October 5, 2019

Venue Grayville Falls Town Park, Hebron; Nathan Hale Homestead, Coventry

Photos Michael Orzell Photography

Once upon a Hebron Maple Festival, Matthew Troy brought Katie Zoppo to meet everyone for the first time. The problem? Matt, a volunteer with the Hebron Fire Department, got a 911 call right in the middle of the festivities and was forced to leave Katie working the fest with a whole bunch of strangers. He need not have worried. The adventurous Katie, who has lived/studied all over the world, was quick to adapt, and was soon helping make maple “sugar on snow” — and loads of admirers in the process. Upon his return, Matt took one look at a smiling Katie in the midst of all his friends and neighbors and says he knew right then and there that she was “the one.”

Before they were even engaged, Katie and Matt knew they wanted to celebrate their union at a venue that “embodied the warmth of New England,” preferably one that felt “woodsy and natural,” says Katie. As it turns out, they didn’t have to look far: their October ceremony took place in a quiet clearing in the woods at Hebron’s Grayville Falls Town Park, right down the street from where Matt grew up. The couple themselves crafted the wooden benches for the site, as well as the arbor by which Matt watched his bride-to-be process down an aisle lined with autumn leaves. As guests entered, each was asked to add a scoop of soil to a crock in which Katie and Matt would plant a sugar maple seedling as a part of their ceremony — their very own “family tree.” They managed to snag a few moments to themselves post-ceremony for photos in the 1937 Ford Sanford that once served as the Hebron Fire Department’s first truck. 

A rustic barn-style reception, with plenty of room for guests to mix and mingle, was on Matt and Katie’s wish list for their reception, and on this the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry delivered. “We didn’t want to have a structure to our wedding,” explains Katie. “We wanted our guests [which included those from 15 states and four countries] to meet and really have the time to talk, play games, tour the museum, visit the food trucks … it would kind of be like having our own little Hebron fair.” Continuing the maple accents, Matt’s signature cocktail was a Maple Manhattan, bottles of maple syrup made by the groom served as favors and in lieu of a guest book, everyone signed a beautiful slab of maple. 

The sustainably minded couple’s goal to limit their carbon footprint was met through the use of recycled paper, bins set up for both compost and recycling, and donated carbon-offset credits. By the time the last toast was given, they ended up with a mere half-bag of trash, three bags of compost and one bag of recyclables. Happy couple; happy planet.

officiants Erica Tachoir and Paul Penczner 

planner/day of coordinator Krista Frallicciardi/A Perfect Little Plan, New Canaan 

dress: The Savvy Bride, Stratford 

veil: Nights in White Satin, Bridgeport 

ceremony music: Ryan Lussier and Sara Phelps 

band: The Suyat Band, New Jersey 

caterers: Iron & Grain Co., West Hartford; Christie Caters Farm to Table, Greenwich; Procaffinators Mobile Barista, Vermont 

florist: Stix ‘n’ Stones, Storrs 

makeup: Wildflower Bridal Beauty, Vernon 

hair: Beauty on the Ave., Glastonbury 

transportation: Hockanum Valley Community Council, Vernon 

rentals: Durants Party Rentals, Cheshire; Connecticut Rental Center, Middletown 

cake/cookies: Jess Troy 

wood plank: Tables DeVore, Fairfield County 

compost: Curbside Compost, Ridgefield