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Meet The Wedding Expert

Vermont Wedding Planners

Creatively Inspired Weddings and Events With Melissa

melissa hunter

Looking for a Wedding that captures Vermont, is a great celebration, keeps you happy and organized with a fairytale ending? You have found that and more at the Kimpton Taconic. Meet our Catering Sales Manager: Melissa Abraham.

Melissa joined the Taconic team after spending nine years working in downtown Boston handling the Weddings + Events market. Most recently at the Seaport Hotel, she planned hundreds of weddings. Through the years, she has come to appreciate the understated details that make an event memorable. Melissa believes that every event becomes exceptional when careful thought is placed on the smallest of details (while never losing sight of the big picture). She brings all of this to us in Manchester. Melissa decided to join our community after spending several years visiting her sister and family. Melissa made the move to Manchester to find the life that she had been dreaming of in 2017. Her Vermont life includes adventures with Hunter her chocolate lab, golfing, cooking, and family time with her niece and nephew. Melissa is notorious for hosting a fun filled game night and binge watching tv shows.

We decided to turn the tables on Melissa to ask her questions about planning special events at the Taconic, as well as answer some of the more popular questions that she is asked.

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What is one of your favorite places to show people when looking at the Taconic?

The Front Porch, it has an unfussy elegance. It feels like a country home in Southern Vermont where people gather in a traditional family space. It’s the perfect relaxing spot to sip a cup of coffee or a cocktail before the festivities begin!

How do you approach the planning of an event?

I keep it real and keep the attention on the couple or the guest of honor. I want the focus to be on who they are. I have many conversations where we discuss how we can enhance their celebration, how we are the backdrop and they are the stars of the show.

How hard it is to plan a Wedding when I don’t live in Manchester?

We have you covered. We are specialists in weddings, and are comfortable working with out of town planners, given that the majority of our couples are not from the area. We also have a list of available resources – these vendors have made this list due to their ease, reputation and reliability. I have an aptitude towards asking the right questions and articulating some of the harder to explain parts of an event. It’s pretty amazing looking back at how these conversations become something unique and personal.

Why do you like planning menus?

It goes back to food. Being a person who is truly family-focused, I know the power of a meal. It brings us together, and for a special occasion is a story that we share for years to come. We have such a powerful relationship with food; the right menu can bring you back to a special memory. I love ingredients, flavor pairings, simplicity reinvented. Consider a local Grafton Cheddar Cheese and building a powerful appetizer around it. Using something local from Vermont and pairing it with a dish that the couple loves – reimaging the favorite dish with a new twist.

Favorite dessert dish on the menu?

Apple Fruit Crisp –as traditional Apple Pie is my favorite, this dessert has a yummy crumb topping that you just can’t get enough of. There is nothing fancy about it and that’s why I love it.

How does planning a wedding in Vermont differ than in Boston?

Believe it or not – they are pretty similar. It’s really not where you are, it’s how you connect. I strive to create a genuine relationship. I let our guests get to know me, just as much as I learn about them. Everyone has a busy life, and I’m here when you are ready to talk about the details. Weekends are not off limits for me, I’ll grab Hunter and we’ll walk over to the hotel and get to work.

What is a touch that you could add to your wedding that is not expensive?

Well, I really want to get to know you – learning your must-haves and things that may not be as important – really help me customize the right event for you. Of course one idea is for a reception, – maybe have a Vermont Cheeses Tasting Display Station. I can work with most budgets – share where you are trying to be and let me do the work and brainstorm with our Chef and culinary team.

Can you share a Vermont Secret?

Think about a Winter Wedding. Snowfall in Vermont is not only picturesque but the season is more affordable.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of a wedding?

A favorite is definitely the moment before the couple is introduced into the ballroom. I get to have a quick moment with them and remind them to enjoy every minute! I also love watching the first dance and hearing the song they have chosen. I always think “perfect song for them.” My least favorite part – saying goodbye to the couple and the family. I feel honored to have been such a significant part of their special day, I love being around people in love, great celebrations, making people happy and delivering a fairytale ending.

Tell us more about Kimpton Taconic’s one-of-a-kind experiences.

Being that we are a smaller team, the entire hotel is celebrating with you. Whether you are visiting in advance for a planning meeting or returning in a year to celebrate your anniversary, imagine everyone recognizing you. We have many couples return and say how they feel they are welcomed back by their extended Taconic family.


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