It was my first day at a new job and I really wanted to prove myself. So when another director invited me to some-guy-named-Hank's going away party I felt validated in my new leadership role. It also seemed like a great way to meet new people. Of course I would go.
I showed up that night with a guy that I was casually seeing at the time, oblivious to the fact that my new coworker was trying to make a move. Not one to back down from a challenge, Chris bought my date pint after pint (after pint) of Guinness, never once offering to buy one for me. It seemed a bit odd, but I didn't think too much of it at the time. I was busy working the room trying to make a good first impression. At the end of the night I practically had to carry my date home, but I remained clueless about what Chris had up his sleeve.
A surprising number of after-work happy hours popped up in the weeks that followed (all initiated by Chris) and the more time I spent with him, the more I was drawn in. Then we had our first date, and it was all over. That other guy never had a chance.
They say love finds you when you're not looking for it and that was certainly true for me. All worked up about a job that hardly seems to matter now, at a company that no longer exists, when right under my nose a love was blossoming that would change me forever. The last five years have been the best of my life, and I am so excited for all the years to come.
Smitten comes from smite; as in to strike or hit hard. And so it goes that on a Summer day in 2008 I was smote. Biblically smote. Game of Thrones smote. It was the day I first saw my future wife, and I'm telling you she was something to behold.
It was her first day on the job so naturally I walked up and introduced myself. "Hi, I'm Chris. I'm kind of a big deal here. Want to go out tonight?". I was thrilled when she said yes.
I arrived at the bar before she did, so I waited. Impatiently. My heart jumped when I saw her finally walk in, but immediately sank when I saw what walked in behind her -- her boyfriend, with suitcase in tow. Dammit! So I did what any competitive man would have done in my situation. I kept buying him drinks until he couldn't stand up straight.
Weeks passed before I was able to convince her to go out with me on a proper date. Eventually there was a first kiss (outside of Hop Devil in the East Village - I know, right?). This was followed by futile attempts to keep my age secret from her (she knew the whole time), and covert dating operations so that our co-workers remained none the wiser (yeah, that didn't really work either).
She changed everything. She has shown me strength, and selflessness, and optimism, and hope, and even California! She has shown me the very real and endless possibilities that come with deep, true, committed love. And she has made me understand that life is rarely about what, where, or how. The most important thing is, and always will be, who.
We have been talking about getting married for a while, and more recently about the possibility of doing it this summer at the farm in Vermont. Then early in March, Chris planned a surprise weekend in Sonoma. All he told Chelsea was to pack a bag and be ready to leave work by 4pm.
About an hour after arriving at the beautiful Gaige House in Glen Ellen, relaxing by the fire and enjoying a delicious bottle of wine from our new favorite vineyard, Chris flipped on our song (don't worry, you'll hear it at the wedding), got down on one knee, and popped the question. We spent the entire weekend quietly enjoying our big news, and the pleasures of wine country, until Sunday evening when we called our family and friends to share the surprise.
The timing has worked out perfectly too, as this Labor Day weekend will also be our 5 year (dating) anniversary. We're very excited to only have one anniversary to remember each year. Not to mention, an excellent excuse to spend three days celebrating it!
NYC photos by Brian Friedman
The ceremony and reception will take place at the home of John and Deb Greene in Chester, Vermont. The private backyard setting means that the celebration can go on as long as we all have energy to keep singing and dancing. Preparatory disco naps are strongly encouraged!
For those of you who'll be flying in, the closest airports for direct flights are Boston and New York. Hartford and Burlington are also options if you don't mind a connection. Either way, the rural nature of Vermont means that there will be some driving involved to get to Chester.
And since we hope you will each enjoy several of our signature cocktails (courtesy of KJ and John), we have arranged transportation to bring you to and from the farm if you're staying at one of the nearby hotels.
The street address shows up incorrectly on most maps. Click on the driving directions or use 'Smokeshire Road and Vermont Route 103 North, Chester Vermont' in your nav. If you're fancy, use these Latitude/Longitude coordinates: 43.344866, -72.623086.
!If you are driving in, look for a yellow house with green shutters set back from the road with three big maples in front, and a barn in the back.
On Saturday the girls will start with some morning yoga (led by future Greene-girl, Lindsey) and then spend some time getting pampered at the Castle Hill Spa. Let us know if you want to join in the fun, or call the spa to book a treatment! There's also a nice pool that begs to be lounged by if the weather cooperates.
In the afternoon, we'll all come together at the Okemo Adventure Zone, where they have activities for kids of all ages. A few of us will tuck away briefly for a walk-through of the ceremony, and then we'll come back together at the Glimmerstone Mansion for the rehearsal dinner. It will be something casual, and all are welcome. More info to come!
This is the main attraction. Please plan to arrive by 4pm for a light refreshment before the show gets started. Information to come on transportation options that don't involve driving.
Instead of a post-wedding brunch, we'll be having a post-wedding barbecue at Plymouth State Park. It's Labor Day Weekend -- picnic tables and paddle boats had to make it in there somehow. As did Deb Greene's deviled eggs and coleslaw.
For all the lucky New Yorkers (and anyone else inclined to stick around) you're also invited to our "second reception" in New York. It's our way of extending the celebration while keeping the wedding intimate. Double down on the party-part, we say. And we'd be delighted if you joined us twice!
5 min from the farm shuttle available
The Castle Hill & The Pointe Hotel are two properties that are managed together, with some shared services. This is the closest hotel accommodation to the farm, and one of the stops on the wedding shuttle route.
Call and mention our wedding! They are offering a special room rate for guests of the wedding: $119/night for a two night minimum stay, and $169 for a one night stay.
10 min from the farm shuttle available
The Jackson Gore Inn is Okemo's slope-side hotel on the newer, more modern side of the mountain. There are a number of amenities and activities on-site and nearby too. This is another hotel where the wedding shuttle will be picking up and dropping off.
Call and mention our wedding! They are offering guests of the wedding 30% off the published rates for available rooms.
7 min from the farm shuttle available
This is a nice B&B located in Cavendish, one town over from the farm. It's a beautiful property but note, only has a handful of rooms. The wedding shuttle can also pick up and drop off anyone who wants to stay here.
20 min from the farm
A bit further away from the farm, but closer to Ludlow where some activities and dinners will be happening. Don't let the tired website dissuade you!
20 min from the farm
Weston is another very cute town, and this inn has been around for decades catering to yuppies like us.
25 min from the farm
The farthest from the farm, but still close by local standards. Consider Hawk Mountain if you're looking for a real escape -- this is a full service luxury resort with all the amenities.
This is a great time of year to visit Vermont, so if you're planning to stick around for a couple days or more, definitely plan to check out a few of the cute neighboring towns and other adorable attractions that Chelsea took for granted while growing up.
The greatest gift you could possibly give us is to be by our sides as we celebrate our love and start this new chapter.
Please, no gifts.
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