Offbeat partners: Krista and Dave
Location and Date: The Inn at Mountain View Farm in East Burke, Vermont, 9/17/2022
Our puzzling wedding at a glance:
We wanted a rustic, whimsical wedding weekend with an outdoor ceremony and a reception in a barn… and we knew we had to incorporate puzzle games, a big passion of ours: Dave even proposed with hand-crafted puzzles, whose answers together read: “Thyme 2 Bee Da Vista.”
We wanted lots of personal touches. We designed matching rings based on the unique design of my late grandma’s ring.
Dave got a custom purple suit, and I added purple details to my dress.
We tried to be sustainable and local when possible. Pulling from the “thyme and bee” aspects of Dave’s proposal plus my late grandma’s love of butterflies, we chose a playful herb-garden inspired theme, with lavender and sage colors. We used lavender and other herbs in the décor, and even had lavender and our own garden-grown thyme in my hair!
We brought a lot of whimsical details to our dessert display – mushroom-shaped meringues, butterflies on the cake, an adorable gold snail!
Additional DIY'd touches: a bespoke photo booth; a slate table numbers, signs, menus, and placemats; wooden signs, crates, dessert stands, place cards, and puzzle cubes; laser-engraved glass hurricanes from reclaimed wine bottles; paper elements for our custom table puzzles.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We wanted the ceremony to be both heartfelt and humorous. We prepared guests for both kinds of tears with beautiful cloth handkerchiefs they could pick up on the way to the ceremony site, providing them with both a sustainable keepsake and encouraging the free expression of emotion.
The ceremony was on a beautiful hillside with mountains and some early fall foliage as the backdrop.
Dave’s dear friend from college, Ricky, shined as our officiant. Dave’s youngest (Rose, they/them) served as the flower person, train-conductor, and officiant’s sidekick.
During the procession, we played What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. As Dave and his mother walked the aisle, Best At Loving You by Michael Franti. For Krista and her parents: Every Heartbeat, by Grace Potter.
For our readings, we chose the poem “I Love You” by Roy Croft, an excerpt from “Gratitude” by Louie Schwartzberg, and “A Natural History of Love” by Diane Ackerman. We wrote our own vows and ceremony, with both touching and light-hearted aspects, like a Dr. Seuss-inspired section that made all our guests giggle (adapted from something we found by Don Andrews).
We skipped the traditional wedding party but incorporated some of our nearest and dearest through readings and an uplifting, tear-jerking trumpet solo (Simple Gifts, by Joseph Brackett) from one of Dave’s closest childhood friends, Aaron.
Ricky surprised us by breaking into song while reading the lyrics included in this part of our ceremony:
“Every relationship is a combination of curiosity, effort, and serendipity. As these two got to know each other and their relationship deepened, there were many experiences that reinforced the strength of their bond.
One happened on Dave's home turf on the waterfront in Burlington, Vermont, during musician Grace Potter's set at her annual Grand Point North Festival. Grace announced she was going to debut a few new songs to her hometown fans and that she was ‘really nervous'.
The first was ‘Every Heartbeat‘, with lyrics like ‘I'm falling harder day by day/every word you speak, the doubts that linger in me/begin to slowly fade away‘. Later in the set, she debuted ‘Everyday Love‘ – “it doesn't matter what came before, all we need is us, this ain't no everyday love.”
Dancing together during those songs got the best of Dave, who confessed his love for Krista during the latter tune.”
Our relationship started with holding hands (we were at a wedding!) so we incorporated a handfasting into the ceremony:
“The phrase ‘asking for her hand in marriage' goes back centuries, but for these two it was Krista who first took Dave's hand (surreptitiously) on a chilly June evening in the Tetons, during Stephen and Sierra's wedding reception. That was the first true bonding moment that led us to be here today.
Their hands work together to solve puzzles, to cook together and for each other, and share driving duties on their adventures. Their hands massage each others' tired shoulders, pick countless berries, and provide solace and comfort in times of distress.
And though we all know neither one is exactly Bob Ross, they are creative souls at heart who design puzzles and fashion unique gifts for each other and those in their lives.
All weddings end with a kiss, but their relationship started with the simple, tender act of holding-hands, so we recognize and honor that moment here today. And you can be sure that, when they are wrinkled with age, they'll be ‘that cute old couple that holds hands while they walk to the store.'”
We kept the wording for the ring exchanges short and simple:
“I give you this ring to wear with love and joy. As this ring has no end, neither shall my love for you. I choose you to be my partner this day and every day.”
Our personal vows reflected our own personalities, but found some common ground… like the fact that we both referenced our evening toothbrushing routine! It's a sweet, goofy ritual whereby Dave comes up with silly ways to signal to me when it’s time to change quadrants, since his electric toothbrush has a timer for that.
We even commissioned a bespoke puzzle box that was revealed during the ceremony – it was designed around us and our story by Odes Unboxed, and we plan to open and play it on our 5th anniversary (and every 5 years after that)! We can’t wait to see what’s inside…
Tell us about the reception:
To share our love of puzzling, every reception table had puzzles to solve, with dramatic moments like writing that magically disappeared when held over a flame, revealing a hidden message.
The puzzles ultimately gave them the code to a treasure chest…
…containing more puzzle games to take home!
Our other favors were spices from Penzeys, to represent our love of cooking together and for the Penzeys company itself.
We dreamed up a delectable cocktail dubbed “A Berry Lovely Thyme” after much taste-testing of recipes featuring mint, thyme, and blueberries from our garden, along with ginger beer (our favorite drink) and local rum.
And, of course, our guests loved the photo booth – a great way to capture some sillier moments and produce another memento for them, as well as a copy for ourselves!
We also DIYed our music, with Dave pulling together our favorite and most poignant songs into separate playlists for the welcome dinner, ceremony, cocktail hour/dinner, and dancing. I don’t think anyone paid much attention to the music at cocktail hour or the dinners, but we now love having those playlists to listen to at home and remind us of our celebration!
The dance mix was heavy on the 80s and 90s dance hits of our youth, with a healthy dash of modern favorites and a poignant slow song to honor two of Dave's long-married friends. The highlight of the party mix was a custom mash-up of 90s Jump songs (Kris Kross and House of Pain) with an extra nod to the 80s (Van Halen).
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
We initially struggled with letting go of some traditional elements and making the weekend our own, and finding people who could help us with those personalizations in our unconventional style. Our advice is to incorporate the spirit and details that speak to who you are as a couple, which will make this wedding undeniably and unforgettably yours! And treasure the indulgence of planning an event where your love takes center stage.
We actually found the process so rewarding and meaningful that we have started our own company, Whimsically You, to help other couples do the same! At the end of the day, all that really matters is that you end up married, celebrate in your own way, and have fabulous memories with your loved ones. Undoubtedly, it won’t be perfect – ours certainly wasn’t! But it can be perfectly you.
The weekend was a whirlwind of activity, joy, laughter, and love. Some of our most treasured and memorable moments were simple and unexpected: the quiet times at the start and end of the day when Dave and I had a few moments alone to take everything in, the yoga in a chilly barn with the sunlight streaming in, Dave and his cousins playing barefoot frisbee on the lush green grass, and witnessing the engagement of all our loved ones with our custom table puzzles, with all the befuddlement, collaboration, laughter, a-ha’s, and wonderment they produced!
- Photography: Jacob & Megan Hannah of Hannah Photography IG: @hannahphotography_vt
- Venue: The Inn at Mountain View Farm IG: @innatmountainviewfarm
- Catering: Susanna’s Catering IG: @susannastogo
- Desserts: The Goose Chase Cake Design IG: @thegoosechasecakedesign
- Rings: Annika Rundberg from Global Pathways Jewelry IG: @globalpathways
- Makeup: Kate Taylor
- Hair: Courtney Brassard from Magnifique Salon
- Photo booth, lawn games, table puzzles, custom decor: Whimsically You IG: @whimsically.you
- Ceremony puzzle box: Odes Unboxed IG: @odes.unboxed
- Transportation: Butler’s Bus Service
- Rentals: Vermont Tent Company IG: @vermonttent
- Groom’s suit: Clothing from Italy