Wedding photography has brought me to so many beautiful locations.. Far trips Like Thailand and Kauai, My typical California locations like Mendocino, Lake Tahoe, Napa, Carmel, Big Sur, Calistoga, Newport Beach, Dana Point. Across the country to Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and even back home to my home state, Michigan. I never had Vermont on my radar until I got a call from Sam two years back. I love that wedding photography allows me to see the world through the lens of places special to the couples.
I was so excited that Sam thought of me to shoot her wedding, and even more excited to travel to Brett’s family farm in Pawlet, Vermont where they showed me the backroads of this little state with a touch of local knowledge and love.
“Just look through all of the closets and cupboards and take whatever you like,” Tom and Mo (neighbours of the bride and groom) told me as they handed me the keys to their house where I stayed. A sweet statement that foreshadowed a weekend of kindness and generosity.
Brett and Sam were friends of mine from college at the University of Redlands, Go Bulldogs! Brett was in a band called Over Easy that we all spent several college nights dancing to. Sam was the glowing beautiful blonde girl with an iconic Sam Sorbo smile and laugh. Not only is Sam beautiful, but she is also nice. I was so honored when these two reached out for wedding photography. I would have loved to shoot their wedding even if they got married on the side of the road in Nebraska, but then they showed me their farm and I was blown away. I guess this really is the place. Home.
I was embraced with Brett’s kindness the moment I rolled in to say hi and gear up for the weekend. He gave me a tour all around the farm and the surrounding properties on a quad.
Brett’s Grandmother bought their Vermont farm, now called The Cornerstone Farm, back in the ‘70s and it has been in the family ever since. Brett was raised going there all the time, he even took his first steps there. Brett and Sam have been together for 9 years and in that time, the farm has become characteristic of Sam’s time with Brett as well. Sam told me a story about back when she and Brett were just friends, they were in the kitchen at the farm and she mumbled “man I would love to get married here someday” and the night that the two of them got engaged, Brett told her that when those words came out of her mouth, years ago, he knew he wanted to marry her at the Vermont family farm. Their families spent months before their wedding making sure the farm was pristine and perfect for their special day. So much love went into creating this event!
The weekend kicked off with tacos and friends coming in from all over the country. Brett went out of his way to do the little things, like get me sparkling water amidst it all. I could tell by many of his gestures that he is always looking out for others. Sam is also this way. Both so full of selfless love. Her cousin said, “no matter how much Sam has going on, she will always make the time to make sure you feel appreciated and loved.” This is something they both have, and I know that it will be a solid foundation as they build their life together. Her cousin finished the speech with a sweet story about how while Sam was in Grad School, they were on the phone catching up and as Sam pulled up to her house, Brett was patiently waiting for her with a glass of wine in his hand for her. What a man!!!
At the ceremony, I knew every guest could feel the presence of appreciation, devotion, sweet kindness and love. Friendship was at the heart of every dance, every speech, as the two of them are close with so many friends; high school, college. The group of Redlands students, myself included, ended up bartending at the end of the night and none of us are bartenders!. You could feel the love and friendship as a pulse of the whole weekend. Brett's Father touched all of our hearts with the most loving speech after we finished eating the best pizza I had ever had.
Chip illustrated for us a fond father-son moment from Cornerstone where they both had gone out dressed in hunting clothes in search of the “Owl Moon”. It was New Years and the hunt was inspired by a book that Brett had grown up reading. Chip is now with us in spirit and I could feel how loved he was by so many souls at the wedding that I know how dearly he will be missed. My love goes out to their whole family.
I am so confident that Brett and Sam will carry the love their families and friends have given them into their lives together. They are so naturally beautiful together. I feel lucky to have been invited into their hearts during their Vermont wedding weekend at the Cornerstone Farm.
Floral: Sharon Rishell
Getting Ready Location: Barrows House
DJ: Bill Mazzucco
Officiant: Kevin Gihhhuly ( Sam’s Uncle )
Ceremony Musician: Nina Fernando + Ethan Tucker
Coordination: Katie Cary // The Event Sisters