Summer is the season for some of my favorite weddings – there’s not a cloud in the sky and guests seem to let loose just a little bit more, taking that extra vacation time to celebrate at weddings full of color and cool summertime ideas.
How do you beat the heat at a summer wedding?
I’ve got some easy tips to staying cool while celebrating!
1. Accessorize Your Look:
Parasols are picture-perfect. Capes, boleros and wraps make great accessories for colder nights so you can dress for the heat by day. And royal wedding-style hats can keep you cool in an outdoor ceremony while looking more fashionable than functional.
2. Serve Up Refreshments at a Pre-Ceremony Station:
A water station positioned near the entrance of your ceremony is a great way to welcome guests and keep them cool and comfortable. Regardless, it’s a great idea in general to hydrate your loved ones before the long night ahead and the cocktails to come.
3. Décor Designed to Stop the Sun:
Swaging, tenting and other overhead décor can certainly upgrade your event design while helping you and your guests beat the heat too.
4. Consider the Sun for the Ceremony:
If the men in your wedding party plan to wear suits or tuxedos and you prefer they be more comfortable, consider designing your ceremony site in the shade. Chart the sun’s location at the time of your ceremony and consider alternate sites at your venue or even just slightly re-positioning the setup to stop the sun from beating directly down.
5. Plan the Menu Accordingly:
Cocktails adorned with popsicles, summertime favorites like snow cones and other chilly treats embrace the summer season while keeping everyone cool at the same time.
6. Ceremony Programs with Dual Purpose:
You can never go wrong with a fan to cool down with. Give your guests gifts for the outdoors in the form of programs shaped like fans, parasols, or even favors designed to keep them cool throughout the day and night.
As you plan for your big day, don’t forget to beat the heat at a summer wedding and everyone in attendance will thank you for it!
From mountain retreats to a unique Lake Champlain venue, here are 13 favorites.
The state of Vermont may be on the smaller side, but that hardly means the Green Mountain State doesn’t pack a big ‘wow’ factor, especially when it comes to the best Vermont wedding venues. With gorgeous mountain ranges stretching the length of the state, Vermont offers picturesque views at nearly every angle—making it an ideal spot for an outdoor wedding, or a wedding with a mountain or lodge vibe.
Of course, the New England winters can be a bit blustery, but if you and your fiancé are avid skiers or just love the snow, you won’t mind; in fact, you may just find winter in Vermont to be the perfect fairytale-esque backdrop for your big day. Whatever the season you’re considering for hosting a Vermont wedding, you can find a spectacular and impressive wedding or reception venue on The Knot Marketplace. Here are 13 of our favorites.
The Lodge at Spruce Peak in Stowe, Vermont
Just minutes away from charming downtown Stowe, The Lodge at Spruce Peakimpresses no matter the season. Outdoor weddings are a possibility regardless of sunshine or snow, but whatever the weather, your event will be set against the lovely Vermont mountains, including the state’s tallest peak, Mount Mansfield. The lodge offers a variety of unique wedding venues to choose from, all located on-property (including one that’s also an ice rink!), and there’s something for weddings of every size, from intimate destination weddings to big bashes hosting up to 300 of your favorite people. And their in-house caterers will make planning a breeze.
Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vermont
If you want that Vermont mountain backdrop, but you don’t necessarily want the alpine lodge feel, you should consider Sugarbush Resort, a beautifully rustic hideaway near Lincoln Peak. Rather than feeling like an all-out ski destination, this venue channels Vermont’s agricultural history, with its striking red barn exterior and quintessential round barn. For couples seeking a combination of mountain views and the barn wedding vibe, Sugarbush is one of the only venues to give you the best of both worlds. There are several ceremony and reception locations to choose from, with options suitable for weddings of 50 to 300 guests.
The Inn at the Round Barn Farm in Waitsfield, Vermont
Sure, Vermont has mountains, but it also boasts rolling hills of wildflowers, tranquil ponds flanked by weeping willows, and lush farmland—all of which you can find at The Inn at the Round Barn Farm. For a country-inspired wedding, this venue ticks all of the boxes. Just imagine those perfect wedding portraits featuring you and your honey drifting across the tree-lined pond in a rowboat (and if that’s not straight off the page of a romance novel, we’re not sure what is). Follow up the ceremony with a reception in the rustic round barn, all decked out in fairy lights, and you have a dreamy special day your guests won’t soon forget.
Castle Hill Resort & Spa in Proctorsville, Vermont
Looking for a Vermont wedding venue with historic appeal? Castle Hill Resort & Spa, a National Register of Historic Places-listed venue, is waiting. The English Cotswold-style mansion, with its elegantly landscaped gardens, is ideal for an upscale wedding. With a library and two formal dining rooms inside and the gardens outside all at your disposal, you’re sure to find the perfect backdrop for your wedding. Invite your guests to stay at the resort (or at least book a room for you and your spouse-to-be) to enjoy the equally gorgeous guest rooms, outfitted with period furnishings and the utmost in historic luxury.
The Spirit of Ethan Allen in Burlington, Vermont
Why settle for a waterside wedding venue, when you can exchange your vows literally right on the water? The Spirit of Ethan Allen is the only cruise ship on Lake Champlain, harbored conveniently in Burlington. Rent the entire ship for a wedding for up to 300 guests and then set sail for your big day. An extra bonus to taking to the lake for your ceremony and reception? You get not only the amazing views of Vermont’s Green Mountains, but also the views of the Adirondacks across the water in New York.
Basin Harbor in Vergennes, Vermont
For a waterfront wedding venue without putting your entire guest list on the water, however (after all, if someone, say the flower girl, gets seasick that’s a wedding disaster you definitely don’t want), look to Basin Harbor in Vergennes. This lovely lakeside venue boasts a handful of spectacular ceremony spots, including a dock that juts out into Lake Champlain and features a backdrop of the Adirondack Mountains. As a perfect finishing touch to your big day, trade out your getaway car for a getaway speed boat. The photos alone are worth it.
The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont
Channel one of the most well-known musicals of all time as you plan your wedding at The Trapp Family Lodge, just a few miles from downtown Stowe. This venue was founded by the real family that inspired The Sound of Music and, as such, you’ll find Austrian influences at every turn. With 2,500 acres, the venue offers plenty of space for you to choose from—including a croquet lawn and two separate meadows, and various indoor spaces—and if you and your fiancé are beer fans, you’ll love the on-site beirhall.
The Trailside Inn in Killington, Vermont
If you and your partner are avid hikers, you’ll definitely want to check out The Trailside Inn, near Killington. From the most casual to the most elegant weddings, this large venue can do it all. The real draw, though, is all the wooded outdoor space, perfect for more intimate ceremonies, receptions, and wedding portraits, all surrounded by the great outdoors. One of the best parts of booking your dream wedding here, though? When you do, you’ll enjoy exclusive access to the entire property, for a level of privacy you’ll be hard-pressed to find at other, similar venues.
River Road Farm in Manchester, Vermont
This is a far cry from your average barn wedding. River Road Farm does offer a barn for your event space, but this is certainly unlike any other barn venue you’ve likely spotted during your wedding planning. The deep-stained flooring, rich leather and wood accents, stone walls, and chandeliers all make the space as dramatic as they come. You would never guess that the venue was actually a 110-year-old horse barn. The venue is suitable for up to 200 guests and you’ll find other ceremony spots beyond the barn across the farm, including the gardens, lawn, and trout pond bridge.
The Henry House in Bennington, Vermont
For the most bang for your buck (because, let’s face it, weddings can get pricey), look to The Henry House. The 250-year-old, Revolutionary War-era home offers an array of features that all add a little extra something special to your wedding. There’s a 14-foot stone fireplace for fireside ceremonies; an expansive slate patio for wedding party portraits; and a converted barn-turned-bar for reception drinks. The home itself sleeps 13 guests and features period furnishings among the Georgian-style architecture. You and your wedding party can take up residence for the entire wedding weekend and enjoy it all, all on a budget.
Turning Stone Farm in Greensboro, Vermont
This 1880s rustic barn venue is lovely any time of year, but it really shines in the fall. Surrounded by woods, the trees come alive in vibrant hues of red and orange come autumn, perfectly complementing the expansive red barn. Just add a few pumpkins and maybe a bonfire or two and you have the fall-time wedding you’ve been dreaming of. Turning Stone Farm is suitable for weddings of up to 300 guests and you can host your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception all in the one spot, moving between the barn, orchard, gardens, and other plentiful spaces.
Stratton Mountain Resort in Stratton Mountain, Vermont
A lot of Vermont resorts and other wedding venues offer outdoor ceremony and reception spaces with fantastic views of the Green Mountains, but if you truly want to take your wedding to another level, don’t settle for mere mountain views—say ‘I do’ on the mountain summit itself. That’s exactly what you can do at Stratton Mountain Resort, which offers its summit deck for intimate weddings, accessible only via the ski gondola. From the top, you and your guests will be able to view up to four states and mountain ranges.
Park-McCullough Historic Governor’s Mansion in North Bennington, Vermont
Your inner romantic may just let out a squee when you see this stunner of a historic wedding venue. Park-McCullough Historic Governor’s Mansion is just the gingerbread-style mansion that you’d want for a truly romance-themed wedding, with its Romantic Revival and Second Empire architecture, surrounded by 200 acres of parkland and gardens. From the terraces to the gardens to the carriage barn, take your pick of multiple wedding ceremony and reception spots (suitable for guest lists up to 200 people) to plan a wedding day steeped in sweetness.
No matter how many weddings you’ve attended before, or how many times you’ve been a bridesmaid, there are some things you just don’t find out about until your wedding day.
Talk to anyone who’s gone through it before and they’ll tell you that your wedding day absolutely flies by. You’ll be so busy going from one thing to the next that before you know it, you’ll be cutting the cake. You may already know that you need an emergency kit (just in case), that it can be difficult to use the bathroom in your ball gown, and to pack a stain remover. But aside from the logistics, there are tons of intangible, special moments that make up the wedding day itself. Here, 10 truths about the wedding day that no one ever talks about.
1. Ten minutes before the ceremony is the most nerve-racking part.
The time leading up to the walk down the aisle will be the most anxiety-ridden 10 minutes you’ll ever have. And it makes sense—you’re about to make a life-changing decision in front of all the people you love and care about the most. Just remember that your other half is waiting for you at the end of the journey and you’re going to have a huge party to celebrate (not to mention the reason why you said “yes” in the first place).
2. The ceremony is the best part.
There’s something truly amazing about the wedding ceremony. The traditions, the vows and all your emotional family members and friends make it one of the most special moments of your life. Our advice? Take it all in and drink it up. You’ll want these memories to last a lifetime.
3. You’ll definitely cry.
Okay, this one might not be such a secret—all we can say is that crying is basically inevitable. And since you already know the waterworks are coming, the best thing to do is just be prepared. Store some tissues nearby, and if you’re a bride, make sure to wear waterproof makeup (or even get eyelash extensions) and keep some mascara and lipstick readily available for quick touch-ups.
4. Your face will hurt from smiling so much.
Thousands of pictures aside, you’ll be smiling all day because it’s going to be the bestday ever. You’re marrying your best friend, after all! Between finally “making it official” with your partner and dancing like crazy with all of your close friends and family, there’s literally no reason to frown (even if it rains).
5. You’ll be amazed by the love and support of your family and friends.
They all showed up for one reason—you! You and your soon-to-be spouse will get all—and we really mean all—of the attention. You may not even be able to eat dinner, since you’ll have so many people to talk to and so many pictures to take. Between the pinches on the cheek from your grandma and the side-punches from your college pals, you’ll be overcome by the love and support of those around you.
6. You’ll want a little alone time.
In fact, you might be so overcome with emotion that you may want to take a few moments just for you, or the two of you. Some of the most special minutes of the day are the few you get to spend alone, preparing for what’s to come, or together with your new spouse, taking it all in.
7. You might be a little exhausted.
Let’s face it, you won’t get too much sleep the night before your wedding. Between stressing over the seating chart, a tiff with your mom or just overall excitement for the day to come, you’ll be seriously lacking in shut-eye. Pro tip: Under-eye concealer will be your best friend.
8. It won’t all go as planned.
Something might end up going wrong. It could be little, or it could be big, but our best advice is to soldier on and try to think of the big picture. Can you solve this problem easily? Does it make a huge difference in the long run? Are your guests still having fun? Are you having fun? If these questions are easily answered, then don’t sweat it—just keep enjoying your celebration, and feel free to delegate tasks to planners and relatives so you don’t have to deal with drama.
9. The most magical moment will be when you least expect it.
We promise that the most special time of the day, or weekend, is going to be something you never expected. A stolen minute or two with your soon-to-be spouse, a hug from your dad or an impromptu speech by your college roommate could end up meaning the world to you.
10. You’ll feel different.
Even if you and your other half have been cohabiting for years, once you’re legally wed, things will feel official. It might just be a slight shift or it could feel like a noticeable change, but it will definitely seem like the real deal—because it is!
Creating a unique wedding celebration with thoughtful details truly makes the big day that much more special. Jenna and Jay put so much care and detail into their multi-cultural Headlands Center for the Arts wedding. Not only did they have a personal, hybrid ceremony, but with help of their wedding planner Heartthrob Weddings and Events, they also added a champagne cocktail hour with a remarkable view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
On top of stunning views and personalized ceremonies, Jenna and Jay created stunning wedding favors—a pinch bowl with incense—and hand-dyed their napkins to match their wedding color palette. Keep scrolling to see this absolutely creative wedding as captured by Eve Rox.
Jenna and Jay
Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California
Advice for Nearlyweds
Get a wedding planner!Even if you think you don’t need one. We were so excited to make our day feel really special that we were initially hesitant to give up control. It turned out that there were so many details to think through that having a planner is what ended up making it possible for us to focus where it mattered most to us. Oh and start writing your vows early!
Choosing A Headlands Center For the Arts Wedding
We exhaustively searched and there were times where we wanted to just settle for something easy. At the last minute, we found the perfect place. Its blend of history and scenic beauty gave it a romantic and dreamy vibe. Plus, the fact that it’s a non-profit that supports local artists enabled us to give back to our community and choose a place that was within our budget.
We worked with friends and family who were members of two communities that are really important to us—Jewish and queer communities—to create a highly personal hybrid ceremony that blended tradition with our personal values.
DIYed Wedding Details
We DIYed our favors and hand-dyed our napkins with support from friends. For the favors, we were lucky to have the help of a friend and professional ceramicist, Jo Boyer Ceramics. Jo generously donated their time, know-how, and supplies to help Jay and another friend make pinch pots with our wedding date stamped on the bottom for every guest. We packed these bowls in bags with incense from another friend, Rituals Incense.We love that everyone could light them with intention and bring the sense of love from our wedding day with them.
Denise and Lee had a rustic goth enchanted garden wedding at The Poe Museum, and their wedding featured handfasting ceremony with beautiful handfasting cords. If you’re curious about handfasting, Offbeat Bride has a massive archive dedicated to handfasting ceremonies and weddings, but today we’re going to share Denise and Lee’s handfasting ceremony script. If you’re thinking of doing a handfasting ceremony, this script will give you ideas for your vows and ceremony wording. This ceremony script uses the words bride and groom to reflect Denise and Lee’s wedding, but of course the language could easily be tweaked for a wedding with folks who identify as LGBTQ or nonbinary.
Wedding ceremony introduction
Today, this couple comes before us to enter into the sacred covenant of marriage, vowing to be partners through the trials and triumphs of their shared life.
They are declaring to each other and to all of us present that they will be by each other’s side, no matter what life brings their way.
The marriage ceremony has been an important feature of nearly every culture, religion, generation, and society.
We have thousands of important moments that happen throughout our lives, but this one is regarded as one so meaningful that we acknowledge its special status by sharing it with others.
Why this moment?
Because, despite all our unique differences, love is what we all share. Love is the great unifier — our one universal truth. No matter who we are, where we have come from, what we believe, we know this one thing . . . love is what we’re doing right.
Love is why you both are standing here. That’s why you all have been invited to watch them stand up here at this moment and be reminded that the ability to love or to be loved unconditionally is the most precious gift a person can give or they can receive by someone.
As I ask the two of you these questions, please respond together, making your promises before this circle of witnesses.
[Bride] and [Groom], will you honor and respect one another? (We will)
Will you support and assist each other in times of pain and sorrow? (We will)
Will you be present in the difficult and challenging times so that you may grow strong in this union? (We will)
Will you share each other’s laughter and joy and look for the brightness and fun in life and the positive in each other? (We will)
Is it your intention to bring peace and harmony into your everyday ways of communicating? (It is)
And when you falter, will you have the courage and commitment to remember these promises and take a step back towards one another with an open heart? (We will)
Are you willing now and always to make this commitment to each other? (We do)
This cord represents the marital bond. It is strong enough to hold you together during times of struggle yet flexible enough to allow for individuality and personal growth.
Please join hands.
And now, as your hands are bound together, I ask you to declare your vows to each other, repeating after me.
[Groom], please repeat after me as you look at [Bride].
I, [Groom] Promise you, [Bride] That I will be your husband from this day forward, To love and respect you, To support and to hold you, To make you laugh And to be there when you cry, To softly kiss you when you are hurting, And to be your companion and your best friend, On this journey that we will now make together as one.
[Bride], please repeat after me as you look at [Groom]. I, [Bride] Promise you, [Groom] That I will be your wife from this day forward, To love and respect you, To support and to hold you, To make you laugh And to be there when you cry, To softly kiss you when you are hurting, And to be your companion and your best friend, On this journey that we will now make together as one.
As your hands are now bound together, so shall your lives be bound as one.
Keep this cord as a visible reminder of your promise to one another, and let no one unbind it as long as you both shall live.
Who has the rings?
We all understand the gesture that you are now making. To reach out to someone and be acknowledged, held, and loved is what we all want. Taking the hand of the one who loves you is the symbol of that unspoken bond.
You fell in love by chance, but you’re here today because you’re making a choice. You both are choosing each other. You’ve chosen to be with someone who enhances you, who makes you think, makes you smile, and makes every day brighter.
Every day, as you look down, you will see a brief flash of light, a sparkle as the ring place on your finger today will shine. It will remind you, again and again, over and over, of your promise to your loved one. Every time you take hands, you will feel that wedding ring on your partner’s hand, and you will both be reminded again in turn.
It will always be with you, visible, worn openly, and with pride. It will say to the world that someone loves me enough to make me a promise to share a life.
[Groom], please take [Bride]’s hand, place the ring on her finger, and repeat after me as you look at her: I give you this ring in token and pledge of my abiding love. [Bride], please take [Groom]’s hand, place the ring on his finger, and repeat after me as you look at him: I give you this ring in token and pledge of my abiding love.
May you enjoy a lifetime of love and peace, happiness, and prosperity.
Go in peace. Live in joy
By the authority vested in me by the [State or Region], I now pronounce you husband and wife.