them- and we truly did!
What is your best piece of advice to other mountain brides who are planning their weddings?
I won't lie – the planning is A LOT and can be stressful, but it's important to keep it all in perspective. We wanted to be married and the rest of it – the cake, the dress, the dancing – was icing on the cake. We had the most perfect wedding weekend – it was stress free and fun – exactly as we wanted it. All the planning and prep was absolutely worth it – we will remember every detail forever. If I can give one piece of advice – take the time to plan your day so that you can enjoy and be fully part of everything on the day itself. It's your day – you should get to enjoy all of it. And, forget about tradition – do what makes you happy.
Pittsfield, Vermont Wedding Vendors
Wedding Photography & Videography: Love & Perry Photography | DJ: Buch Spieler Music | Wedding Cake: The Fondant Fairy | Brooch Bouquet: If U Can Bead It | Catering: Vermont Farms Catering | Wedding Rentals: 1888Builders | Wedding Day Hair & Makeup: Five Elements Salon & Day Spa | Calligraphy & Place Cards: Willow Street Studios | Wedding Gown: Marry & Tux | Wedding Gown Alterations: Five Cents A Dance | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Amee Farm | Cake Topper, Handcrafted Signs: Art by Beth McDonald | Florist: Pittsfield Garden Center | Guest Transportation: Gramps Shuttle