Photographer’s Remarks: “Brandon and Natalie are both highly competitive former ski racers and Brandon is an alpine ski coach with an excellent track record. They both race mountain bikes now. Natalie has done a lot of modeling and ski modeling, so she knew how to work her wedding dress without having to be directed. Her dress with pockets fit perfectly!
“Their wedding planning was very relaxed and they created a fun-filled, activity-packed weekend in Stowe, VT for their family and friends. Natalie and Brandon got ready at the Green Mountain Inn. They did not have a first look, instead choosing to save that moment for the ceremony.
“It was an overcast day, but absolutely beautiful for photography. The rain held off until later in the day, but still made rainbows during their portrait session.
“The two were married at the Trapp Family Lodge, which is a stunning venue. The Trapp Family Lodge is named after the Von Trapp family (the family that The Sound of Music is based on). When the Von Trapps came to America, they toured the country as a singing group, and finally settled in Stowe at what is now the Lodge. Brandon and Natalie’s portraits were taken in the beautiful garden at the Lodge. Each table at the reception was named after a different ski mountain to show their love for skiing!”
Bridal Q & A
Q: Tell us about your wedding!
“Our day was inspired by having our closest family and friends together to help us celebrate a long courtship that led to the recent start of an even longer life together. Our ceremony was not religious but instead, it focused on the importance of committing to one another based on our shared values and beliefs. We wrote our own vows which consisted of promises to each other and we asked some special people in our lives to participate in the ceremony before throwing the best party anyone has attended in a very long time! Our theme was a Vermont wedding that incorporated both rustic natural beauty and some traditional formalities. Our color palette was mainly soft greens and whites with the addition of some coral/pinks. We used seasonal flowers, herbs and the bride’s bouquet even had a few succulents.
Q: Let’s talk wedding decor
“Our decor was inspired by the beautiful Vermont landscape. We had minimal decor during the outdoor ceremony, which provided its own natural decor with a mountain-scape backdrop. The small additions to this consisted of a gorgeous floral arrangement by A Schoolhouse Garden at the entrance to the meadow and flowers on the aisle, a wooden sign designed by Brittney Ziebell, as well as bird seed satchels on the chairs (thank you to my amazing sister and Maid of Honor).Inside our reception tent, we used lots of small lights to brighten the room with a romantic atmosphere. The centerpieces carried our full-color palate and we included Vermont maple syrup in the place settings as well as rosemary sprigs.
Q: What were the florals like in your wedding?
“The flowers played a very important role in our wedding. A Schoolhouse Garden designed our arrangements, using seasonal Vermont flowers, herbs, succulents, and even some grasses. They were not a part of the ceremony backdrop but we did have gorgeous bouquets for the bridal party and amazing boutonnieres for the men.
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way?
“Everything was personalized from the ceremony to the reception. We picked each detail carefully to reflect our personalities and taste. We really wanted the look and feel of the entire wedding to be simple and elegant.
“The ceremony was performed by my aunt who did an unbelievable job. This was one of the best decisions we made throughout the entire process. It is impossible to choose just a few favorite moments.
“Our entire day was perfect and we couldn’t have asked for it to go better. If we had to pick, some of our favorite moments were:-For me personally, having all of my girls around all morning to get me prepped and ready for the big moments of the day.
“Another for me was anxiously waiting in the van with my bridesmaids for the rain to stop and the weather to to clear (which happened almost exactly before the start of the ceremony), when all of the sudden my dad opened the door to the van and held up a glass of champagne and said, ‘Natalie, why don’t you drink this?’
“He then returned a few minutes later with several more glasses and passed them back to my girls :) He was there with a smile right when I needed him.
“Reciting our carefully crafted vows to one another.
“Seeing the smiles on our guests faces as they showered us with birdseed during the recessional
“Our first dance and our other formal dances. Of course, the speeches given by family members and friends, as well as taking shot-skis with our family members later in the night*
Q: Let’s talk fashion
“We wanted to keep a level of formality even though it was an outdoor country wedding. After I chose my dress all of the pieces started to come together. My dress was formal and somewhat classic with a lace top and silk full skirt, but also had a fun and whimsical element being a two-piece. It was a really perfect fit for my personality.
“The groom looks very handsome in a tuxedo and he decided it was the best look for him. He chose a classic black bow tie and cumberbund with subtly imprinted champagne glasses and bottles in honor of the celebration.
Q: How did you meet?
“One snowy day in Chile atop a peak in the Andes, we found ourselves side by side on a T-bar wondering how amazing of a skier one another was. Since that day, our love has carried us far and wide, from South America to Vermont, to France, and many more amazing places.
“After 8 years of chasing each other around the country and the globe, we decided it was time to get our friends together to celebrate. We can’t wait to continue our crazy adventures together and with all of our amazing family and friends.
“Our proposal: Brandon scheduled a somewhat last minute trip to France to watch the last 4 stages of the Tour de France. We are both avid cyclists, and knowing how much I love France, he was able to convince me to take the trip and booked our flights only a week and a half before the departure was scheduled.
“In this time he somehow managed to buy the most amazing ring and keep his plan a secret from, actually nobody except me!
“After a few days of chasing riders around the mountains, we sat on the Champs-Élysées and watched them cross the finish line in Paris. This excitement was followed by a romantic dinner with rooftop views of the city and finally, in a Paris courtyard outside the restaurant, he kneeled down and asked to spend the rest of our lives together.
Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice to share with other couples planning their day?
“Yes. Everyone says not to stress about the little things, but for me, it was fun to prepare the details of our day. Whether you like doing it or not, if you put a little extra time and thought into the planning ahead of time, you will be able to fully enjoy your day without worrying about anything.
“When the week of your wedding comes try let things happen the way you planned them and just enjoy the process of getting married. Especially on your wedding day, enjoy every moment because it will pass more quickly than you can imagine.”