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Text of Spring 2012 Wedding Newsletter

Newsletter from Mountain Meadows Lodge
Newsletter - Spring 2012 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Menu Planning
Wedding Planning

Dear ____,

This newsletter was sent to current brides, grooms, and event planners for upcoming events and weddings at Mountain Meadows Lodge. Since you've expressed interest in an event at Mountain meadows Lodge, we thought you'd like to see it!

News from MML

Our "wedding season" is due to get underway shortly - Jade and Mark, with family and friends, will arrive in early May to kick things off - we're really looking forward to hosting our first "big" event for the season.

After a strange winter with no snow, Spring has arrived and everything is greening up. The daffodils are all in bloom and the trees just starting to open up. Every evening the peepers in the lowland across the street make their racket and the ducks and geese have taken to the lake. We think we've seen a couple of loons staking out the territory too. They'll start to call soon - very exciting!

While we had a reasonably busy winter and a small event almost every Spring weekend we've managed to squeeze in a few remodeling and maintenance projects around the lodge. You'll find a few new floors, a few renovated bathrooms and some improvements to the grounds - gardens and improvements to the out-door hot-tub area and decks.

Speaking of the grounds, there's a new set of wedding photos - some reallys tunning images from Jeff Woodward, a local Vermont photographer.

One lingering effect from Tropical Storm Irene is the lowered level of the lake and the "new look" to waterfront area. There is now more beach exposed. There are a couple of new small islands on the lake too. [One of the spillways was damaged in the storm and the lake dropped a few feet.] We have some plans to redesign the waterfront and build a new dock but we are waiting to hear the repair schedule from the State so we know how to proceed. The spillway is scheduled to be repaired this Spring.

Alice is doing great. She had a good winter since it was so mild - she stayed nice and fat and didn't really get too cranky. She's out roaming around regularly since the weather is warming up. There's not much long grass to eat yet so she's taken to rooting around in the mud. I'm hoping one of these days, and soon, she'll be in a good enough mood to let me trim her toes. We've got too new pygmy goats -they came from a neighboring inn when it changed hands a few months ago. They fit right in just fine and are very friendly. That makes 5 goats, 3 sheep, Alex the pony and Alice.

We are always available to help you customize your menu. If you need to do menu planning, look over the catering page and see what looks intriguing. You can also take a look at the sample menus, too. You can give us a theme or some broad brush strokes and we'll be happy to design a menu for you, but you're not limited to the items on the web pages. If you see something on the food channel that you think might look good for your wedding, all you have to do is let me know, and I'll find a recipe. Then, I will let you know if it can be scaled and we'll take it from there.
If you're looking for a really great pasta option, here's a link to some terrific gourmet ravioli from one of our favorite suppliers.


Here are a few tips that may help you in your event planning. Always remember, there are people out there that want to help plan your big event, so delegate, delegate, delegate.

Time line: If you have a summer wedding, look at the typical schedule. Although you do not have to keep to this schedule, it is just helpful for you to see how a weekend can unfold. It may also stimulate your imagination on what might be left undone on your "to do" list. Another idea is to flip through a couple of the slide shows on the web page. Most of them are set up chronologically so that is another way to see how the weekend might unfold.

The questionnaire: For weddings, we will send you an outline document about 6 weeks before your event. Our goal is to capture all the details for your event from all your emails, phone calls and meetings. You will have a chance to add some details, make changes or corrections and get any holes filled in.

Number of guests: By about six weeks out, you will have an early number of guests attending your event and numbers for meals. We would like another "near-final" number two weeks out, then a final number a few days before - small changes even right up to the day of the event will not be a big deal at our end.

Rooming list: If your event is in 2012 please send us your rooming list and have your guests call to confirm. Do not worry if it is not set in stone -there can always be adjustments made. We especially like to get their confirmation to hold their room if they want to book for days before and after the wedding. [We want to give your wedding or event guests preference, and it would be awkward if a family books a summer weekday vacation in a room that a wedding guest was hoping to be in early.] Remind them that they cannot book online - the lodging page will show that Mountain Meadows is sold out since all the rooms are being held for your event.

Breakfasts for guests at the overflow lodges: If you have guests staying at the other inns in the area you are welcome to invite them to Mountain Meadows Lodge for breakfasts and lunches (if you're planning lunches). It is $10 per person. We would like an approximate count for these "outside" breakfasts about two weeks ahead or when you submit your questionnaire

Pampering your guests. Here are some ideas we have seen over the years to make your guests feel welcome and give some personal touches to your weekend.

* Rent a golf cart for guests who are mobility-impaired to get them to the ceremony site. For summer and fall events, the rental company suggests reserving soon because they do sell out.

* Arrange for a shuttle service so that guest don't have to drive back to a neighboring hotel after partying.

* Feel free to bring refreshments and snacks to set out in baskets for your guests. You can bring bottled water, too. We do hate the plastic, though, so if you're felling environmentally conscious, please look for a better solution.

* Building an "emergency kit" for your guests is nice. Fill it with travel size toothpaste, mouthwash, toothbrushes, chap stick, bug spray, and the like. There's a crazy list and more here

* Design a welcome letter that gives folks times and suggestions for activities. Some ideas are here
* Bag up some corn, oats or apples for folks to feed the animals.

* Treat your guests to a dazzling fire performance during the weekend!

Friendly Reminder: Particularly if your event is an outdoor summer event, please communicate to your guests that because of the nature of our liquor license and Vermont Laws, alcohol cannot be brought in. [Some will get the idea that since it is a country setting that "anything goes", but that's not the case since we are an establishment with a liquor license and there are rules to follow...] THANKS!


Here are some ideas for promoting outdoor activities if your group is so inclined:

* Hiking on the Appalachian Trail - Mountain Meadows Lodge is actually on the AT If you walk down to the lake, go left to go "south", there is a nice walk along the lake over to Gifford Woods State Park It is flat so this is a great hike for older folks or little ones. On the way, there are some nice cascades and pools to explore and rocks to climb around on. If you go down to the lake, go right to go "north" - it's a more challenging hike but the payoff is great. Thundering Falls is about 1.5 miles away. While there is a bit of a re-route on the AT because of Hurricane Irene, the way to the falls is well marked and the falls are easy to find. After the falls there is an ascent up Quimby Mountain. If you're in good shape and want an extended hike or challenging trail run in a little-traveled area, this is a great spot - up to the top of Quimby then turn around and come back the same way (no view up there since it's tree-covered)

Hiking around town. Here's a map

Disc golf. There's a super disc golf course right next door

Gondola ride. Rides to the top of Killington are available starting in June and run through the fall.

Boating. Remind your guests that if they have a kayak or canoe to strap it to the roof of the car to bring to your event. No motor boats are allowed.

Fishing. Kent pond is a great site to fish. In Vermont, you do need a fishing license - it's easy to get one online.

Swimming. We have a small outdoor pool and the lake is great for swimming.

More things to do. If you're planning activities for your guests, take a look here and here. The town's calendar of events is here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


We'd love for you to join us this summer for a benefit cook-out that we are hosting. It's for a for a local child with a rare disease who's family needs assistance. It's Sunday, June 3 starting at 2:00 PM.
Please look at details of the event and please consider coming! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please feel free to call or email with any ideas, updates, or questions.
All the best,
Bill, Anne, Dave and the whole gang at Mountain Meadows Lodge