Easton residents Michelle Cole and Andrew Bickford were planning on getting married on June 6 at the Equinox Resort in Manchester, Vt. with many of their friends and family present. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic they made the decision to reschedule the big celebration until next year; however, Michelle and Andrew did not want to wait another year to become husband and wife. Instead, they were married in their backyard this past Saturday in front of their immediate families and a few close friends.
Michelle, 36, attended Greens Farms Academy (GFA) in Westport, and graduated from Colby College in Waterville, Me. Michelle is proud to serve as the current President of the GFA Alumni Association and as a former Event Chairperson for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Fairfield. She is the daughter of Dr. Patricia Bendick and Roger Cole, of Fairfield.
Andrew, 35, graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 2005 and received his Master’s degree from RPI in 2007. Andrew is a dedicated volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America’s Housatonic Council, formerly serving as the Scoutmaster for Troop 19 in Shelton and currently as Roundtable Commissioner. He is the son of Jeanne and Douglas Bickford, of Essex Junction, Vt.
Michelle and Andrew met online via the Bumble App. Their first date was at a local brewery/pizzeria, Brewport. Since that day, Michelle and Andrew have gone on a great many adventures. There have been exciting hikes with beautiful views; trips to Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont where Andrew learned to ski (though he still has his work cut out for him keeping up with Michelle); visits to breweries both at home in Connecticut and in other places they visit to try new, delicious beer; and even just quiet days at home enjoying each other’s company.
On a trip to visit family in Vermont, Andrew stealthily picked up his great-grandmother’s engagement ring from his grandmother, who offered it to him not long after she met Michelle for the first time. Andrew then carried it with him for several months waiting for the right moment to propose. That moment came in February last year, when they were out on a walk and talking about their future hopes and dreams. Upon returning home, Andrew surprised Michelle by getting down on one knee and asking her to marry him. She said yes!
Michelle and Andrew bought their first home together in June of 2019. When they found their house in Easton, they knew it was going to be a special place for them. They have enjoyed exploring nearby open spaces and visiting local farms, shops and restaurants.
While a backyard wedding was not what they had originally planned, in the end, the intimate ceremony and wedding day was perfect. As their close friend and officiant, Ryan Tougias of Redding, said in their wedding ceremony, “Their home will forever be a more special place because of this.” Michelle and Andrew are incredibly grateful for the love and support they have received from family and friends near and far. They look forward to celebrating with an epic first anniversary party in Vermont next year where they will renew their vows.
Photo credit: Brooke Allison Photo