Weddings: Sarah & Carson
Seems like there is an app for everything. Thank goodness for the dating app called “Coffee Meets Bagel,” that’s how Middlebury native Sarah Snider and Carson Keys met in Atlanta in 2018. They each saw that the other was interested in trying new and international foods. At the time Sarah was working as a zookeeper and Carson was working for a chemical company that involved a lot of travel. After a trip to Turkey, he asked Sarah out to a Turkish restaurant to have some kebab and impress her with his knowledge of Raki, the national drink of Turkey. The date went so well that they met up for another date, and another …
Things were going so well that they discussed a fall 2023 wedding and even started planning it before they were officially engaged because venues were booking up. Sarah knew that Carson would propose, but still wanted it to be a surprise. They had moved to Oklahoma, and Carson planned a trip with Sarah to Atlanta, with the excuse of visiting friends. He planned a Dec. 12 sunrise hike at Stone Mountain, where we had gone on our fourth date. Unfortunately, it was so foggy they couldn’t see past the other side of the mountain. While Sarah was distracted trying to take a photo of the two of them together (they call it an “us-y” these days), Carson got to one knee and proposed. Sarah was surprised and it was a special moment for both of them.
The venue they landed on was the Ponds at Bolton, because it is naturally beautiful, is an excellent spot for fall foliage, is close enough to Burlington for out-of-state visitors to fly in, it has lodging on-site, and it is near a lot of unique Vermont places to visit. That was important so that the many first-time visitors to Vermont would experience the love for the Green Mountain State that Sarah has. And almost all of the businesses helping out were Vermonters, including photographer Oliver Parini of Weybridge and Waterfalls Day Spa of Middlebury for hair and make-up. They even had Monument Farms chocolate milk and Champlain Orchards cider and freshly picked apples in their hospitality room all weekend
It was important for the couple to have ferns and dahlias as focal points in our floral arrangements, because they have two dogs names “Fern” and “Dalia.” Karey Ann at Silver Spring Farm was able to grow all of flowers for their floral arrangements on her Hinesburg farm. She even made little flower arrangements that were attached to Fern and Dahlia’s collars for when they walked down the aisle!
Sarah and Carson suggested others getting ready for a wedding hire a wedding planner, if they have the means, or at least a day of coordinator. Their wedding planning team, Amaari Events, worked with them and helped their vision come to life while also making the process fun. In particular, they kept Sarah and Carson on track and made sure they didn’t forget any details. Another thing they recommend to other couples is to try to have a welcome gathering the night before the wedding, after the rehearsal dinner. It takes away a lot of the pressure of visiting with everyone during the reception and dance party, they said.
Sarah pointed out that it’s easy for the bride and groom to get separated from each other with all the guests wanting to spend time with you, especially during your wedding day and reception. “We made sure to stick with each other, that way we could take in the experience together,” she said. “It is also a good idea to try to carve out some moments throughout the day to have time with just the two of you, to take a breather and enjoy the moment together.”
In the case of the Snider-Keys wedding, the couple wanted to do a first look and private vows. Sarah came up with the idea to do both of them on top of the mountain near the chairlift. They were lucky the leaves had mostly changed color on the mountains on their wedding day — Sept. 30 — and it looked beautiful as a backdrop.
“It was great to have that time between us, and the ride down the chairlift with each other is nice to look back on,” Sarah recalled.
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