Imagine finding out that just a few weeks before your wedding that the venue has closed. That’s just what happened to Meredith and Erik Breiland, who were just six weeks out from their wedding date — RSVPs and confirmed list of guests in hand. They would have to find another location.

The couple was smitten with the low-key, barn-like bar vibe of the Rusty Nail in Stowe, but after a coworker spotted an article in the paper saying that the Nail had been sold, Meredith was unable to get in touch with anyone who could offer much help. (The Nail has since reopened.)

“I had said I was allowed to cry three times in wedding planning,” Meredith said. “I wasn’t a bridezilla by any means, but I knew this would be stressful.”

After the news about the venue, “I started the counter back to zero and said, I’m allowed to cry as much as I want,” Meredith said.

With November nuptials and a 180-person guest list looming, Meredith was scrambling — she knew from her research that only a handful of places in the area would be able to host such a gathering, and some were beyond their budget.

Help came in the form of Bobby Roberts, who owned the Rusty Nail from the 1980s until 2005.

“You’re a local girl; we can’t let this happen for you. We will make this right,” Meredith recalls him saying.

With Bobby’s help, they were able to secure Stowe Mountain Lodge, “and thanks to the kindness of locals and it being off-season,” they matched the menu — from the mac and cheese that Erik had made for her to brownie sundaes — and their original contract.

When her parents’ car caught fire on the day of the wedding, Stowe Mountain Lodge let them borrow a Mercedes Benz — and “they still think it’s the coolest thing ever,” Meredith said.

“It’s such a supportive local economy,” Meredith said. “Those are people who didn’t know me at all and were more than happy to help out.”

“I don’t wish what happened on anyone,” she said, “but I wish everyone a wedding with character.”

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