Congratulations! You decided to get married in Vermont, maybe you’re planning your Vermont destination wedding from out of state and are looking for amazing Vermont wedding vendors who will make your wedding day go off without a hitch. Having lived in Germany, Los Angeles & Boston, I can honestly say that there is no better place than Vermont [just don't ask me when it's minus 40 degrees in February ;-)] and over the last 5 weddings seasons as a Vermont wedding photographer, I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside some really, really amazing Vermont wedding vendors. Knock your socks off amazing. Soo … why not feature these awesome people right here on the blog to make planning your Vermont wedding a little easier for you. So without further ado: Welcome to a new series bringing you the best of the best of Vermont’s wedding vendors.
Disclaimer: I will only showcase VT wedding vendors I have previously worked with, whose work I absolutely love and whom I’d have at my own wedding. That’s it. They don’t pay me, I don’t pay them.
The first person I contacted is truly amazing. A Vermont wedding officiant extraordinaire. She is incredibly fun and will make your Vt wedding ceremony truly special & memorable. Meet the one and only Kathryn Blume!
How did you get started in the wedding business?
Years ago I saw a some friends get married by a judge who was also a family friend. The judge was a sweet woman, but in all honesty it was a pretty boring ceremony. So, like the actor I am, I thought, “I could do better than that.” I got really excited about the idea of getting ordained and performing wedding ceremonies. I love ritual, I love writing, I love performance, and I love, well, love! But while I’m spiritual, I’m not really religious, and I couldn’t figure out what cloth I would want to be a woman of.
Then a friend told me about this old hippie church in California that advertised on the back of Rolling Stone and would ordain anyone. I did a little research and found out about the Universal Life Church. They’re all about democratizing the marital process, and their basic tenets are that everyone should have as much access to food, shelter, and sex as they want. I thought, “Now THAT is a church I can get behind!”
So, I called them up, they took my information, said they’d send me a packet, and I’d be ordained as of the postmark on the envelope. Which is exactly what happened. For a long time, I didn’t really do much about it. Every once in a while, someone would ask me to perform a ceremony, but it wasn’t a big part of my life.
And then a few years ago, I was having a kind of “What’s Next” moment, when a couple different friends called out of the blue and asked me to do their ceremonies. I started reflecting on the fact that Vermont is a big wedding destination, and that writing and performing weddings could actually be a delightful and deeply meaningful kind of business. So I gathered up all the wedding photos I had, put a page on my website, got listed with a number of wedding resource websites, and to be perfectly honest, people just started calling.
I had a fantastic summer of performing ceremonies, and it’s just taken off from there. I’m somewhere up around 200 weddings now, and I never get tired of it.
What do you do when you are not working (are you ever not working ;-))?
It’s Vermont! I’m freelance! Therefore I’m always working! I practice (and sometimes teach) yoga, I garden, I teach acting and writing, I do voiceovers, I direct the occasional play, I write the occasional play, sometimes I even perform in the occasional play… In the wedding off-season, my primary gig is running an award-winning community sustainability game called Vermontivate! It’s all about bringing fun, imagination, and collaborative competition to the serious work of addressing the global climate crisis.
What is the coolest thing you’ve ever seen at a wedding?
I’ve seen so much! Moose puppets, tea ceremonies, vomiting dogs…
I think my favorite was at the wedding of these two women in Huntington. They’d come to Vermont with a friend of theirs to get married and were staying at this gorgeous farmhouse at the base of Camel’s Hump. We strolled up into the field above the farmhouse to do the ceremony, and just as they laid down this handmade quilt on which they were going to stand, a small herd of Jersey cows wandered over to see what was going on.
The cows were apparently very taken with this wedding because they stood as close as they could to the quilt without actually standing ON it. They put their noses right up against the two brides (but didn’t eat their flowers). They also were very well behaved and didn’t poo or pee on anything.
When the gals and the photographer Karen Pike went walking around the field to take photos, the cows came with them and were in almost every single picture. Then, just as they were wrapping up, the herd just slowly and quietly wandered away.
What is your favorite thing about what you do?
I pretty much love everything about it. I adore meeting new people at such a significant moment in their lives. I enjoy making the process of putting together the ceremony as easy as possible. I really like going to places around the state that I never would have seen. I get a huge kick out of dressing up in the color scheme of each wedding (it’s the actor in me – I love costumes) and, of course, actually performing the ceremony. It’s all just a blast!
What do you think sets you apart from others?
I’m a good listener, so I can really take in what a couple wants for their ceremony. I’m a deft writer, so I can craft something that’s elegant, artful, meaningful, personal, and also funny. I know how to create sacred space without being too sentimental or sanctimonious about it. I’m a very experienced performer, so I know how to take the stage and run the show while still keeping each couple at the center of their own wedding. Plus, I just don’t get rattled. So no matter what happens – be it animals, babies, weather, in-laws, or the bride passing out – I can stay focused and in charge without turning anything into a crisis.
What’s the one thing you wish everyone knew about you or your business?
Ha! What a funny question. I’m not sure. Hire me and find out…
How would you describe your approach to weddings?
Casual yet focused. Weddings are so stressful for most couples that I feel like it’s my job to be the eye of the hurricane. And after 200+ ceremonies, it’s not hard for me to say with complete authority, “Don’t worry. Everything is going to be just fine.”
What inspires you in your work?
Ok, this is going to sound totally corny, but I’d have to say it’s love. Supporting two people who love each other and who are entering into the epic experiment of formal, long-term commitment.
Also, because I’m fortunate enough to live in Vermont, I perform a lot of same-sex ceremonies, which to me is an enormous social justice issue. The fact that gay marriage isn’t universally legal is about as wrong as wrong can be. Any of us could have been born gay and found ourselves on the short end of a lot of cultural and legal sticks. That I can participate in leveling the playing field a little is incredibly meaningful to me.
What do you love about weddings?
Watching people realize one of their very biggest dreams.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give to couples planning a wedding?
You don’t have to sell a kidney and both your grandmothers to pay for your wedding. There are an infinite number of creative ways to have a beautiful, memorable, and really fun day without going into hock for it.
The most important thing is that you’re marrying the person you love. So try to stay on the same team, even if things get stressful.