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same sex wedding

Nancy and Stacey’s 40’s inspired wedding

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

I continue to be honored by same sex couples from around the country who travel to Vermont to be married and trust me to document their momentous celebrations. I mean, how better to spend a Tuesday morning than with two awesome women from Kentucky and photograph the ceremony that, after a 22-year-long relationship, allows them to legally wed!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Nancy and Stacey met way back when they both had husbands and were parenting kids who went to school together. after years of friendship and helping each other navigate the joys and pitfalls of life and raising children, they both divorced and eventually shared their true feelings for each other.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

.. and the rest, they say, is HERstory. ♥♥♥

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

So, with Stacey’s parents as their witnesses, they stood together by a Charlotte creek…
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

and shared their wedding vows.
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

They exchanged rings and lots of smiles…
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

And then, Justice of the Peace extraordinaire Kathryn Blume
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

pronounced them…
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

legally wed! Wahoo!
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

We had a a whole lot of fun with the portrait session. I LOVED the 40’s inspired wedding outfits, which they originally bought to wear at the annual Bowling Green Humane Society Fur Ball.

Here are a few “vintage styled” pictures…

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

I adored the Saddle shoes!
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

.. not to mention the matching Father and Daughter Fedoras!
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Congratulations, Nancy and Stacey, and, in the words of Lord Byron,

“On with the dance! Let joy be unconfined.”
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

If you’d like to see all of the pictures from Nancy and Stacey‘s wedding day, please follow this LINK (but you’ll need the password from the happy couple!)

Deb and Lisa’s Marathon weekend Wedding

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Deb and Lisa came to Vermont so Lisa could run the 26th annual KeyBank Vt City Marathon on May 25th.

Oh, but while they were here, they thought they’d get MARRIED!
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
“After being together 14 years, we already feel married, ” Deb told me when we met at Oakledge Park for their intimate ceremony on the rocks near Lake Champlain.
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
The wonderful Kathryn Blume officiated and the Burlington skyline was in the distance, almost glowing though the cloudy overcast sky.
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
In matching floral blouses, white pants and shiny white spats, the two Pennsylvania women exchanged marriage vows and rings and became officially, and FEDERALLY LEGALLY, wed.
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
The only guests at the ceremony were a family of geese, who passed by in time to witness the event.
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Wahoo!!!
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
Legally married in Both Vermont AND Pennsylvania. Same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania became legal on May 20, 2014.
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
After the ceremony, we took some time for portraits, and I was able to show Lisa the part of the marathon route that went through the park along the bike path.
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
I even made the couple do a “warm up lap” for a picture! Deb said that was about as far as she was willing to run that weekend!
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

I was so happy to see both Deb and Lisa along the marathon route on Sunday, so I could also capture that part of their weekend for them in a few pictures. As it turned out, Lisa places THIRD in the master class (over 40?) and even won $300!! Go Lisa!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

If you’d like to see all of Deb and Lisa’s Wedding pictures please click HERE (but you’ll need to get the secret password from the bridal couple to enter the picture gallery!)
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Congratulations to a WINNIG couple!!!

Dawn and Barbie’s wedding

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

It was a glorious day and Dawn and Barbie celebrated their 4-year romance by exchanging vows and wedding bands at the Burlington Waterfront.
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The couple came from North Carolina to be legally married in Vermont and Barbie‘s Brother and sister-n-law also drove up to witness the event, bringing with them two very important members of the wedding party–the BRIDESMUTTS! Barbie and Dawn‘s Miniature Yorkie, Chloe, and her canine cousin, Scout, were so cute in their Bridesmutt’s dresses that they completely upstaged the Brides (Sorry, ladies!)

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

I met the couple at the Courtyard Marriott for some preliminary pictures and then we headed to the Fishing Pier for some romantic portraits before the ceremony (With Chloe, of course!)

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

In the middle of doing portraits, Dawn reached down and picked a 4-leaf clover! Barbie laughed and said that Dawn finds them all of the time! I just loved this! I mean, what a perfect sign from Mother Earth for a couple to receive right before their wedding!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The wonderful and amazing Reverend Roddy O’Neil Cleary officiated the intimate service, bringing with her an amazing spirit and her Tibetan Singing bowl.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The rich blend of the prayer bowl’s harmonic tones immediately centered the couple and created a perfect environment for their ceremony.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Yay, Mommies!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

And with the power vested in Rev. Cleary by the State of Vermont, Dawn and Barbie were declared spouses for Life! And the kissed. Ahhh….
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Let them eat cake! (Especially when it’s a Creme Brûlée Cake made by Mirabelles! Yum!!)
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Here’s To LOVE!!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

If you’d like to see all of Dawn and Barbie’s‘s wedding pictures, please click Here (but you need to get the secret password from the couple!)

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Chastity and Lenore’s Oakledge Park Wedding

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

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After 15 years together, Chastity and Lenore tied the knot! They came all the way from Jacksonville, Florida to Burlington, Vermont to share their vows and exchange rings and I had the privilege of being there to take their wedding pictures.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Kathryn Blume, JP extraordinaire, officiated the ceremony at Oakledge Park on Lake Champlain, overlooking the Burlington skyline to the east and the Adirondack Mountains to the west.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

As nearby students sunbathed and swam with their dogs, Chastity and Lenore held hands and vowed to love and support each other all the days of their lives.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The couple brought along a bottle of champagne and two plastic glasses (made for them by their niece) to toast their nuptials. The wedding cake was delivered to them at the park from Bright Eyes Bakery and it looked as yummy as it tasted (though I only got to sample the frosting!)

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The wet weather held off just long enough for the ceremony and a little time for portraits, but soon the raindrops began so the newly married couple took their double chocolate cake and champagne and headed off to a celebration dinner at EB Strong’s Steak House on Church Street.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Congratulations, Chastity and Lenore!!! And may the state of Florida some day soon recognize your beautiful and FEDERALLY LEGAL marriage!!!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

To see all of Chastity and Lenore’s wedding pictures, please click HERE (and make sure you get the password from the couple to enter the gallery)!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

A very THEATRICAL proposal

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

It was magical, lyrical and heartfelt and if this were really a theatrical performance, below would be the Playbill Cover:

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Rick had set the scene for his big proposal to Chris, who he met and subsequently fell in love with two years ago while both involved with Lyric Theatre’s “Titanic.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Yup. At 10:30 Friday night, just as Lyric Theatre crew members were wrapping up initial light checks for their upcoming musical, Les Miserables, another- more intimate- show was just about to begin.

The audience was ready, the cameras were set, the stage was miked and Myra Flynn was waiting for her cue.

Right on schedule, Chris showed up to meet Rick, unaware of what waited for him inside. He was immediate whisked on stage and into the spotlight. Rick welcomed him and told him he loved him.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Then Myra Flynn entered stage left. Her keyboard was ready and Chris was shocked. Rick told him that he wanted to do something special for their anniversary, so Myra was there to perform for them their “song”, her original ballad, “For The Record”, off her album of the same name.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

They Danced. She sang.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Rick proposed.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Chris said YES.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Everyone cheered!
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
AND, if that just isn’t enough LOVE for you, watch this slideshow, synced to Myra Flynn’s gorgeous song:

I can’t wait for the wedding!!!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

If you’d like to see all of the pictures from Rick and Chris’s VERY THEATRICAL PROPOSAL, please click HERE (password needed)

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Dennis and Mike’s New Year’s Day wedding

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Dennis and Mike called me on the morning of December 31 and asked me if I was free the following afternoon, New Year’s Day, to photograph their wedding– a celebration that they decided on, choreographed and executed in less than a week.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

I first met the couple last summer, where they were guests at another wedding I photographed. They were already talking then about “when they get married…” so I wasn’t surprised to get the call. I was amused, though, that they chose to jump in and start the year off by share their vows, with only days to plan the event. Dennis said that he wanted to make sure that Mike would always remember their anniversary date!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The wedding was held at the Williston Federated Church and was attended by about a dozen close friends and Mike’s two sons.
The ceremony was officiated by Rev. Joan Newton O’Gorman.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

After the lovely 15-minute service, guests toasted the new couple with Sparkling cider and ate yummy Red Velvet cupcakes from Burlington’s My Little Cupcake.

Here’s a 4-minute slideshow, recapping Mike and Dennis‘s smile-filled, love-filled day with family and friends. The soundtrack is one of favorite Billy Joel songs, “You’re My Home,” and the lyrics are perfect for this beautiful couple. (This slideshow is in FLASH, so you may need to switch from your iPad to a laptop in order to watch it):

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Happy New Year and Congratulations, Mike and Dennis– May you always feed each other’s souls!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

If you’d like to see all of Mike and Dennis’s wedding pictures, please click HERE (and have the password from the couple to enter the gallery)

Andrea and Kerry’s wedding

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Ohio couple Kerry and Andrea were married this month at the Courtyard Marriott and it was a destination event for them and their 40 guests.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

I met Andrea and Kerry exactly one year earlier, when they were in Vermont to scout their wedding and set up all of the details for their celebration. Then, it was back to Michigan for the long tax season (Andrea is an accountant!)

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

So, I was excited to see them both again and witness how all of their planning had come together. Of course, everything was perfect!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

From their gorgeous ketuba to all of the Fall decorations and details, the couple put so much of themselves into the event and it definitely showed.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

One really nice touch was that the canopy for the wedding Chuppah (like an arch) incorporated the talit (Jewish prayer shawls) belonging to Andrea’s grandfathers. Very cool!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The “Jew-ISH” ceremony (as Andreea called it) was officiated by the wonderful JP Kathryn Blume and included traditional hebrew blessings and breaking the glass at the the conclusion of the service.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

so sweet…

KAkaren pike photography vermont wedding photographerWED_181516 copy

There was one unexpected turn for Andrea, when her mother’s health declined and she was unable to attend the wedding. So, the couple did the next best thing: they skyped the wedding ceremony and most of the reception from an IPAD and Andrea’s mom was able to “attend” via satellite from her hospital room!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
Guests, throughout the day, visited with Andrea’s mother on the iPad and I know how happy it made the family, and especially the couple, that they could still share their celebration with her. It really made me smile! I especially loved watching Andrea’s father most of the day as he carried around the iPad like his date!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Enjoy this 4- minute look back at Andrea and Kerry’s wonderful day:


If you’d like to see all of the pictures from Kerry and Andrea’s wedding, please CLICK HERE (but you’ll need to get the secret password from the family!

Mazel Tov to the very happy couple!!!!!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Anne and Wilma’s Creek-side wedding

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 7.47.06 PM

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Since the momentous June 26, 2013 ruling in the Windsor v. United States and the first step in ending the days of the Defense of Marriage Act(DOMA), I have photographed dozens of same sex couples coming to Vermont to be legally married. It’s been a joy and an honor to witness all of these loving unions and Anne and Wilma’s wedding was no exception.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The Ohio-based couple has been together for 18 years, and because Wilma is originally from Holland, she has struggled with the Federal government over her VISA rights for the length of their relationship. Since she was never before allowed to marry her sweetheart, she has had to return to Holland every two years and remain there for weeks or months, before re-entering the United States. And, of course, there was always the fear that her work visa would not be enough to allow her back to the country! Can you even imagine?

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

So, while Anne and Wilma will return to Ohio and nothing may change for them regarding their state rights, they NOW will be recognized as married on a Federal level and Wilma can apply for a new married visa!!! I’m so excited for them, I could bust!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The ceremony took place at one of my favorite “venues”– the creek and covered bridge on Roscoe Road in Charlotte, near the home of Justice-of-the-Peace-Extraordinaire Kathryn Blume.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Instead of traditional diamond rings, the simple “bling free” couple had their gold rings made in diamond-shape!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

It was a lovely morning with Anne and Wilma and I always love working with Kathryn. I’ll be blogging about another of our “Demise of DOMA” Creekside wedding ceremonies in the coming days so check back.
Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 7.47.06 PM

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

If you’d like to see all of the images from Anne and Wilma‘s intimate Creek-side wedding, just click HERE (but you’ll need to get the password from the couple)

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Jenn and Abby

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
Yup, they are definitely a contender for the cutest couple on earth!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Jenn and Abby came to Vermont a couple of weeks ago for an intimate and private wedding- not even their trigger-happy photographer was invited! But I did spend a couple of hours with them the day before the ceremony doing an oh-so-fun engagement session!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

It was, yet again, one of those picture perfect Fall days and the colors were popping. I had just been to a couple of my favorite spots around Shelburne that weekend with Kelsey and Jevin, so I knew how pretty it was looking. It made sense to revisit these picture-perfect places and see how differently they would appear to me with this new couple’s energy.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

AS I knew it would, each old location took on new energy with Jenn and Abby‘s personalities and their love for each other. We started in Shelburne over by the All Souls Interfaith Gathering, then worked our way to Shelburne Orchards, and ended up on the beach at Shelburne Farms. I mean, why try and improve on a perfect recipe!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

It was so much fun and I loved learning about Jenn and Abby‘s life together in Florida and their hopes and dreams for the future.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

And, while we picked and ate apples (and cider donuts, of course!) they relayed to me the story of Abby’s proposal to Jenn and the YouTube video of that proposal that I couldnt wait to watch…

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

As if they could get ANY CUTER by showing me this video…

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

OMG. They DID get even cuter!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

It is the SWEETEST proposal I have ever seen!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Abby, who works at a small private college, orchestrated a whole phony concert with some very talented students, had them sing all of Jenn‘s favorite songs, filled the entire auditorium with a fake audience and THEN, at the end, of the concert, a video played on stage.
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Don’t worry. I’m going to show you that video. I’m just insuring that you look at all of my pictures first!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

And, the event was also videotaped, so you’ll see Jenn‘s reaction at the end of the proposal.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

OK, if you are now here, then you’ve definitely earned the right to see this (I may have cried!).

Congratulations, Jenn and Abby!! Come back and visit!!

If you’d like to see all of Jenn and Abby’s E session pictures (and you’ll need to get the password from them!), just follow this link

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Katie and Lauren’s Weddiing!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
Lauren and Katie, married last month at the OLD LANTERN in Charlotte, are so cute together that they should have their own UNI-NAME-like “Branjelina” and “Beniffer”. I hereby dubb them “Katren” (or maybe “Lautie”)

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

One of my favorite parts of a wedding, is when the couple gets that first look at each other in their bridal clothes. Whether each has seen their partner’s outfit before that day or not, it’s a WHOLE different thing to view it ON their betrothed and ON the wedding day!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Katie wore a gorgeous strapless champagne-colored gown and completed the look with fun and unconventional accessories– Her basketball-themed shoes were custom made TOMS (an homage to Lauren), her bouquet of white roses was made from wood (as were all of the other bouquets and boutonnieres) and her purse was, if you can believe it, a Rubber Chicken! So perfect, and SO Katie!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Lauren looked sharp in her black slacks and vest over a champagne blouse, but the most special part of her outfit was a pin made by Katie, showing a picture of Lauren’s deceased mother. And when Katie gave this to Lauren, the tears started flowing (from me, too!)

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

There were so many wonderful little touches, from the candy table to all of cute banners hanging to the personalized menu board and seating chart. It filled the room with warmth and charm.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

OK, this was too funny…

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
The ceremony, officiated by JP Greg Trulson, had special significance, as the wedding came just 2 days after the Supreme Court ruled to overturn DOMA. So, for Katie and Lauren, their wedding would not only be legal in Vermont but will also be recognized on a federal level!! Wahoo!!!!!!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The reception was F-U-N!!! Everyone had such a great time, the food was amazing (thank you Chef Roland Gaujac!!!!), and there was so much joy and laughter, that if its essence could just be bottled, it could bring peace to the middle east!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Yum? Hmmm…
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Oh, you just never know where that wedding Gnome will show up next…

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Yup, we love our “mobile photo booth”:

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

I had so much fun shooting this wedding with Jennifer Kiewit, my awesome co-pilot: so much so, that it has taken me over two weeks to get through all of our pictures and edit the album down to a somewhat manageable number. It also made creating a slideshow difficult, because I couldn’t decide what to use and whether to highlight the dozens of sweet and lovely moments or to concentrate on the often comical and outrageous stuff going on throughout the day. Since everyone knows I am a sentimental mush ball, it’s an easy guess which way I leaned… so, Here is a tribute to Katie and Lauren’s wonderful celebration, to the Tracy Chapman soundtrack, “The Promise.” :

If you’d like to see all of the 1100+ pictures from Katie and Lauren’s wedding, please click HERE, but you will need to get the secret password from the couple in order to enter the gallery.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

And, YES, this is a real, honest to goodness rainbow- totally appropriate for their wedding day– and Lauren and Katie were not Photoshopped into the picture! Mazel Tov, you two!!! xoxo

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The photo staff hard at work:
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer