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Amy and Dave : Deer Creek Overlook Wedding

04/09/2012
Amy and Dave had the neatest wedding at Deer Creek Overlook, where they had a weekend affair with 130 attendees. The camp wedding was complete with a moonbounce, swimming, and camp fire gatherings. And the theme allowed them to have the simple, outdoorsy ceremony they both wanted.
Amy, a Deputy Field Director for MoveOn.org, does advocacy and organizing in politics. Dave is a law school student. These guys are the coolest couple ever! Dave is especially funny and Amy has a silly side as well. But they’re also very intelligent, caring and open-minded individuals whose focus is the betterment of the world.
Another unique aspect of this ceremony was the addition of their 7 closest friends, who all gave readings.
How they met
We blame our friend, Joseph Atchison Florence V, for introducing us in November 2007. Dave lived with Joe in Swarthmore years back, and Amy met Joe through environmental organizing a few years prior.
Unbeknownst to us, Joe had talked up each of us before we had even met. One night in November, Joe invited us both over to cook dinner and hang out. But it wasn’t until January 2008, at a second meal-cooking hang-out, that sparks really started to fly. Within 24 hours, we each had asked Joe for the other’s contact information, and it wasn’t long before we were officially dating. We love reminiscing about a few funny moments from the first few months of our relationship:
One of our first dates included meeting for brunch (Dave ordered what ended up being a horrible peanut-butter-and-jelly pizza…really), driving through a snowstorm, and bed-shopping for Dave’s new apartment in D.C. Really. Looking back, Dave admits that shopping for a bed on a first date is, well, strange, and Amy admits that while she thought it was peculiar (um, yeah), she didn’t want to turn down the opportunity with Dave.
Right when we started dating, Dave was cooking at a restaurant, which meant he didn’t get off until 11pm or later–right at the time Amy would be heading to bed. Many a time, Amy would be in her pajamas about to fall asleep (or possibly asleep!) when Dave, having just gotten off work, would text her to see if she wanted to hang out. Without fail, she would get out of bed and get dressed for a late night beer with Dave. It wasn’t until years later that Amy admitted that she was often fast asleep–and Dave had no idea.
Less than six months into the relationship, Dave moved back to Philly for a dream job. It was without any hesitation that we decided to try our hand at a long-distance relationship, and such began our weekend-long trips between D.C. and Philly. Amy had convinced her boss to let her occasionally work from Philly on Fridays–thus extending our visits by a few precious hours. On one occasion, Dave went to a work meeting, leaving Amy to work in his bedroom. Dave was so tired as he left that he accidentally locked the bedroom shut–from the outside. A few hours later, Amy frantically called Dave during his meeting–to come unlock the door so she could use the restroom. Apparently the meeting was too important for Dave to leave, so he explained where to find the bedroom water pitcher. Lo and behold, it was Dave’s job to clean out the pitcher when he finally returned home to free Amy.
The Engagement
We got engaged on June 11, 2010 at Dave’s family’s lake house on Lake Champlain. As a child, Dave spent many a summer at the camp–fishing, swimming, and exploring. It’s also where we spent our first vacation together, only a few months after we started dating. The day we got engaged–nearly three years later–we were en route to Amy’s high school friend’s wedding in Vermont.
Here are our two different versions of that day:
Amy’s version: I’ve never been very keen on the whole “guy-surprises-girl-with-a-diamond-ring” engagement thing. Dave & I have spent many an hour discussing theoretically and practically what it means to get engaged and what it would look like. (Dare I say that the words “engagement” and “wedding” crossed our lips months into our relationship?) I had made it clear from the beginning that there would be no surprises–and that an engagement would be the product of a mutual decision after many, many discussions. As we became more and more serious about committing to each other, we began to brainstorm some of the logistics. Maybe we’d both wear rings. Or we’d try to surprise each other. Or neither of us would wear rings. Or we’d create together an item–like art–to symbolize our commitment. (Given our artistic inclinations, the art idea didn’t make it very far.)
We were still very much in the midst of these discussions the morning of June 11, as we began our drive from Albany (where we’d just stayed with Dave’s mom, Lynn, for the night) to the camp. En route to a wedding, the topic of engagement once again came up. And as we bantered back and forth, brainstorming different ideas, I suddenly came to the conclusion that this would be the day. I’m not sure why–but it just felt right, driving through beautiful upstate New York en route to a place special to both of us. As we talked on and on, I was ecstatic and giddy in my decision–potentially euphoric with the anticipation and the surprise.
We arrived at the camp mid-day and went about opening up the house and relaxing. The camp is beautiful and peaceful, and it was a lovely June day.We soon found ourselves sitting on the lawn–with the camp behind us and Lake Champlain just a feet away. I have no idea what we chatted about because my heart was racing. I knew that this was the place & the moment. This was really it!The problem: I didn’t know how to start. Or what to say. I was really nervous. So instead of just directly asking Dave if he wanted to get married–and even knowing that he would undoubtedly say ‘yes’–I asked something to the effect of: “When you imagine us getting engaged, what does it look like?” Dave paused, looked around, and responded: “I think it looks something exactly like this.”I smiled–a massive, giddy grin, in fact–still unable to say anything more. And so Dave–never one to be short on words–turned and asked me if I wanted get married. I said yes! And then I promptly asked if he wanted to get married. And he said yes! And then we promptly specified: will we marry each other? And we both said yes!
Dave’s version:
In months previous to our engagement, Amy and I had brought up the topic of marriage more than once– though usually in an academic, hypothetical way. Driving north through the Adirondacks to get to my family’s cabin on Lake Champlain (en route to Delia and Matt’s June 2010 wedding across the lake), the “theoretical” questions were coming fast and furious from each of us. If Amy had any agenda, I was blissfully unaware of it; as we had so many times before, my awesome girlfriend and I were just pontificating on the ins-and-outs of  the institution and logistics of marriages. We were headed to our friends’ wedding, after all!
But yes–the awesome girlfriend part–I wanted to be Amy’s formal/legal partner. I wanted to publicly commit to Amy that we would work hard to support each other and be good to each other, whatever that meant. I really wanted Amy to know ALWAYS that I was on her team, and I wanted Amy on my team (’cause she’s awesome!). No matter how generic a conversation we were having at that moment, it was clear that when timing seemed right, we were interested in getting hitched (to each other!)…
We talked as we drove through the views of mountains and trees and lakes. Thinking back, I have the sensation that we two humans were together in that car, surrounded by nature and away from crowds of other people. At that time, and when we arrived–just the two of us–at Willsboro Bay, I was loving the world and Amy both so much that I wanted only to share my world with Amy and to be a part of hers. But how the heck does that happen? I had zero personal experience with getting married, so no real points of reference…  Nothing to do but enjoy Amy’s company and keep my mouth shut until I figured out how people get engaged (especially people who have never been interested in the dude-down-on-one-knee thing).
With no pressing itinerary, Amy and I had time to sit on the lawn and to look out at the quiet bay. We were calm, and hugging each other on the lawn, when out of nowhere, Amy asked me some version of “what would the right time to get engaged look like?”Now, I know an opportunity when I hear one! (Though maybe I need to work on recognizing leading questions.)  My heart began to race, and (remember–I’ve never done this before!) I thought carefully for a moment and responded with a grin, “I think something exactly like this.”Up until this point, Amy and I had spoken about marriage in general, Amy had asked a question that– while relevant to the two of us–was not explicitly about the two of us.  But we were looking into each others’ eyes when I had just made a declaratory statement.  We both knew something had happened, though it took us a few more moments to explicitly clarify exactly what we were (or were not) getting at:Do we want to get married?
-YES and YES!
To each other?
-YES, OF COURSE!
So are we engaged?
-SEEMS LIKE IT!
Now what?
-WHO KNOWS?  WE ARE OFF THE MAP!Since we had no other plans and little cell-phone reception, we had some time to figure out what next…
******
Ok, so now for the wedding photos. Have a look at their unforgettable day. You can see their entire gallery on my website: MistiMorningstar.com , under “real weddings”.

Here you can see Dave's sense of humor as he peeks over Amy's bouquet.

I love how the sun is shining through the trees in this photo. They both look awesome!

This was so cool. A moonbounce at the wedding!!! What fun!

This was the first time Amy drove the 4-wheeler! You go girl! One of my all time favorite photos!

Nothing like a little dual before the wedding ceremony...

Guess who won the water pistol battle ?

Amy was given away by her Mother and Father.

Does Dave look happy or what?

7 of Amy and Dave's closest friends gave readings during their ceremony.

The couple listening to their friends' readings.

They also had their own vows for each other.

Dave looks like a politician in this photo and to me it has a Kennedy feel to it.

A candid moment... Dave giving Amy a little smirk after they are pronounced husband and wife.

The flowers were amazing and were all provided by Amy's father, Jerry, who owns a plant farm nursery.

The entire gang!!!

Fabulous toasts that had many eyes tearing up, including mine!

A bit of the traditional Jewish was also incorporated for Dave.

A little photo booth action during the reception.

The shadow of love will follow these two.

Congrats Amy and Dave! Hugs xox

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