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Addison County weddings: Amanda and Liam

NEW HAVEN — Sometimes love surfaces when you would least suspect it. Such was the case on July 8, 2013, when Amanda Vincent received a message on Facebook from a guy named Liam Benshemer.
“Hey Amanda!” it read, “Listen, this is probably gonna sound weird/creepy being that we really don’t know each other, but do you live in Bristol, VT?”
Perhaps surprisingly, Amanda struck up a conversation with the guy, who had recently visited some family in Bristol. Amanda grew up in New Haven and went to high school at Mount Abraham in Bristol.
Despite the limitations of social media, the two hit it off right away and were dating by the end of the summer.
Liam and Amanda tied the knot on their five year dating anniversary, which landed on August 25, 2018. The couple chose Tourterelle in New Haven for their venue, attracted to its all-inclusive packages and excellent service.
“We wanted beautiful views,” Amanda recalled. “I also liked how everything could be in one place. A nice getting ready space, quite a few different options for outdoor ceremony spaces, the reception area and a place where Liam and I could even spend the night!”
With a pond and plenty of space for outdoor games and mingling, plus great food and very accommodating hosts, Amanda and Liam said the venue ticked so many of their boxes that they didn’t even look at another venue.
The couple chose to keep their guest list relatively small, inviting 115 guests to share in their big day (96 were able to attend).
As with most couples planning a wedding, some choices seemed obvious and easy for Amanda and Liam, while others were a little more arduous.
For Amanda, choosing a dress was not among the easiest. “I tried on over 100 dresses in four different states,” she said. “It got to the point where I had seen too many, I had no idea what I was looking for.”
In the end, she selected a dress from Fiori Bridal in Essex, where she had been a number of times throughout the process. “I felt they had the best selection and offered a great experience,” she said.
TOURTERELLE APPEALED TO Amanda and Liam thanks to its capacity to host indoor and outdoor elements of their celebration. The reception hall’s double doors open onto an outdoor patio and large lawn space, with a pond that guests could mingle around.  Photo by Jenna Brisson Photography
For Liam and the groomsmen in the wedding party, the choice became quite simple. After briefly deliberating about whether to rent or buy suits, they determined that the cost to buy would only be slightly more than the cost to rent, so they ended up buying suits from Men’s Warehouse in Burlington. “Now Liam has a suit to wear again!” Amanda said.
Similarly obvious was the choice about their officiant. Michael Augustinowitz is Amanda’s godfather and also a priest. He not only married Amanda and Liam, but also Amanda’s parents, her aunt and uncle and one of her cousins and her husband. Consequently, Augustinowitz was able to help the couple with all elements of the ceremony and guide them expertly through the process.
The couple chose to perform a formal marriage ceremony at Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in Vergennes at 9 a.m. on the morning of their wedding day, with just their closest family in attendance. Liam and Amanda went out to breakfast at Tourterelle after getting married and then went their separate ways to get ready for their second ceremony.
Inside the reception hall guests dined and enjoyed line dancing — one of the Vincent family’s beloved past times. Below, one of Amanda’s treasured memories from her wedding day will forever be the drive she shared with her father in his 1969 Firebird.
Photos by Jenna Brisson Photography
They renewed their vows later that day outdoors at Tourterelle with the rest of their guests, staying true to one of Amanda’s long-time dreams of an outdoor wedding.
“I enjoyed doing that because it took the pressure off because at the second ceremony in front of everyone, we were already married.”
The couple had written their own vows, but at the last minute decided to keep those vows private and recite standard vows at their ceremony.
“We read each other the vows we wrote at Three Squares, but we both knew we would probably get too emotional if we read them in front of everyone.”
Amanda and Liam arranged to do a first look and some of the formal wedding photos at a private property where there was a beautiful quarry nearby.
“As a wedding photographer, I know how stressful it can be to do portraits during cocktail hour,” Amanda said. “For Liam and I, we knew we wanted to be able to enjoy cocktail hour with our guests, so we got all the family and bridal portraits done before any of the guests showed up.”
Amanda got to ride with her father in his 1969 Firebird to their first look and then from there to Tourterelle, sharing a special few minutes just with her dad on her big day. The ladies in the ceremony all got ready together at one of Amanda’s aunt’s houses, where a cousin did their hair and they were all able to share some comforting laughs.
Following the ceremony, guests celebrated over a happy hour followed by dinner and dancing in Tourterelle’s dedicated ceremony space. The couple did have a tiny cake with which to perform the classic cutting ceremony, a tradition that Amanda says she could have done without, but Liam was attached to. For dessert to share, the couple chose three petite desserts including macaroons (Amanda’s favorite), chocolate mousse and lemon possets.
In the end the celebration was exactly what Amanda and Liam had wanted — a beautiful day that they could share with their closest family and friends as they committed to a happy union.

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