ST. ALBANS — Shawna Cross, the daughter of Sharon Cross and Harold R. Cross Jr. of St. Albans, and Samuel A. Carlson, a son of Rebekka Carlson and David K. Carlson of Woodbury, Minn., were married June 19, 2016, in Lake Willoughby, a glacial lake in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.
The bride’s mother is an administrative specialist at Superior Technical Ceramics, and her father is the Fire Chief and Public Safety Administrator for the town of St. Albans. The groom’s mother is the Microbiology Lead Clinical Scientist at the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital, and his father is a former engineer who chose to home school his sons, allowing him to lead them on European bike tours.
Following a wedding chant composed and conducted by friend and Maestro Jeff Demoto, the couple exchanged vows in a Midsummer’s Eve ceremony led by the couple’s close friend, the writer Stephen Orloske, at half past six o’clock under the rising full rose moon. Surrounded by an intimate group of family and friends, Ms. Cross and Mr. Carlson were married in the gardens abutting the Willoughby Forest at the historic Notch House, located in the secluded town of Westmore. The bride’s cousin, Elizabeth McCormick-Ingrim of Kailua, Hawaii, and the groom’s brother, Tristan J. Carlson of Minneapolis, Minnesota, stood as Matron of Honor and Best Man amongst a wedding party of sixteen family members and close friends from childhood, college, and cultural endeavors; all wore white.
The ceremony was followed by Swedish Midsummer hors d’oeuvres and a late evening dinner party. The celebration concluded with summer solstice bonfires and early morning traversing through a forested path to swim in the clear waters of Lake Willoughby under the full moon, surrounded by loons and fireflies in the gap between Mt. Hor and Mt. Pisgah. A full weekend wedding celebration, the raw, untouched nature of Westmore allowed the couple and their guests to indulge in passions for hiking, biking, running, kayaking, and swimming, and the Notch House’s large estate allowed for days of family style meals and cooking, and group camping in an adjacent former baseball field nestled within the forest. Immediately following the wedding, the couple celebrated with a bike tour around Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, and will honeymoon in the Azores early next year.
The bride, a fine artist and arts administrator who graduated with a degree in Painting and Art History from the State University of New York, Plattsburgh in 2007, and groom, a biochemist and structural biologist who graduated with a degree in Biology and French from Middlebury College in 2010, met in Middlebury during the storms and flooding of Hurricane Irene while Ms. Cross was the Director of Design and Marketing at Edgewater Gallery in Middlebury, and Founding Director of the artist collective Borough Gallery and Studio in Burlington, and Mr. Carlson was a field ecologist with the USGS in New Jersey’s Delaware Water Gap. Realizing they’d found their match after traveling together through the storm, the couple soon embarked on a long distance relationship as Mr. Carlson moved to a secluded area of New Hampshire. The couple spent months exchanging letters via post, inspiring several exhibitions for Ms. Cross, and the idea for Mr. Carlson’s small typewriter repair business, which he opened upon moving to Vermont.
After four and half years of hiking, cycling, canoeing, and camping through Vermont while she worked at Edgewater Gallery and Burlington City Arts, and he at the University of Vermont’s Cancer Center and Albany College of Pharmacy, the couple now reside in Boston, Massachusetts where Ms. Cross is an abstract oil painter and a stylist and printer at the antique letterpress design studio Albertine Press in Somerville, Massachusetts, and Mr. Carlson is a researcher and PH.D student at Harvard University’s Molecules, Cells, and Organisms program in Cambridge, Massachusetts, specializing in the structural biology of the HIV virus. Their free time is spent cycling and birding in Eastern Massachusetts’s abundant protected wildlife areas and green spaces.
In the spirit of the resistance of portraying unobtainable wedding day perfection, let it be known that the groom was struck by gastroenteritis 18 hours after the ceremony, the lake’s beautiful waters were 68 degrees, the couple missed much of their dinner party during their photography session, and there was a close encounter with a black bear at midnight. The weather truly was perfect, and for this luck is acknowledged. Of additional interest, the lake access adjacent to the Notch House is a popular town nude beach, and all wedding photos were taken amongst a crowd of happy naturists, all cheering and wishing the couple well.