Sera and Gabe, who met in middle school and became high school sweethearts, held their gorgeous outdoor wedding at The Skinner Barn in Waitsfield, Vermont. These two have a love story for the ages (Gabe once walked through a blizzard to see Sera), and a proposal that will make your heart melt (read more below about how he popped the question in a candlelit cave, in Jamaica!). Their wedding day was filled with family and friends, modern rustic details, a textural burgundy, red, blush, and blue bouquet by Petals Floral Design, Vermont’s Green Mountains, and lawn games. Not to mention a golden field of light which they decided to dance in, making for some of my favorite images so far this year. Thank you Ember Photography for sharing this lovely wedding with us!
Before the Ring:
Technically, these two met on the first day of middle school but they didn’t become friends until the very end of 9th grade when they shared a dance together at the winter semi-formal and later started passing notes during History class. By the beginning of their junior year of high school, the bride and the groom had become pretty close friends and realized that maybe there was something more. One fateful evening, Sera decided to call the Gabe and see if he would meet her at the movies later that night. He said yes! (Indicative of what she would say 7 years later!) And for the next year, they were inseparable.
After taking a little break through the start of college, Gabe decided that he was determined to see the bride again and made a pit stop at Smith College on his way north from George Mason (where he spent freshman year). There was a blizzard that night and the brave groom had to hitchhike from the Amherst train station to Smith campus. When Sera looked out her dorm window, all she saw was her future groom, covered in snow, standing under the streetlight. She ran downstairs and out to him, they took one look at each other, and really, the rest is history. – Adapted from Sera & Gabe’s wedding website
The Proposal: Last spring Sera and Gabe headed to Negril, Jamaica for a romantic getaway. Here is the proposal from Sera’s perspective:
My birthday was on Sunday, so my suave Gabriel had made plans for a special birthday dinner at a private resort called the Caves. On Thursday afternoon, he announced that birthday dinner was being moved to Friday because “the menu looks much better.” (Really, I should have known something was up, but he loves food so I believed him!)
All day Friday, Gabe seemed rather impatient and anxious, but I (naively!) just assumed he was still trying to unwind after a busy few weeks at work. Since our special table wasn’t going to be ready until 7pm, we spent over an hour just sitting and enjoying the sunset. Well, trying to enjoy at least! Gabe was acting so strangely that I began to feel really anxious, so anxious, in fact, that I couldn’t even finish my drink (although Gabe had consumed a good handful of Red Stripes by this point!). Finally, we were told we could go down to the table. Down, I thought? Where the heck were we going? We walked down a steep narrow staircase set into the stone along the beach cliffs. As it turned out, we were heading to our very own, private ocean-side cave…!!!! A cave that happened to be gorgeously filled with candles and flowers. Still thinking this was for my birthday (what was I thinking?!), I started crying and shaking with excitement, and some nerves.
Gabe walked over to a little alcove in the cave where a bench had been carved into the stone and asked me to sit with him. I was far too excited (and maybe a bit nervous) and wanted to look around the cave so I kept getting up and wandering away. Finally, Gabe requested rather firmly that I please sit down with him and just sit still. After he took a few deep breaths and shakily took my hand, he told me how much he loved me and how he couldn’t imagine spending the rest of his life with anyone else, and he asked me to be his bride. And of course, I said yes!
Details of the Day:
I would say that our inspiration was rustic, but modern. We wanted lots of natural elements like birch and barn board, lots of texture in the flowers, and non-traditional fall colors (hence why we went with navy and burgundy instead of the more typical orange, brown, etc.) but we also wanted modern fresh touches like bold fonts on Kraft paper, and classic three piece grey suits for the men. We didn’t want a casual wedding, nor did we want an ultra-formal one, but something that met perfectly in the middle. We wanted everyone to feel at home at our wedding, at home in the mountains of Vermont, enjoying the fall weather and enjoying one another. We just wanted the wedding to be very “us” – Vermonters at heart, living the city life for now. City meets country, warm and loving, fun and whimsical but classic at the same time.
Most memorable moments:
a) The kiss! I had no idea we would be so nervous at the ceremony, but we were! I was so nervous, in fact, that I didn’t really hear anything that was being said, I was just tearing up a little and shaking a little, and finally, what felt like hours later, I got to kiss Gabe. It felt so incredible, like I had been waiting all my life. b) Going outside at sundown to dance alone in the field where our ceremony had been held while all of our guests watched us from above in the barn… that was pretty special! c) Our first dance! We were both so nervous! But as it turns out, we did it perfectly! And everyone loved it. I felt like we were completely alone in the room, just us, sharing the most special moment of our lives. I loved it. d) Finally, I guess I would say that our exit was very memorable! We decided to have all of our guests line up along the ramp into the barn and we ran out of the barn through their waving arms and loud cheers! Only, part of the way down the ramp I realized that I never got to taste the special rhubarb crisp our caterers had made for me, so I ran back into the barn, shoved a bite in my mouth, and ran back outside.
Just enjoy it! I know people say that all the time, but it really is true. Do whatever it takes to stop stressing, keep breathing and enjoy the whole process! We had our moments of tears during the whole planning process, but we tried very hard to stay level headed and make time for ourselves in the months leading up the wedding – time both together and apart! When the day of the wedding came, we just told ourselves that it was what it was – whatever goes wrong, it’ll be fine. And it was! The ovens that we rented kept breaking and dinner was delayed, but we didn’t care – we were having too good of a time! And because we didn’t care, our guests didn’t even notice! So just enjoy the day. If something goes wrong, let someone else handle it. Just focus on yourselves and all of the love surrounding you!
Photography: Ember Photography / Venue: The Skinner Barn / Florist: Petals Floral Design / Dress: from Special Event Bridal Shoppe / Catering: Catering by Dale / Rentals: Weddings, Tents & Events / Bar Service: Purple Moon Pub / DJ: LinCo Entertainment