Toll Gate Garden Ceremony at Okemo Mountain Resort
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Toll Gate Garden Ceremony at Okemo Mountain Resort

We captured the first few steps this couple took together as man and wife while they exited their wedding ceremony at the Toll Gate Garden, Okemo Mountain Resort’s newest venue option located near the Jackson Gore Inn.

Okemo Mountain Resort has recently become a haven for couples planning their weddings, but the resort and the mountain it is built upon have been skiers’ destination of choice for more than half a century. Since its humble beginnings in the mid 1950s, Okemo has grown from having two basic lifts to offering thirteen state of the art chairlifts that allow uphill access to over 35,000 people per hour. The 121 ski trails are scattered across two faces of the mountain and are accessible by lifts starting near both the Clock Tower Base Lodge and the Jackson Gore Base Lodge. Both buildings, as well as other onsite houses and restaurants are available to serve as wedding venues.

The newest wedding venue on the Okemo property is the Toll Gate Garden, featured in this image. The ceremony site was previously that of the old Ranta farm barn, and the property surrounding it has seen its fair share of history. At the tail end of the eighteenth century the farm, one of the original homesteads in Ludlow, was selected as an important site relating to a new contraction project. The year 1799 marked the beginning of the Green Mountain Turnpike, a new road that would connect Bellows Falls with Clarendon. To pay for its construction, the company who owned the road charged travelers tolls which were to be collected at four different points along the route. The road would be blocked with a barricade that would move out of the way once a pike was turned, hence the name “turnpike”. One of the toll gate stations was located on this previous farm, providing the nomenclature for the ceremony site located here today.

Jackson Gore Inn is the main hotel and reception space available in the Jackson Gore Village, the northern portion of Okemo Mountain Resort. While still a bustling place, especially during ski season, Jackson Gore is a bit calmer than the resort’s primary entrance just a short drive down the road. Attached to the inn is The Roundhouse, the largest facility available for rent on Okemo’s property. The couple pictured here had their intimate ceremony at the beautiful Toll Gate Garden and followed it with an energetic celebration inside the Roundhouse. This banquet hall has a unique octagonal shape, complimented by a second level that looks down onto the open dance floor. This provides an additional angle for photography as well as a staging area for bride, groom, and wedding party member to relax before making their grand entrances into the party below.

The region of Jackson Gore is an excellent and approachable option for weddings as well as a great destination for a family trip. The Okemo Mountain Resort has been rated in the top ten for both family ski vacations and trail maintenance, combining a welcoming approach with a commitment to quality. As one of the most famous resorts in the state, this Southern Vermont institution will continue to be one of the stalwarts in both the wedding and ski scene for years to come.

Location: Jackson Gore Inn, Okemo Mountain Resort, 111 Jackson Gore Rd, Ludlow, VT 05149.

1/3200; f/4.5; ISO 400; 24.0 mm.