By Phyl Newbeck
After friends, family and the community rallied around a Williston Vermont National Guard member and her fiancé, the couple is preparing for an all-expenses-paid wedding.
Earlier this year, Ric Volp and Sienna Fontaine entered a Vermont Weddings contest for military couples. Called “A Salute to our Soldiers,” the contest was designed to provide a free wedding for a Vermont couple with military connections. Judges whittled down the more than 50 entrants to three finalists whose stories were printed online so members of the public could choose the winning couple.
When voting ended in March, Volp and Fontaine emerged victorious.
Fontaine said she is overcome with gratitude to those helping to make her dream a reality.
“We’re still in this place of awe,” said Fontaine. “We still have to shake ourselves that we really won this wedding. It’s still kind of unbelievable.”
Both Fontaine and Volp are members of the Vermont National Guard. Fontaine is a Williston native who graduated from Champlain Valley Union High and the University of Vermont. She is currently working on a Masters in social work at UVM, with the goal of helping returning veterans. Volp did a tour of duty in Afghanistan and now works as a detective in Burlington. The couple met in the summer of 2012 and Volp proposed last November.
On Monday, the couple went to Boyden Farms—the wedding venue—for an event sponsored by Vermont Weddings to thank all the wedding professionals who contributed to the contest. All of the couple’s vendors were present as they work to come up with plans for Fontaine’s and Volp’s big day, which will take place this October. In addition to meeting the couple, the event gave the vendors a chance to interact with one other.
As a thank you to Vermont Weddings, Fontaine has agreed to join the board of directors of “A Salute to our Soldiers” to help out with next year’s contest.
“We want to make every year bigger and better,” she said.