Green Mountain Love: Lindsey Campbell and Andrew Leichthammer
Orchestrating a wedding is never easy, but when one partner is an events coordinator and the other owns a brewery, obstacles melt away. Lindsey Campbell directs catering and events for the Farmhouse Group in Burlington. Andrew Leichthammer spent three years managing the Mule Bar in Winooski before he opened Good Measure Brewing in Northfield in December 2016.
The ebullient couple exchanged vows under a graceful arch crafted of foraged wild grapevines, roses, greenery and ... hops. Cumulus clouds drifted in the sky above Lake Champlain, a gentle breeze played with the satin ribbons cascading from the bride’s bouquet, and hazy blue mountains rounded out this idyllic late September tableau.
Lindsey and Andrew met at Champlain College in 2006. “Andrew’s house always had the best parties,” she recalled. “The night we met, I tasted his first homebrew. It was terrible!” Lindsey may have put down her cup but held on to the aspiring brewer. The two dated through college and have been inseparable ever since.
Andrew proposed to Lindsey on his birthday. “I got down on one knee, with our dogs Banjo and Salty at my side, and said, ‘There’s no better gift than to have you say you’ll spend the rest of your life with me.’” They popped the Champagne and headed to dinner at Hen of the Wood. “Our friends knew what had just happened and arranged a car for us, and everyone kept sending us more drinks,” Lindsey says. “When you work in this business, you end up knowing everyone!”
In planning their wedding, the couple wanted to showcase the state they have called home since college. “Our lives revolve around Vermont food and drink,” Lindsey explains, “and we wanted to share that with our family and friends from out of town. Tapping into the professional network of our talented friends helped a ton!”
The Farmhouse Group did 23 weddings in 2016, and Campbell-Leichthammer was number 22. Two friends offered their adjacent properties in Charlotte for the event, and Phillip Clayton, executive chef and partner of the Farmhouse, designed the menu. “We gave him the freedom to play around,” says Lindsey, “knowing whatever he did would be awesome. The best part of the reception was watching our guests’ reaction to the food and drink!”
“Lindsey and Andrew picked a perfect time to get married,” Phillip Clayton recalls, “with abundant late-summer and early-fall harvests.” At the reception, the catering staff passed platters of bite-size apps packed with color and flavor that set the stage for the whole evening. “Lindsey’s from the Cape and wanted to include oysters on the half shell. We did beet skewers, with small cubes of golden, red and Chioggia beets from Jericho Settlers Farm, topped with fresh chèvre and aged vinegar. Fried chicken bites are always a wedding favorite and we use Adams’ Farm chicken breast marinated in buttermilk and hot sauce, topped with honey butter and fresh tarragon.”
“For the main course, we grilled Vermont sirloin and sweet onions over hardwood, served with buttermilk mashed potatoes, a punchy demiglace and herby chimichurri sauce. We also did Massachusetts wild striped bass, lightly grilled, with ngerlings, sweet corn and housemade crème fraîche. Lindsey and Andrew’s wedding is a shining example of what Vermont is capable of.”
To mark the milestone, Andrew debuted his first Good Measure keg.
“We tapped Incorporated, an American Blonde ale brewed with oats,” the brewer notes. “It’s now one of our regulars on tap in Northfield. We also had vintage 2008 Orval Trappist ale, Saison Dupont and Hill Farmstead’s Edward on draft.”
Miss Weinerz made an array of cakes, including hop, rye stout and chocolate beet, and several varieties of her famed donuts. She and Andrew became friends when she was baking for Misery Loves Company. “I would bring leftover pastries to Mule Bar when we closed at night, and I made beer donuts for Andrew’s annual beer brunch at Mule. Of course I was going to bake for their wedding! For these guys, I incorporated beer into the syrup toppings and decorated the cakes with owers fresh picked from my garden that morning.”
Meredith Clayton handled the floral design, with flowers grown in the Intervale plot she tends with her chef husband, Phillip. For the head table, she wove a 20-foot runner of mixed greens, and all the guests’ tables had golden vessels lled with roses, dahlias, eucalyptus, olive leaves and pepper berry alongside pears, grapes, figs and plums. The tables looked like a Renaissance feast, overflowing with lush bounty, while the bridesmaids in flowy gowns and oral crowns resembled Greek goddesses.
“I was saving certain things from my gardens knowing they would be perfect for her wedding.” And of course Meredith incorporated locally grown hops in the boutonnieres and bouquets. “Lindsey gave me so much creative license! She orchestrates events for a living so we all wanted to make sure her own vision came true. She trusted all of us to work our own art.”
Michael Tallman, the photographer, had worked with Lindsey on other Farmhouse-catered weddings. “We’re all friends in this business, so in addition to the traditional scenes, I wanted to capture the catering crew as they prepared the meal and Meredith arranged the owers. Lindsey knows what it takes to create a wedding, so getting those behind-the-scenes shots was a priority.” And that final photo of Lindsey and Andrew with the Milky Way behind them? “I just grabbed my camera. That was once-in-a-career pure luck.”
Everyone loves a photo booth at a wedding and a second photographer, Michael Heeney, added a unique twist. Lindsey had placed a vintage curved-back couch at the edge of the mowed eld, with the broad western sky a dramatic backdrop, transitioning from azure to sunset to star-spangled. Heeney set his camera on a tripod, threw up some lights and clicked away. Guests wandered over and settled into the couch, and as the reception rolled on, the shots became more, um, relaxed. Talena Shannon, DJ of Premier Entertainment, kept the crowd grooving under the tent and also provided the digital printer that produced 4x6 images within 15 seconds for each guest.
Lastly, the couple felt it was important that the catering staff be part of the wedding. “ They’re our friends and it wouldn’t have felt right to treat them like help,” Lindsey says. “As the reception wound down, we went to the mike and invited the entire crew to join the party.” And they did just that.
Highlight for Lindsey? “Walking into Oak 45 Friday evening and seeing all the people we love gathered in one place. I flipped off the ‘stress’ switch and began to relax.” Andrew’s moment of bliss? “Probably hanging in the hot tub at the Essex Resort and Spa with my brewing friends. They all showed up with coolers of hard-to-find beers.”
What’s the secret to their relationship? “We try to take Sundays off and keep the day for ourselves,” explains Andrew. “Lindsey works 75 hours a week from May to October and I have a similar schedule plus an hour commute to Northfield. But on Sundays we grab a coffee and take the dogs to the park.” Lindsey adds, “I come up with an elaborate project or do some baking. We often take a drive then make a big Sunday dinner and watch a movie. It’s just nice to spend time at home together and hang with the dogs.”
“We’ve been together 10 years now,” says Andrew. “We started as best friends and we still are going strong.”
Maria Reade might redo her own wedding, but only if these ridiculously talented stars of Burlington’s food and drink scene would add their magical touches.