When I first started talking to Katelyn and Bryon last fall about their barn wedding in Vermont, I was excited about being surrounded with some of my favorite photographic elements: uniqueness, texture, and big skies. I had no idea just how much incredible imagery my lens was about to take in when I drove three hours up to the Lake Champlain valley to spend the day with Katelyn and Bryon.

The fragrance of spring blossoms and freshly cut grass filled the air as gigantic blue skies rose over the Green Mountains I was crossing. When I arrived at Champlain Valley Wedding Barn and alpaca farm, I couldn’t get my camera gear out of my bag fast enough.

Under the creative direction of friend Crystal, Katelyn had crafted the Vermont wedding barn into a warm and quaint setting, filled with corners of comfy furniture, decorative styling, and tasty treats. I took in the spacious grounds, panoramic views, and of course, the odd-looking-but-cute alpacas, who took a curious interest in all the bustling activity around the farm.

I had the pleasure once again to be joined by Kim Martin, a native Vermonter herself, who shot with me and ran the group photo booth for the night. Special thanks to Kim for lending her talent and personality and to her family for hosting me for the night afterwards.

It was also great to see Mandy Perkins (also a great photographer I work with, and most notably, Bryon’s sister) who was delighted to be one of Katelyn’s bridesmaids.

On tap for the day was Katelyn and Bryon’s first look, the ceremony on the hill, dinner and dancing in the barn, a pinata, and group photo booth.

After making my way down a gravel country road, I was greeted with a welcoming, hand-painted sign that foreshadowed the creative touches to be found all over the farm.

Many who follow my work know that I love texture, and the interior of a rustic barn lends limitless possibilities for incorporating texture into our imagery. We found Katelyn’s dress hanging before she arrived from the salon so I took the opportunity to use some of the cozy settings set up around the barn.

I could never have imagine the level of thoughtfulness that went into creating the interior setting of the barn. Upside-down lamp shades covered bare bulbs, adding a homely touch and soft glow later as night fell.

As favors, jars of applesauce lay in crates over a burlap decorative runner on each table.

Did I mention I like texture? One dress shot was not enough.

Jugs, hay bales, and wooden frames filled with photos lined the walls and finished the cozy corners with a personal feel. A special frame was dedicated to loved ones those who could not attend.

The ceremony site sat nestled in a shady grove which opened to a sweeping, panoramic view of the lower Adirondack mountains. This magnificent vista provided the backdrop for the wedding ceremony.

I met Katelyn at a small cottage on the property where she and her bridesmaids got ready before the ceremony.

Katelyn’s mother, Lauri, helped Katelyn into her dress while guests started to arrive at the ceremony site.

Katelyn is attended by her sister, Kelsey, her mother, Lauri, and sister-of-the-groom, Mandy. 

Corset lacings add an elegant backing to a wedding dress, but can occasionally present a challenge during fitting. Rest assured, there is no dress fitting difficulty which Moe (Lauri’s fiance) cannot handle.

Katelyn finished her gown with a beautiful navy sash. 

I have come to discover, Katelyn is a candy lover. Crystal brought a pre-wedding treat for the girls.

Bryon and the guys brought an RV trailer and spent time camping in the barn’s adjacent field. Kim went to meet the guys and photograph Bryon before the wedding. Mandy brought her brother a wedding gift as he enjoyed the morning air.

Shot by Kim Martin
Shot by Kim Martin

Shot by Kim Martin

At last the moment has come for Bryon to see his bride for the first time on their wedding day: the first look. Bryon waits on the cottage patio while Katelyn emerges from behind. As Katelyn approaches to meet her groom, emotion swells as the story unfolds.

Right shot by Kim Martin

On the way to the gate leading to the ceremony, we stopped to say hello to a few of the interested onlookers.

At the ceremony site, Bryon, the groomsmen, and guests await Katelyn’s arrival.

Shot by Kim Martin

Katelyn’s uncle walks her down the aisle as Bryon watches.

Bryon’s nephews (Mandy’s sons) presented the rings to Bryon’s father, Gary, who presided.

Bryon places the ring on Katelyn’s finger as he professes his promise and love for her. Katelyn returns in kind, however, placing the ring on Bryon’s hand did not occur quite as easily.

Right shot by Kim Martin

Victory at last.

Right shot by Kim Martin

Shot by Kim Martin

The entire pack (or flock? Herd?) of alpacas followed us as we made our way down the path.

The lower Adirondacks created a beautiful backdrop to our family photos. Katelyn, Bryon, mother-of-the-groom, Susan, father-of-the-groom, Gary, and sister-of-the-groom, Mandy.

Katelyn and Bryon with their nephews.

Bryon, Katelyn, Katelyn’s mother, Lauri, sister, Kelsey, and Lauri’s fiance, Moe.

Groomsmen Greg and Jody joined Kelsey, Mandy, and the boys for a wedding party photo.

The celebration begins. The newlywed couple makes their grand entrance.

Katelyn shares her first dance with Bryon as her husband.

Guests signed a monogram letter of their last name.

This fabulous cake by Julie Almond of Caketopia Cakes rested atop a wooden pedestal in keeping with the barn’s thematic aura.

Guests could relax in furnished corners, play horseshoes, or help themselves to popcorn.

The bar setup in the corner stall is the perfect use of the barn’s natural offerings.

With comfortable evening air setting in, guests roam the grounds and enjoy the evening light as well.

Bryon shares a dance with his mother, Susan.

The evening sky did not disappoint and I can’t resist the opportunity for “sneak out” shots to capture the evening’s display.

Bryon takes a pass at the candy-filled pinata.

I believe it is this bullseye by groomsmen Greg which signaled the beginning of the end for the pinata.

After a night of fun, friends, and dancing, Katelyn and Bryon pause for an intimate moment together as the evening fades into twilight.

Katelyn and Bryon, it was an extraordinary pleasure to come to Vermont to spend this incredible day with you. Thank you for inviting me into this momentous time in your lives to tell the story of your wedding. I am thrilled to have had this opportunity to tell your wedding story, your love story, in images surrounded by your family and friends in this beautiful setting.

Ron

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