Shai and Sabrina’s wedding was gorgeous. Sabrina’s vintage inspired dress, the heaps of fresh wildflowers, and the beauty of the setting were nothing short of spectacular. And the deep connection of the couple to each other, their community, and their home made it an authentic meaningful event.
The couple planned their at home DIY wedding in Keeseville New York. Shai is the property manager of an amazing 5500 acre property with woods, trails, ponds and mountains. The ceremony was planned to take place at the peak of Rattlesnake Mountain and the tented reception would be held in their 3 acre backyard.
The day was set against the natural beauty of the forest, the barns, the gardens and the farm animals. I could have spent all day perusing the huge well tended vegetable garden. The chicken flock was busy pecking and grazing while friends bundled bouquets and set the tables under the tent. Shai wandered from task to task finishing odd jobs and greeting the trickle of guests starting to arrive. Sabrina briskly worked to finish her own to-do list. It’s easy to get caught up in the seemingly never-ending preparations when you’re putting together your wedding yourself, but at some point it’s time to stop and trust in your powers of delegation.
When Sabrina finally extracted herself from the wedding prep, it was time to load a car with dresses, makeup and bridesmaids and bump up the rough track leading to a mountaintop lake and a tidy log cabin where the girls would get ready. The pine forest was cool and a breeze blew in across the lake while the girls primped at an old picnic table set on a carpet of pine needles. It was something I could only describe as a magical fairy-like setting.
When all were ready, Shai and Sabrina met along the forest path to share their first reveal, and a few tears, with no one but the alpine lake watching. Their two dogs trotted around them enjoying the moment in their own way. Their wedding party soon joined them. All were dressed in their best but more than willing to hike through the woods.
A jostling ride up another mountain road took everyone to the peak for the ceremony. The path led past another cabin and opened to a sweeping view of Lake Champlain and the green mountains of Vermont across the way. A throng of guests were already waiting seated on haybales, blankets or perched on elevated rocks. A friend officiated the ceremony under the cedar arbor. They were surrounded by so much love. When the ceremony was finished, the crowd lingered both for a first chance to hug the couple and for a last chance to breathe in the view.
The couple returned to the celebration under the tent. Shai quickly got back to mingling and Sabrina emerged through the handmade timber garden arbor. A hearty buffet of side dishes stocked plates already piled with pulled porke from the trailer size smoker. The crowd had a large population of young farmers who are part of the couples’ supportive and like-minded community. A group photo of the local farm ladies was a portrait of a group equally strong and beautiful.
After drinks and toasts and a shared cupcake the party kicked off with the couple’s first dance. The folk band played on a trailer stage parked under a canopy of trees. The dance pace picked up and couples swirled around under the stars. Others sat for a break around the bonfire. It was all as perfect as it sounds.
I was honored to have been brought into Shai and Sabrina’s circle. Witnessing their wedding day was a truly inspiring experience.
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!