Tara & Paul tied the knot on a beautiful September day at Shelburne Farms, a National Historic Landmark known for its 1900s Gilded Age architecture and sweeping views of Lake Champlain. Tara explained, “We wanted to share this beautiful place with everyone we love and care so much about. Shelburne Farms is simple and breathless at the same time.”
The style of the buildings, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, and their integration into the landscape inspired the bride to create an elegant and timeless wedding. “It was very important to highlight nature in both the ceremony and reception spaces. We did so with lush greenery, beautiful florals, gold accents, and romantic candle light.”
“As a Vermont wedding coordinator, once the party is over I love to reflect on what makes each wedding exceptional. Tara & Paul’s wedding checked all the boxes: perfect weather, a stately venue that is the “grand dame” of old world elegance on the shores of Lake Champlain, a team of talented vendors who worked harmoniously for a common goal, and most importantly an extraordinary couple and their families who set the tone and enjoyed every second of the weekend,” state Nancy Jeffries-Dwyer, owner of NJOY Event Planning.
The wedding day began at the Inn, where the ladies gathered in the White Room to have their hair and make-up styled by Upstyle and Deanna Else. Tara snuggled into the king size bed with her closest friends to practice reading her vows and champagne toasts were enjoyed by all. “It’s hard not to be happy surrounded by your best friends!”
Paul and the groomsmen arrived at the Inn midday, and explored the antiquarian atheneum before Tara & Paul shared their first look in the gardens. The combination of the iconic location, Tara’s Paloma Blanca Gown, and Paul’s Danny Tam Suit inspired imagery of Old Hollywood glamour.
The ceremony sat along the shoreline, and the couple read vows to each other under an arbor made by the groom’s uncle. Music performed by Trio Gusto was integrated throughout the ceremony, punctuating the readings made by friends and family. Tara & Paul walked down the aisle to cheers, and drove away in a silver Porsche to a private alcove nearby, where they had a quiet moment to themselves before returning to celebrate.
The reception was held at the Coach Barn, where Tara’s vision of luxurious florals and candlelit details came together perfectly. “We will never forget how proud our parents were when they saw the Coach Barn reception setup for the first time.” The bride’s father, Bill, kicked off things off with a touching, hilarious toast, recounting Tara’s performance of “I’m a little teapot” as a child. “All the speeches were unforgettable. The maid of honor’s speech was powerful, eloquent and touched everyone in the room.”
After dinner, guests were invited to dance the night away or sit under the stars in the courtyard on lounge furniture and perhaps take a few polaroids.
The night concluded with a sparkler send off and smiles from all who attended.
A few months out from the wedding, Tara & Paul offer this advice to other couples planning their wedding. “Once the weekend starts, you’re in it, so enjoy it. Don’t get caught up in making sure things are perfect once it starts. The planning is over and all you can do is take in the experience of a lifetime. Also – give your cell phone to your maid of honor/best man. Any questions or emergencies should not be addressed to either of you! Also, make sure to take a moment to step back and take it all in. The day goes extremely fast (too fast!) and you’re constantly talking to people. It’s important to make sure you get a few moments to yourselves.”
Wedding Coordinator: Nancy Jeffries-Dwyer NJOY Event // Venue: Shelburne Farms, Inn at Shelburne Farms, Coach Barn // Videographer: JB Horn Film // Florals: Nancy Murray, A Schoolhouse Garden // Dress: Paloma Blanca Gown, Alexandra’s Bridal Boutique // Shoes: Stuart Weitzman // Hair: Upstyle & Co // Make Up: Deanna Elyse // Bridesmaids: Jenny Yoo Collection // Groom & Groomsmen Suit: British Textile Company Limited, Danny Tam // Invitations & Papery: Toby Dondis, Ltd. // Catering: Let’s Pretend //Band: Trio Gusto // DJ: Craig Mitchell // Photobooth: Vermont Photobooth (VW Bus) // Transportation: Vermont VIP Services