Tying the Knot, Mountain-Style
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Written by Katie Bacon
Darren & Joevrose
9.1.2018 (Labor Day Weekend)
Darren went to Middlebury College; Joevrose’s family had a Labor Day ritual of meeting up in Vermont with friends. “We both knew that Vermont meant something special to us, and at Sugarbush we found a place that captures who we are: it’s easygoing, nothing stuffy, but nice enough for a special occasion,” said Joevrose.
The rehearsal dinner was a barbecue out in the courtyard, with cornhole and lots of dancing. The wedding reception was in Gate House Lodge, followed by fireworks. “It was unreal. I really wish I’d been a guest at this wedding,” said Darren.
Best Memory: The Ceremony, at the top of Gate House
The families of both the bride and the groom are of Caribbean descent: Darren’s family is from Barbados, and Joevrose’s is from Haiti. Joevrose told me that the majority of her family had never been to a ski mountain, let alone ridden on a lift. Some guests were terrified the whole way up, “but once they got their feet on the ground again, they loved it.” The ceremony was performed by Joevrose’s cousin, who had just graduated from divinity school. The weather had been overcast, but there was a moment during the ceremony when the sun came out from behind the clouds. “My cousin paused as she was speaking, and almost choked up,” Joevrose said. “The timing of the sun was perfect.”
Andrew & Megan
Andrew and Meagan both love the outdoors—they hike in the summer, and usually spend more than twenty days skiing and snowboarding each winter. “We didn’t want to get married in a church,” said Andrew. “We wanted to show people the essence of our relationship—being on the mountain. We wanted to share the things that are important to us with people who are important to us, in a place that offers up what Vermont truly looks like.”
The rehearsal dinner was in Lareau Farm’s historic dairy barn, and was followed by an impromptu pool party back at Clay Brook. The wedding ceremony was up on the mountain (they’d had fun showing Meagan’s mother the ceremony spot while skiing the winter before), with the reception in the lodge and brunch at Rumble’s Kitchen the morning after. “It was a heck of a weekend! We needed a while to
recover,” said Meagan.
Andrew, Meagan, and their families spent the whole summer creating decorations for the wedding, from the “wood cookies” spangled with glitter that helped adorn the room, to the table numbers with small watercolor paintings of local scenery and flowers painted by Meagan’s mom, to the wedding arch made out of birch trees from their property in Essex, Vermont (that arch is now back home, marking the entrance to their trail system). “I had a big truck and an enclosed trailer full of decorations; all of them were things we’d made or collected,” Andrew said.
Michael & Melissa
Mike taught Melissa how to ski at Sugarbush—by taking her up Super Bravo and down a blue on her first run. “There were a lot of face-plants and a lot of tears,” she told me. “It took me about forty-five minutes to get down, but he wouldn’t let me give up.” The story of that overly ambitious first run made it into their vows; these days the couple (happily) skis at Sugarbush every weekend they can.
Their fall weekend had “the worst wedding weather of all time,” Melissa said, complete with rain, sleet, and snow. But there was a great backup plan. The ceremony took place in Gate House Lodge, instead of the courtyard; cocktails were in Rumble’s; and the dinner was back in Gate House. In the end, Melissa said, “the weather didn’t put a damper on things at all.”
The best part for Mike and Melissa was having 200 of their family and friends together all weekend, up at the mountain. They incorporated family into the wedding in various ways: Mike’s mother is a florist and did the flowers; Melissa’s father, a justice of the peace, performed the ceremony. And with the band, A House on Fire, everyone got out on the dance floor—from Mike’s three-year-old niece to his ninety-one-year-old grandmother—highlighted by a dance-off between the bride and her “Grandpa Joe.”