A wedding is a once in a lifetime event. It is a proclamation of love, a way to tell the world that this is a forever till death do us part and maybe even not then sort of relationship. Which is why it is touted as THE most important day of your life. It is the first day of the rest of your life with a partner that you’ve decided you truly love but also that you want to spend eternity with – whether they’re a mess or a neat freak, a night owl or early riser, a dog guy or a cat lady, this is the one person in the world you want to kiss goodnight and wake up to every morning. It’s a big deal.

Which begs the question, where to make this marriage official? There are so many choices that from the minute that ring slides onto your finger it’s a race to research research and research some more until Pinterest kicks you offline at 4am. Planning a wedding is an overwhelming experience, but part of the stress is instantly relieved once you decide where to tie the knot. After that it’s pretty much smooth sailing…

A destination wedding sounds over the top and extravagant at first glance…and most guests would balk at the idea of a mandated ‘vacation’ that involves hundreds of dollars of travel costs at their own expense. That’s where the ‘local’ destination wedding revolution has come in. Instead of being confined to you or your groom’s hometown where there are usually pretty limited options, couples are looking to venues that are reasonably nearby but have their own sense of place.

Our Tried & True Couple tying the knot at the Trapp Family Lodge's intimate stone chapel

Our Tried & True Couple tying the knot at the Trapp Family Lodge’s intimate stone chapel – Hoffer Photography

One of the best parts of a destination wedding is having your entire group of friends and family literally take over a hotel for a weekend, running into bridesmaids at 3am and seeing your relatives in every hallway. It adds to the togetherness of the entire event, instead of sending guests back to their respective houses when the lights come on and the DJ dismisses you. Plus, take away the pressure of being the designated driver and your friends and family actually get to enjoy all that fancy champagne and let loose on the dance floor.

We hosted our very own luxurious Alister & Paine Wedding this past January at one of the top destination wedding locations in the country, the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. Yes, THOSE Von Trapps. When the family fled Austria during WWII (the story that inspired the iconic Sound of Music) they made a life and home in the mountains of Stowe and the Trapp Family Lodge was born. Situated on 2,500 acres overlooking the stunning mountains of Vermont, it’s a gorgeous setting for a wedding.

Saying "I Do!" at the Mozart Room

Saying “I Do!” at the Mozart Room – Hoffer Photography

January in Vermont may send shivers up your spine but the Lodge is really incredible in any season and with a snowshoe trail leading to the small stone chapel that Johannes Von Trapp built by hand years ago it’s one of the most romantic ways to get married surrounded by natural beauty. We hosted a small, private ceremony at the stone chapel before walking down the aisle in the elegant Mozart Room – rustic chic perfection.

There are certain elements that can make or break a wedding – great food and booze is a huge part of that. Chef Cody was already one of our favorite Vermont chefs when he took over the kitchen at the Lodge last Spring – his talent shines in his Austrian inspired dishes and the ability to send out one perfect plate after another, no matter how large the group. The on-site Trapp Lager Brewery specializes in boutique American style Austrian Ales like the seasonal Trösten and refreshing Golden Helles that add a fun local aspect to the day, and are incidentally delightfully smooth. The staff is also very accommodating for your raw-vegan-gluten free-pescetarian friends and will make sure they are not left out of the gourmet foodie fest.

The Bride & Groom share a celebratory kiss while their bridal party looks on

The Bride & Groom share a celebratory kiss while their bridal party looks on – Hoffer Photography

Any wedding package at the lodge includes a wedding coordinator who will do everything from get your menus and programs together, talk with every single vendor to get details in order and make sure you have a mimosa and calm your nerves before the big day begins. Jessica Couture is currently in charge of events at the lodge and will seriously bend over backwards and go above and beyond to make sure your vision is executed flawlessly into the perfect wedding.

However, it is always nice to have someone come in from the ‘outside’ whose sole job it is to make sure the bride is calm, the groom sober and the day is going according to plan.Becca at Missing Piece Events is a perfectly organized punctual wedding planner who can help you for the all details leading up to the day and/or be your ‘Day-Of Coordinator’ to make sure even if something does go wrong it’s fixed before you ever hear about it. She also runs a vintage rental company that has amazing ‘rustic chic’ Vermont style finds to make your venue that much more spectacular!

After all, it’s all about the happily ever after.