Vermont DIY Winter Wedding with Red Holiday-Inspired Details

Becca + Dan
December 21, 2012
White River Junction, VT

I'm on a red winter wedding kick this week. This Vermont winter wedding is full of thoughtful DIY details. Becca chose a red and white color palette with fun holiday and candy-inspired details. One of my favorite parts of this wedding is the individually framed wedding party pictures with information about each person. What a wonderful way to introduce your best-ies in your wedding party to your other family and friends! Check out Becca's Hindsight Advice below!
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Why a Mountain Wedding?

The mountains are our home!  Dan and I both grew up in the beautiful Green Mountain State of Vermont, and we have spent the majority of our lives here.  The mountains feel like home to us, so we wouldn’t have wanted to have it anywhere else!

Where did you find your inspiration?

Ever since I was old enough to dream of my wedding day, I have wanted a winter wedding. Some inspiration came from Christmas (the centerpieces, Christmas tree décor, mistletoe during the introductions at the reception, etc.).  I got a lot of ideas from Pinterest, from a board that my maid of honor setup and that my bridesmaids were all pinning ideas onto.  It was really helpful to be able to see so many different ideas that inspired me, and to put my own twist on them to make them my own.

Your favorite moment of the day.

There are SO many favorite moments from the day that it’s hard to narrow it down to just one!  So, I’ll narrow it down to two: one from the ceremony, and one from the reception.

  • During the ceremony, Dan’s nieces sang the hymn, “For the Beauty of the Earth”.  It brought tears to my eyes hearing their pure, sweet, angelic voices filling the church from the balcony!
  • During the reception, our brother-in-law/groomsman, Tim, broke out his air guitar. Best Man, Curtis, jumped in and they had an all-out air guitar battle! A bunch of our guests started singing along to “Livin’ on a Prayer”, which prompted our awesome DJ to start a hilarious sing-along!!! I never would’ve guessed this would happen, but I’m so happy that it did because it was one of the best parts of the day!

Three things you're glad you did.

  • “First Look” prior to the ceremony. This really calmed my nerves and allowed me to focus during the ceremony.  Not only was I able to walk down the aisle feeling comfortable and relaxed, but it was a very special moment between Dan and I that we will never forget. We were also able to get some beautiful pictures out of it!
  • Asked the DJ to invite my dad to teach everyone how to dance “Gangnam Style” – so much fun! I’m so glad we got this on video!
  • Chose Meet the Burks (photographers) and RPM Entertainment (lighting/DJ). These two vendors absolutely made the day amazing. Heather and Walter traveled all the way to Vermont from their home in North Carolina just four days before Christmas to photograph our special day and we are SO happy that they did! We couldn't ask for better photographers and we are so pleased with their work. Not only did they capture our day beautifully, but they made the entire process go smoothly. They were completely reliable on the day of the wedding and were right where they needed to be every step of the way.  I loved that Walter offered to hold my bouquet and they both helped me with my dress.  They were absolutely amazing, and went above and beyond.  RPM Entertainment transformed our venue with a variety of up-lighting, spots, and our wedding logo in the form of a “gobo”.  Richard made the room absolutely gorgeous with his up-lighting, and really set the mood.  He is a fantastic DJ.  We couldn’t have been happier with our choices!

Three things you wish you had done?

  • Encouraged our guests to use the Photobooth a little more.  We invested a lot of time in this, and it would’ve been great to have gotten more of our guests in there.  I’m not sure that some people even knew it was there.
  • Taken more photos of the gorgeous rainbow! The morning of the wedding it had been raining, and while we were taking photos in front of the Christmas tree, the sun came out and the most beautiful and vibrant rainbow appeared in the window behind us. I wish we had gone outside and taken more pictures with it in the background!
  • Taken the time to enjoy a few of the hors d’oeuvres.  We had hot apple cider waiting for the bridal party in the lobby after we took photos at the church prior to our introductions, and I didn’t take a moment to enjoy it.

Three things you wish you hadn't done?

  • Cut the cake with our backs to our guests.  We should have moved the cake into the room for the cutting so that all could see.
  • We had put out glow sticks and chosen a special glow-stick song (“We Are Young” by Fun.), but didn’t end up doing it in the end.
  • Overbought Maple Candy for favors.  We’ve still got several pounds sitting in our refrigerator!

Three things you wish you hadn't worried about?

  • Seating charts for the reception.  I was so worried about people being upset about where they were sitting that I stressed over this for several days!  On the day of the wedding, all of our guests were so happy and everyone was smiling.  Some of our guests didn’t make it due to bad weather and a few of our guests ended up switching tables anyway.  In the end, it wasn’t worth the stress and worry at all!
  • Labeling our “theme”. During the planning process I kept getting asked about our “theme” and I couldn’t put it into words. Words put together like “Shabby-Chic” and “Rustic-Vintage” just struck me as strange and silly, particularly because the theme of our wedding was “Us”.  It wasn’t Christmas, it wasn’t snow or ice, it was simply… us!
  • Pleasing anyone but Dan and myself.  Sure, this was our wedding, but I worried about whether or not other people would be pleased with what we had chosen for certain things. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, but in the end I think that it was silly for me to worry.  It was our wedding, and we both loved it!  Turns out that our guests all loved it too!

How did you choose your vendors?

Through a LOT of research.  My sister, Melanie, helped me with this from the very start.  We created spreadsheets and contacted all of the vendors that we really liked before narrowing it down to the final ones.  It was also important to ask questions that were relevant to our day and to us as a couple.  We didn’t go by the cookie-cutter questions that you read in bridal magazines.

What is your very best hindsight advice?

Soak it all in, and hire professional photographers.  I know its cliché, but it’s also true – the day really does go by SO fast!!!  It’s really important to slow down and enjoy every moment. You’ve invested time and money (no matter how much or how little), and this is your special day! Enjoy it! Hire quality photographers – it really does make a difference, not only in the end result of the photos, but also in the flow of the day. Our photographers knew exactly what shots they needed to get, and they were efficient and speedy, while taking awesome photos.  They had the equipment, experience, and natural talent to capture inspiring images without interrupting or impeding the day’s events.   It’s great that we’re able to look back and see all of the memorable moments that they captured so beautifully.  For so many of the photos, I remember the moment, but I can’t remember seeing the photographer—they were like “photo ninjas”!

I also found it to be extremely beneficial to plan everything out ahead of time, and delegate everything prior to the day of the wedding.  I gave my bridal party some DIY “rehearsal dinner bags” that had information on where they needed to be and when, along with phone numbers and any pertinent information to help each person with their individual duties.  This made the day go along so smoothly.  For example, one of my bridesmaids, Emily, was in charge of distributing the boutonnieres and bouquets. She brought me my bouquet and I don’t even remember her giving anyone else theirs! There are pictures of her pinning bouts on the gentlemen and the ladies all had their bouquets, so it all worked out with no problems!  It’s important to be able to trust your bridal party as a team, and work together.

Team Wedding

All of our vendors were amazing! We couldn’t have asked for better vendors! Here are the ones that we highly recommend:

Team DIY:

Photobooth – Dan and his best man built this the morning of the wedding!   We used software called Sparkbooth (www.sparkbooth.com), a webcam, and a USB button that my brother-in-law made.  We also came up with all the props ourselves.  Our guests had a blast. Check out Photobooth photos here: http://wedpics.com/album/MjQ0NQ==/2308

Maple Candy Favors – Being in the State of Vermont, we only found it fitting that we give out some maple leaf candies as favors! We ordered the candies from Vermont Maple Outlet (http://www.vermontmapleoutlet.com/) in bulk. I designed/printed/cut the tags myself. My family helped put them all together.

Ring Bearer Slab – My husband created the ring bearer slab.  I hand-scripted, “With this ring, I thee wed…” on the slab of wood, then he burned it into the wood.  He applied a hand-rubbed, oil finish over the course of several days, then glued on the silk flower, ribbon, and mock rings.  It turned out great!

Mr. & Mrs. Signs – My oldest sister, Tina, hand-painted these.

Table Numbers – My maid of honor, Sierra came up with the 12 days of Christmas table numbers.

Centerpieces – Square mirrors, vases and floating candles, cranberries and spruce sprigs – so easy and they turned out perfect.

Meet the Maids & Men – Done by me! These were a lot of fun for guests to look at/read.

Question Cards & Tins – Done by my husband and I.

Rehearsal Dinner Bags – We gave these out to our bridal party at the rehearsal dinner. These bags contained information that was important for the wedding day.  They were fun to make and came out great!  They also included special gifts for the children in the wedding party to keep them preoccupied while their parents were busy with their bridal party duties.