A Fun, Funky Wedding in Stowe, Vermont
Lauren and Josh Dollinger live in a Boston apartment with a picturesque roof deck—Lauren had long begged Josh to set up a table on the rooftop, where they could sit and enjoy the city views. So, when Josh invited her to the top of the building for a surprise, she assumed he'd purchased the table she'd been hoping for. Instead, he'd bought a ring. "When I got up [to the deck], there was a big 'Marry Me' sign," recalls Lauren, "and he was quickly down on one knee." (We still don't know if Lauren ever got that table.)
After a year-and-a-half engagement, the couple wed on August 18, 2018, at Long Shadow Farm in Stowe, Vermont, a destination affair for all but 10 of the couple's 290 guests. The venue was perfect for the duo because it gave them "a lot of freedom to do all the unique things we wanted," and had no curfew, Lauren says. With their venue set, Lauren and Josh struck out to plan a wedding that reflected all the things they love most—like lawn games, VW busses, pizza trucks, and yummy drinks (via "a two-hour cocktail hour that gave everyone time to enjoy mingling," Lauren says). Under a tent, guests could enjoy the beautiful scenery while playing games and having a drink.
The wedding was truly "them"—and guests took notice. "We had so many people tell us after the wedding that, 'The wedding was so you guys,'" Lauren explains. "We love pizza, we love lawn games, we love a good drink, we love cheese boards, we love Ben & Jerry's, we love any type of cocktail hour—so we made ours two hours—we love live music and dancing, and we especially love all our friends and family," she says. "We wanted to have a day filled with the things that make us us."
Emily Rose Ink created the couple's invitation suite, which featured a watercolor map of Boston and Montreal—where Lauren and Josh are from, respectively—as well as the high school where they met and Stowe, where they would wed. "Growing up, we both traveled up and down that route probably hundreds of time," Lauren says. "We know every exit by heart on Route 89, and it was so beautifully drawn."
Lauren was inspired by Carolyn Bessette when it came to her wedding dress. "I had always loved the look of Carolyn Bessette at her wedding to JFK Jr.," Lauren says. "She looked so casual but also bridal. I wanted simplicity, but also wanted to still feel like a bride." To pull this off, she chose a simple silk crepe Alexandra Grecco gown, then added a lace Theia topper.
Lauren's diamond engagement ring is a family heirloom. "My engagement ring is the one that my grandfather gave my grandma," she says. "My grandfather passed away 10 years ago and we were extremely close. [But] he got to meet Josh before he passed away, which is something I am so thankful for."
Josh donned a navy suit that matched his groomsmen's suits. "With 10 groomsmen, and a few who were 6-feet-4-inches tall and taller, this was not as easy as we thought," Lauren laughs.
Lauren selected the bridesmaids' dresses' hue—a light blue—before she'd even picked out the wedding's color scheme, she says. Each woman selected her own floor-length Show Me Your MuMu dress.
Lauren requested white flowers with pops of color for her bouquet, and "the flowers went way past any expectation I had," she says.
A calligraphed sign—flanked by metal lanterns—welcomed guests to the wedding.
Florist Blomma Flicka created a ceremony chuppah with birch wood, hydrangeas, roses, and greenery. Because Josh is Jewish, "it was really important to us that we got married under a chuppah and that Josh broke the glass," Lauren says. "I still remember the loud 'Mazel Tov!' that echoed through the field once he did it!"
Male guests were encouraged to don yarmulkes—which were displayed on chicken wire panels—for the Jewish ceremony.
Because the couple met in high school, they asked a former high school teacher and current family friend to act as their officiant. "He absolutely nailed it," Lauren says. "[He] touched on our personalities and us just perfectly."
It's a Sign
As part of their décor, the couple featured a wooden sign that pointed to meaningful destinations—including their high school (where they met) and the colleges they attended.
During the cocktail hour, beer was kept cool at the bottom of a red canoe filled with ice and decorated with greenery and roses. "This was Josh's first request the day we got engaged," Lauren says of the setup. "The canoe we used belonged to Josh's grandpa who died just a few months before our wedding, so it was especially meaningful."
Lauren and Josh's cocktail hour was actually two hours long, a time for guests to drink, nibble, and play lawn games. During cocktail hour, guests stepped into a vintage VW van to snap silly photos.
The cocktail hour also included a variety of appetizers, including an oyster bar and a pizza truck that served assorted flatbreads.
When it came time to move into the reception area, guests found their escort cards clipped to a wall of greenery.
The reception was held beneath a large sailcloth tent full of greenery. "We wanted to bring the beauty of Vermont into the tent and make it feel like we were having a big family dinner on a farm in Vermont," Lauren says. "We did this by having as much greenery as possible—we lined all the tent poles with greenery and had massive green chandeliers with vines draping casually everywhere."
And because the couple wanted to encourage conversation, they chose 16-foot-long wooden tables "so that everyone was able to interact," Lauren says.
Table numbers were calligraphed in light blue ink on white cardstock.
For their centerpieces, Lauren and Josh chose floral garlands that ran the length of those 16-foot tables. "We wanted the flowers to be fun and colorful and unique," Lauren says of their choice. "We wanted it to look like someone walked through a flower farm and just put together the most fun and colorful collection they could find."
The menu cards kept with the couple's colorful theme, featuring bright-hued fruits and vegetables and even slices of pizza. "We really wanted food that we liked and to break away from the typical wedding mold," says Lauren. Some items they served included grilled vegetables and a watermelon and feta salad. But, "the pasta was a huge hit," says Lauren.
Lounge areas were created to help guests feel "cozy," Lauren says. "It all made for a very relaxed and fun environment."
Guests enjoyed nine different desserts after dinner. The sweet spread included macarons, chocolate chip cupcakes, and M&M cookies, as well as a Ben & Jerry's cart serving scoops of ice cream.
Lauren and Josh shared their first dance as husband and wife to "I Go Back" by Kenny Chesney. "This has been our song since the first summer we dated," Lauren says. "I took Josh to a Kenny Chesney concert and since then, we've gone to 12 together. It's a song that connects us to a happy place and transports us back in time to those early years."
Photography, J. Harper Photography
Venue, Long Shadow Farm
Event planning and design, Storied Events
Catering, Let's Pretend Catering
Cocktails, Vermont Farms Catering
Flowers, Blomma Flicka
Videography, Juharo Productions
Stationery, Emily Rose Ink
Music, Night Shift Entertainment
Rentals and lighting, Rain or Shine
Specialty Rentasls, Chickadee Hill Events
Hair, H Studio
Makeup, Jennifer Perellie
Bridesmaids' dresses, Show Me Your MuMu
Groom's suit, Men's Wearhouse
Menswear, Men's Wearhouse
Men's Accessories, DAZI
Pizza Truck, Open Hearth Pizza
Photo Booth, Friendly Lens
Fire Pits, Fire! Fire!
Linens, La Tavola Linens