Summer Solstice Elopement in St. Johnsbury, Vermont
Aug 1, 2020 | By: Sally Carpenter Photography
Summer Solstice Elopement At The Alerin Barn
Megan and Jeremy's original wedding had to be postponed because of Covid-19, however, because the Summer Solstice is such a "magical" day of the year and is associated with love and marriage, they deiced to elope on their original wedding date and have the big party next year...also on the Summer Solstice.
For centuries, civilizations have celebrated this time of the year. The most enduring summer celebration connection came from the Druids who celebrated the day as the ‘marriage of day and night’. This is where the belief that it is ‘lucky’ to wed in June stems from. Furthering this connection, is the name for the Midsummer moon drink they called the ‘Honey Moon’. The "Honey Moon" was made from fermented honey that was used for the mead that was part of the wedding celebrations.
Not only was the summer solstice an excellent date for their elopement,The Alerin Barn was a wonderful choice for their wedding venue and keeping with the Covid-19 guidelines the wedding party was only immediate family and "Gussie" their dog.
Since we considered their elopement session as an "engagement session", I was only there a couple hours, but I was still able to get some wedding detail photos and scout out a few location areas before the ceremony.
The Alerin Barn has some beautiful and fun spots for wedding photos, from the Adirondack Fish Chairs to the pastoral fields and lakes. However, instead of the designated ceremony site with rows of rustic seating (that would basically be empty since there were only 10 people) Megan and Jeremy deiced to have their solstice wedding ceremony on the crest of the hill overlooking the Vermont landscape with the quintessential red barn.
When I arrived "Boone", the owner's grandson, was setting up his lemonade stand and as you can see, the proceeds are going into his dirt bike fund!
After I took a quick look around, I went up to the bridal suite to catch a few detail and getting ready photos. Megan's diamond engagement ring was from her great grandmother Regina, the blue sapphire ring was from Jeremy's grandmother, "Bubby" and the ID bracelet was from Megan's grandmother Dee Dee.
Megan also had a pearl bracelet from her grandmother Florence.
Since Megan was unable to get her original wedding dress from NYC she found a fun "elopement" dress on "shopbop". Then her mother got out her wedding dress from over 30 years ago and it fit Megan perfectly! So, Megan wore her mother's dress for some photos before the ceremony and the dress she bought earlier for the ceremony itself.
Vermont is known for it's green mountains and stunning scenery and one of the couple's favorite Vermont landscapes was reproduced in a lovely painting by Jeremy's father, Dave, which was then used as the background for their original wedding invitations. Megan also embroidered on her denim jacket the beautiful scene with an added slogan "What we need is here" taken from a Wendell Berry poem that was read during her parents' wedding ceremony. Her floral headband and colorful bridal bouquet were by Emily Herzig Floral Studio.
Soon Jeremy arrived and while he was getting dressed, Megan was given permission to cut some of the beautiful lilacs, lupins and other wild flowers to use as decorations for the diner table.
Once Jeremy was dressed we had a very quick romance session by the pond and with "Gussie" their niece's dog.
One portrait we took was a "copy" of the original wedding portrait of Megan's mother (who was wearing the same dress) and father. Here it is and look how much Megan looks like her mother did!
Then Megan quickly got "re-dressed" and it was time for the summer solstice ceremony on the hill. The officiant was Martha Dallas of Vermont Celebrants. During the exchange of rings a very persistent wasp deiced to have a thing for Jeremy, which made for some super fun images I must say!
Having their ceremony on the summer solstice meant it was the longest day of the year, so there was plenty of light after the 5:00 PM ceremony for some family photos and a very befitting Covid group portrait. Megan's mother made all the masks and they had a little tab that said "Love in the time of Corona, M&J 6/2020" on them.
Here are a few more post ceremony photos before we had a very quick romance session while the guests headed back to the venue for a champagne toast and wonderful meal prepared by AJ from Salt Bistro and Catering Company .
The sun was still high in the sky, even at 6:00 PM so we had some lovely bright light for the romance photo session in the field and I was so glad they were "up for it". Then Megan wanted one photo with their masks on taken at the original ceremony site so we walked over there for a few snaps before they walked back to the venue to meet their family for the reception cocktails and dinner.
The reception table was decorated with serviettes that Megan made herself and antique bottles that they had been collecting from around Vermont and other places they had traveled over the past year. Megan made the cake topper and the floral arrangement was from Emily Herzig.
Before I left for an amazingly beautiful drive home, we took a few more photos of Megan "modeling" her denim jacket by the pond.
This was such a great elopement with fantastic people and the first I had photographed since Covid-19, so you can imagine how good it felt to get back to work doing what I absolutely love.
It looks like we will be seeing a lot more Covid Vermont elopements so please contact me for more information for either elopement photography or our complete elopement planning service and packages.