Après Ski Met Black Tie at This Couple's Winter Wedding in Woodstock, Vermont
When it came time for Caroline Willis and Phil Hooper to exchange vows, the couple planned a winter wedding at The Woodstock Inn and Resort in Vermont inspired by "the best après ski party of the season! We had a winter-themed, black tie wedding with a retro ski twist," Caroline says. The couple initially "bonded over our love of skiing and time spent in Switzerland," so a winter wedding that highlighted the snowy sport was the perfect way to celebrate their marriage. Caroline went on to share that even the decision to tie the knot in Woodstock was a deeply sentimental one. "We got married in Woodstock, Vermont, at the Woodstock Inn & Resort. My family has been coming up here for many years since my Grandfather purchased a house in the ‘80s, and both Phil and I learned to ski at a local bunny hill, Suicide Six, just outside of Woodstock—it’s one of the earliest ski resorts in the country and was the first with a powered rope tow. Of course, we had a retro ski day party at Suicide Six before our wedding!" she says.
To kick off the couple's snowy wedding weekend, guests were greeted with custom welcome bags that enabled the couple to set the tone for the weekend. The bags included; "a letter welcoming everyone to Woodstock and explaining the town’s significance to us, ski tickets for the Saturday morning ski (We used the save the date to create tickets for people to use at the mountain!), a button with a picture of my grandfather Bruce skiing (Without him, I would not have the special connection with Woodstock, so it was nice to pay tribute to him. One particular highlight was seeing people wear the buttons to both the ski day and the reception!), honey from my Uncle’s farm, sweet slopes peppermint pony chocolates (a family favorite), trail mix for the slopes and custom needlepoint hats made by Harding Lane with the Suicide Six logo on them—perfect for wearing at our retro ski day party before the wedding," recalls Caroline of the over-the-top welcome gifts attendees received.
The day after the couple's après ski welcome party, Caroline and Phil exchanged vows in an Episcopal church ceremony before celebrating with a green-and-white black-tie wedding reception. The wedding's overarching ski theme even found a way into the couple's traditional church service—the church "has a skier on its stained glass windows!" shares Caroline.
Following the church service, guests were ushered to the reception, which was intentionally filled with a palette of green, white and silver was intentional as Caroline and Phil wanted to "have a winter wedding palette without it feeling like Christmas in March." To complement the mostly-green palette, cherry blossoms took center stage in the floral designs. "I saw a picture online of cherry blossom branches on tables and immediately fell in love. We used that inspiration for the reception and actually added cherry blossoms into our crest/print materials," says Caroline. "For the sit-down dinner, we took the antlers and cherry blossoms from our crest and used it for inspiration for our table design. In addition, the formal invitation was backed in a sage green velvet, so we also used a sage green velvet napkin on the table," to tie the whole design together cohesively.
Unsurprisingly, the couple found creative ways to continue to honor their shared love of skiing throughout the reception. From local Vermont craft beers at cocktail hour to "a carrot cake with a ski theme—white 'snow' frosting and trees, along with several gold skier stick figures we found!" The couple shared their first dance to "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" before welcoming people into another room in the reception space for dancing "which had more of an Après ski vibe. We created a bar with retro ski posters and created a lounge area with a velvet couch and fur pillows."