When we're in our 20s and early 30s

  • 1 min to read
Wedding reception

Me and my sister, Callie Hagedorn, at her wedding reception last summer.

Wedding talk is part of everyday life. Weekends are booked and vacations are planned months in advance to accommodate the multiple celebrations that accompany the next wedding on the calendar. But as time goes on, baby showers replace bridal showers, and the bridesmaid dresses we wore just a few years ago begin to look like relics from another lifetime.

Until my sister got married last summer, I’d been off the wedding circuit for a good 10 years. As I watched her, over the course of a full year, plan a multi-day destination affair, I marveled at how dramatically the wedding planning process has changed since strapless gowns became all the rage in the mid-1990s.

There’s a lot more room for personalization nowadays, and consequently, choices to make. Couples, untethered by conventional religious standards, can make their wedding whatever they want it to be. Even brides and grooms who opt for a traditional church ceremony aren’t immune to the endless stream of details that leads from the engagement celebration to the after-wedding party. Even the simplest decisions can begin to feel overwhelming.

Take a deep breath. While the wedding experience has been thrown into high gear since your parents — or elder siblings — took their vows, the idea is the same: to celebrate your new journey as a couple with the friends and family who will join you on the road.

In this issue, we’ll help you find ways to create the Vermont wedding of your dreams, without losing your head. From finding the perfect dress to new trends for destination wedding weekends, these pages are filled with ideas and inspiration for your big day — and the weeks and months leading up to it.

Stowe wedding planner Nancy Jeffries-Dwyer offers tips on how to manage the wedding planning process — instead of letting it manage you. In a Q&A with Justice of the Peace Mitzi McInnis, we learn how civil ceremonies provide a great alternative for couples looking to customize the wedding ceremony to fit their unique beliefs and traditions. And in an article about same-sex weddings, we’ll find out why a Vermont wedding is truly a dream come true for some couples.

But here’s a little “big sister” advice: This is a unique and fleeting moment in your life. Don’t get bogged down in the details. It’s the big picture that counts. And in your future wedding scene, it’s the faces you’ll remember, not the color of the tablecloths.

Congratulations, and happy planning!

Amanda Kuhnert


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