Addison County Weddings: Jess and Josh Rowe
Jessica Rowe (formerly Jessica Viau) grew up in Bristol amidst a large extended family. Both of her parents were also raised in Addison County and much of her extended family still resides in the area.
Joshua Rowe grew up in Burlington.
The couple now lives in Boston, Mass., but they cherish any opportunity to return to Vermont and say that every time they do it feels like they never left.
Josh is a lighting designer for many different types of performing artists and Jess is pursuing a career in animal welfare.
In the spring of 2016, while on a tour in Las Vegas, Josh found himself at the famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop looking at engagement rings. He and Jess had discussed marriage, but had mutually decided not to risk “messing up a good thing.” However, inspiration struck and Josh found the perfect ring for Jess.
When he got home after his month-long tour, Jess had planned a week of day trips to make the most of their time together before he had to hit the road again. On the last day before he left, Josh changed Jess’ hiking plans and took her for a picnic on the beach by his family home in Moody Beach, Maine. He proposed while walking with their dog on the beach, who just happened to be wearing a Go Pro video camera and caught the whole event on film!
When considering a venue for their wedding, Jess and Josh only really had one place in mind — the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. When she and her sister were young, Jess’ mother, Robin Huestis, worked backstage in production at the theater and the girls spent long hours helping out and spending time around the historic building. Josh, too, has history with the theater, as he completed the sound installation for the refurbishments long before the couple even met.
“These histories, coupled with how much performance/live music is involved in our lives, made the theater a no-brainier for a venue for our big day,” Jess says.
The big day was set for September 30, 2018. A short ceremony was held on the stage, featuring a backdrop of Josh’s lighting design — colorful light beams that matched the couples green color scheme.
This was followed by a casual and fun reception featuring pizza, live music by the Mangroves, and donuts.
“We tried really hard to make our wedding unique and one that felt like a party from beginning to end. We featured all of our favorite things, kept the traditions that made sense for us, and scrapped all the stuff that didn’t,” Jess recalls.
Acorns are a special symbol for Jess and they were hidden everywhere — from the cake to the bridesmaids accessories — to personalize and have fun with that detail on their big day.
Jess says one of the only things that surprised her on her wedding day was the flood of emotions it brought.
“We both shed happy tears despite us trying to throw a carefree celebration. There’s just no escaping all the feelings a wedding generates,” she said.
In terms of advice she would pass along to others, Jess recommends hiring a wedding planner.
“It seems an easy way to cut costs, but your sanity will be saved if you splurge a little here.”
At the same time, Jess says that the little things that go wrong can help generate the stories that you’ll remember and tell for years to come.
“Take a second to check in with the moment throughout the day,” she says. “It will be over before you know it and you’ll be reliving the day in those savored moments forever.”