The Hippo


May 29, 2020








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Vineyard venues 

If a winery or vineyard sounds like the perfect setting, here are a few in southern New Hampshire.
• Birch Wood Vineyards (199 Rockingham Road, Derry, 965-7359,
• Flag Hill Distillery & Winery (297 N. River Road, Lee, 659-2949,
• Fulchino Vineyard (187 Pine Hill Road, Hollis, 438-5984,
• Gilmanton Winery & Vineyard (528 Meadow Pond Road, Gilmanton, 267-8251,
• LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst, 672-9898,
• Zorvino Vineyards (226 Main St., Sandown, 887-8463, 
The making of the Fornash wedding 
The Fornashes used several local vendors to make their day special. 
• Ford Flower Co. (83 S. Broadway, Salem, 893-9955, 
• Chickadee Hill Cakes (343 Main St., Sandown, 887-2253, 
• Main Event Entertainment (Londonderry, 833-8293, 
• Arthur Murray Dance Studio (99 Elm St., Manchester, 624-6857, 
• Hilton Garden Inn (101 South Commercial St., Manchester, 669-2222, 
• First Student (51 Lowell Road, Salem, 893-1631, 
• Black Tie Limousine (25 Bond St., Haverhill, Mass., 800-624-9990,
• Marry & Tux Bridal (100 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua, 883-6999, 

Winter weddingland
Couple turns to vineyard for their magical day

By Angie Sykeny

 When Katie and Dan Fornash got engaged in October 2016, their first thought was to have a summer wedding, but the summer of 2017 felt too soon, and the summer of 2018 felt too far away. As a self-proclaimed “Christmas nerd,” Katie proposed a December wedding that would incorporate winter and holiday themes. 

The couple decided against hiring a wedding planner to save money and took on the challenge of planning their own wedding, starting with the venue. They initially envisioned a rustic barn, but after exploring those kinds of venues, they decided to go in a slightly different direction with Zorvino Vineyards in Sandown. It features a barn-like event center with wooden beams and panels, a fireplace, a Christmas tree and a balcony and staircase leading down from the bridal suite. 
“We realized the rustic barns weren’t what we were looking for at all,” Katie said. “From the moment we walked in [to Zorvino], we knew it was the right venue for us. It had that rustic feel that we wanted but was a little classier than the typical rustic barn.” 
They held both the ceremony and the reception in Zorvino’s event center. For the ceremony, the majority of the guests sat at tables toward the back of the room that would also be used for the reception, while chairs were set up in the front of the room for about two dozen of the couple’s closest family and friends. 
Their floral centerpieces, which they got from Ford Flower Co. in Salem, reflected the winter theme with red roses, white hydrangeas, greenery and pine cones. 
The Fornashes also incorporated their passion for hiking into the wedding. They used an image of the first mountain they hiked together as the background for their invitations, which were designed by a family member; they used that same image with the text “I love you to the mountains and back” for the labels stuck to the candles they gave out as wedding favors, and they named each guest table after one of the mountains they had hiked together.  
“We love hiking and thought it would be a unique thing to include that,” Katie said. 
Food included standard hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail hour, prime rib and chicken options for dinner, and a late-night mac-and-cheese bar open during the final hour of the reception, all catered by the venue. The cake, which came from Chickadee Hill Cakes in Sandown, was three tiers, the top and bottom tiers being spice cake with McIntosh apple filling, and the middle tier being butter vanilla cake with berries and cream filling. 
“We never expected to leave the tasting with a flavor combination like that. We thought we were going to pick something basic like a vanilla cake with lemon or raspberry filling,” Katie said, “but the spice cake was perfect for our winter theme.” 
Music was provided by DJ Joey Dion of Main Event Entertainment based in Londonderry. Katie walked down the aisle to a Trans Siberian Orchestra version of the Canon in D wedding theme. Their first dance as husband and wife was “You Make Me Feel So Young” by Frank Sinatra, for which they took eight months of private dance lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Manchester. 
“Neither one of us are dancers, but we wanted something memorable that would stick with us,” Katie said. “We flubbed at the beginning, but we knew how to pick it back up, and we ended right on key, so I guess those lessons paid off.” 
With no hotels in close proximity to Zorvino, the Fornashes were concerned about guests drinking and driving, so they rented a charter school bus from First Student in Salem to transport guests to and from the Hilton Garden Inn in Manchester. The wedding party was transported via limousine from Black Tie Limousine, based in Haverhill, Mass. 
“I’m very happy with every vendor I chose,” Katie said “I think everything came together perfectly.” 

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