A Charming, Rustic Wedding at a Private Estate in Woodstock, Vermont

New York-based couple Brooke Cunningham (34 and works in technical software sales at Veritas) and Zachary Seely (32 and lead strategist at Luma Pictures) took to the mountains of Woodstock, Vermont, for an unforgettable fall fete with endless country charm and a touch of big-city flair. “Zach’s paternal great-grandparents purchased the property, known as the Pink House, just outside Woodstock almost 100 years ago,” Brooke says. “The house and land remain in the family. It was a special place for Zach while growing up and a special place for both of us while we dated.” 

The natural beauty of rural Vermont was the focus for the entire weekend, with each event highlighting the area’s picturesque landscape. The welcome party was held on the banks of the Ottaququeche River, and the wedding itself was held on the expansive family estate, overlooking the surrounding forests and mountains in the distance. “Since we had all this beautiful landscape to work with, we decided that all details should accentuate the natural elements as much as possible,” Brooke says. The ceremony, which was presided over by a close friend, took place in front of a small, peaceful pond, with Brooke and Zachary exchanging vows under a simple wooden arch draped in a lush garland of ferns, vines, garden roses and wildflowers. “We wanted a very communal feel, so we set up a few hay bales as seating but encouraged most people to gather around and stand close to us,” Brooke says. As guests arrived at the ceremony, they were treated to Long Trail beer, a local favorite, and champagne, inspiring a laid-back vibe. The Bondville Boys, a country-bluegrass band, provided the tunes, playing bluegrass instrumental versions of new and classic hits. The reception unfolded under a spacious tent and perfectly captured Brooke and Zachary’s rustic-chic vision. Long country tables topped with mismatched antique dinnerware and brightly colored wildflowers filled the open-air tent with an inviting ambiance, while details like apple escort cards and printed linen dishcloths draped over each chair exuded country charm. Strands of bistro lights cast a warm, romantic glow, and the Sultans of Swing filled the outdoor space with the sound of Motown classics and upbeat soul that got guests movin’ and groovin’. “Our one rule was that we didn’t want the party to stop until people wanted to stop dancing, so after the caterers left we provided snacks and drinks and brought in a DJ until 3 a.m.,” Brooke says. 

A tip from Brooke and Zachary: “Our advice to future couples is to stay true to the vision of the wedding day you want. It's easy to go overboard or to start cutting things. As a couple, decide which elements you can and cannot do without. Definitely have a wedding planner. It is so nice for the bride, groom, wedding party and family to enjoy the entire day while someone you trust is making sure everything is being set up and taken care of. Finally, talk about normal life stuff—not just wedding things. Wedding details and decisions can be stressful and take over.” —Libby MacCarthy