Grand Isle Lake House Weddings

    Being a professional Vermont wedding photographer has been my game for over ten years now. It’s hard to believe! I’ve been reorganizing my wedding catalogs lately and in the process looking back on weddings past. While sifting through the thousands of wedding images I’ve amassed it struck me that there are quite a few venues that I’ve visited many times over the years.  I thought it would be a fun to create some photo tours of some of those spots I’ve frequented. As I started collecting images I realized this will also be a great way for prospective wedding clients see each venue in different seasons, weather, and lighting in a very complete way.

    I will add a little preamble here that some of these images were taken quite a few years ago so some details may have changed. For the most part, however, the photos will give you a general sense of how things flow photographically at a venue. So, here goes! Grab some coffee (or wine depending on the time of day) because this post is stuffed with images.

    This first post covers the Grand Isle Lake House, in Grand Isle Vermont. I’ve mentioned this in so many posts before like Emily & Kevin’s wedding, Karen & Graham’s, and most recently Jaime & Sophia’s and Addison & Sarah’s weddings from 2015 that this is a favorite spot of mine. It’s a classic backdrop that can suit many wedding styles with beautiful comfortable spaces both inside and out. You’ve got an Inn, sprawling lawns, lake access and mountain views. That’s a lot wrapped into one package.

    Head down the tree-lined drive after a beautiful trip across Lake Champlain and through the islands and you’re greeted by the Inn’s welcoming wraparound porch. While the building invites you inside most guests have to take at least a quick walk around to check out the perennials and the views. It’s hard to believe when you look at this place that it’s 100 years old!

    Many of my couples have set up lawn games to entertain guests during cocktail hour. There’s plenty of room on the grounds in addition to space for beckoning adirondack chairs and an inviting split rail fence with views from the overlook. During foliage season the place lights up with color.

    I’ve always been in love with porches and the Lake House’s is pretty amazing. First it’s huge. It also provides cover if the weather is iffy while still allowing guests to enjoy being outside. The west side is often used during cocktail hour and the east side is set with tables for dinner. It’s a bright and airy space for dining even if the shades are down for extra protection.

    Weather permitting, the ceremony is held out on the lawn under the wood arbor. It’s shaded my mature trees with a view of Lake Champlain behind it. When the weather permits and the ceremony is outside, the big moment begins with the bride’s long approach from the porch steps. I love a long walk like this…it’s so poignant and gives me so much opportunity to capture the range of emotions. The best moment of every ceremony at the Lake House is the couple’s exit. Maybe it’s the long walk out but I find I get the best post-ceremony reactions there.

    Inside you’ll find tons of original woodwork. Upstairs the bridal suite is a large bright room with plenty of space for a bride to dress with her helpers around her. The double wood pocket doors open to let people spill out into the hall if need be. The bridal suite is secluded by doors but still a just walk down the hall to the other upstairs rooms giving me quick access to the groom while he gets ready. I’ve used the lace curtain and the antique couch in the hall quite a few times for bridal portraits.

    When my couples have opted for a first look, I’ve usually arranged for it to happen under the apple tree on the East side of the Lake House. It’s shaded, pretty and private. There’s plenty of spots that would also be great but this is one of my favorite starting points. From there, there are so many spots to take couples for portraits without leaving the venue. A quiet path (manageable in heels) leads down to a rocky beach. The beach is great for fun shots with groups or as a private romantic getaway.

    Depending on the season and the time of day, there are several spots for group portraits. When the sky is overcast there is such a soft beautiful light. In the late afternoon (or evening depending on the season) the sun will glow through the trees.

    Typically the crowd moves inside for dancing provided by a DJ or band. This room is so stately with the wood-paneled coffered ceiling but still a great place to let loose. Dusk is another magic hour as the sky turns deep blue and the Lake House glows.

    Check out my other venue tours of the Barn at Boyden Farm, The Old Lantern Inn & Barn, The Ponds at Bolton Valley, The Essex Resort and Bliss Ridge.

    Stina Booth is a wedding photographer based in northern Vermont available to shoot weddings in Vermont and throughout New England. To inquire about your wedding reach out!

    February 12, 2016




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