Vermont has a new first lady after Gov. Peter Shumlin married his longtime partner Katie Hunt Tuesday evening in a small, private ceremony at the East Montpelier home the couple shares.
The 59-year-old Shumlin announced his engagement to Hunt, 31, in September, several weeks after the proposal took place. At the time the governor said the two planned to get married within the next year.
The ceremony, which the governor confirmed Tuesday after inquiries from the Vermont Press Bureau, was attended by just a few members of the governor’s family — his two daughters, Olivia and Becca, and his brother, Jeff Shumlin.
Other close friends and family were told of the marriage only after the ceremony took place in an email from the couple.
“Love, passion, and promise led us to exchange our wedding vows tonight before a roaring fire in our living room in East Montpelier,” they wrote.
The email said the governor’s brother poured champagne and his daughters “cheered us on.”
Despite the couple’s wish “to have family and friends with us” they opted for an “intimate” setting, they wrote.
“We ask for your understanding that you were not there. In the several months that we were engaged, we considered all wedding options,” the email reads. “We are so blessed to have each other and you in our lives and we will find many opportunities to celebrate with you.”
The governor’s sister-in-law, Evie Lovett, officiated the ceremony.
No members of Hunt’s family were present.
Shumlin’s office released a short statement from the couple Tuesday.
“We are so fortunate to have such a beautiful partnership and to be able to spend the rest of our lives together,” they said.
Shumlin said the two plan to live in Westminster West when his third and final term as governor expires in January 2017. He announced in June that he would not seek a fourth term.
Hunt is an artist and landscape gardener who grew up in southern Vermont and is working on finishing her degree at Mount Holyoke College, according to Shumlin’s office.
The governor did not acknowledge his relationship with Hunt publicly during his first two terms. But Hunt has appeared more regularly by Shumlin’s side at public events during his third term.
It is the third marriage for Shumlin and first for Hunt. Shumlin and his former wife, Deborah Holway, the mother of his two daughters, divorced in 2013.
The governor and Hunt, who does not plan on changing her name, are taking a brief honeymoon.
“We are off for a long weekend of sun and beach. Back Monday,” they wrote in the email.
This story was originally published by the Vermont Press Bureau and is republished here under a partnership with the bureau.