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Chester's Big Little Wedding!

How long should one allow to plan a wedding? What if the prospective bride and groom are a doll and a bear? Can you do it without breaking the bank? Will you know when it is not work but really fun? Fifteen days away and this sweet idea has a life of its own. Spare the details? Absolutely not.

Georgette Thomas and I, bear keeper and doll maker of Chester, always wanted to do an event together. In February our director of Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce invited us to create a package for the New York Times Travel Show. Within minutes a dozen Chester businesses thought it a great idea and became engaged, so to speak. Chester's Big Little Wedding - a marriage of Matt, the bear designed by Donna Bjerke, and the doll, a 21-year old Bonnie's Bundles for the Hugging Bear Inn,View image became the main characters. The families of toy bears and stuffed dolls are fighting among themselves for roles as ushers and bridesmaids. Who won? So far, still pulling hair are Daisy, Suzy, Becky and Ruth. The site of the wedding is our backyard that always produces daisies galore in mid-June. Because of our warm spring, they bloomed three weeks early, but are still going strong. Working out the little details has become a fun but exhausting challenge. These are not real people, remember! How do the principle players move and who speaks for them? How do we move them from the wedding to the Fullerton Inn View image for the reception and to their honeymoon spot, Inn Victoria? Should there be a rehearsal or bachelor's party? How do we keep guests engaged to celebrate--singing and dancing? The Stone Hearth Inn View image jumped on those venues quickly. What if it rains? Thanks to Newsbank there is a rain plan. Innkeepers Penny and Dan Cote found an antique four poster bed, now graced with a gorgeous handcrafted quilt by Linda Bazin of Country Treasures. There are wedding cakes by Michelle at the Heritage Bakery and Deli and flowers and balloons by Chester Flowers and Sunshine Acres, among other generous Chester and Chamber merchants. That it is mostly free, what do we do with gifts that are brought to honor the couple? A silent auction evolved naturally to benefit Chester-Andover Family Center to feed the hungry, help the unemployed and aid the elderly. Guests will receive mementos and can even purchase a photo album celebrating the wedding of the summer. Local gift registries are at Gallery 103, JNB Country Store, and Endless Creations Pottery. Finally, how do we manage this monster? A smart registration form. registration form rev.pdf The wedding planners have done the groundwork. Publicity is out in magazines, newspapers, travel welcome centers and on the web. Posters and rack cards are out there. Even plans for accommondating out-of-town guests is addressed. If you are fans of dolls and bears and own one, dress them and yourselves up and join this community celebration in beautiful Chester, Vermont. Make or get your gift for the darling couple at one of our gift registry businesses and get your reservation in right away.

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