A total DIY affair from start to finish!
It seemed like the whole town of Waupaca, Wisconsin came together to help us transform the old train depot into the perfect/quirkiest venue for our celebration of love.
We put our nearest and dearest to work for this one! With their help we: cooked dinner for 100 people, built a vintage photo wall, hand-painted signs, crafted party favors, handmade a piñata, stuffed balloons for the “Balloon Promise Ceremony” and so much more… Ian’s sister even created my beautiful pillbox hat the day before the festivities!
Our smallest helpers manned the ticket office and periodically hand delivered telegrams to us from guests who couldn’t make it.
Amazing relatives and neighbors also: baked pies, lent us tablecloths, brewed cider, made tables out of wooden palettes, turned the caboose into a bar, set up a scavenger hunt for the kids to find playing cards and win prizes (when they weren’t playing flamingo ring toss). The best of the best even stuck around to sweep up and get the historical depot back in order for visitors the next morning!
He’d cringe at me saying it, but orchestrating this event together was further proof that Ian and I are a perfect pair!
Jazzy birthday speakeasy bash!
Double the wedding, double the fun?!
Collage save-the-date, invitation suite & homemade kissing booth for Chris and Claire's amazing wedding upstate!
The Superhero Supply Co. in
Brooklyn was the obvious venue for
our celebration of love!
With the help of some amazing party fairies, we pulled off a super creative, totally DIY wedding on a budget.
Guests were sent tea towel invitations that we screen printed at Winter Water Factory with the password to the event.
The dress code: stripes and/or polka dots.
Upon arrival, guests made their way past the Cape Tester, the Devillain-izer, gallons of Chutzpah and other superhero equipment and “Kismet” gained them access behind the secret bookcase.
The evening began with cocktails,
live jazz and mingling leading up to
our “Balloon Promise Ceremony”
and feature film.
Delicious dinner was catered by
The Soul Spot and some home-cooked by Aunt Gina! Instead of a traditional wedding cake, we constructed a donut tower with 13 dozen of our favorite Peter Pan donuts. Guests also went home with individual paper bag “lunches” which included a banana or apple, box of raisins, a homemade cookie and a thank you note!
Ian warned me against the logistics of having 100 balloons with ribbons hanging in a room with a breezy air-conditioner, but didn’t want to rain on my parade. I think seeing our way courageously through the “Great Balloon SNAFU of 2018” was a good marriage omen!
Val woke up and declared, “I’m gonna bake muffins!” Ian half-jokingly responded, “Are you going into labor or something?” Nesting activities are an early sign, so they say. It was the day before their baby shower at aunt Gina’s was scheduled to happen. Val hadn’t felt the baby kick yet that day so Ian yelled into her belly, “WAKE UP DOTTIE!” As she was getting ready to head to yoga, Val quietly appeared in the living room with a somber look on her face and said, “I think my water broke...” First a feeling of disbelief, then urgency, fear and excitement all at once! Neither was sure if it was amniotic fluid or pee, but it was soon proven to be the former. Val called the midwife who ordered her to go straight to the hospital and Ian tied up some loose ends and hastily packed a go-bag before calling a taxi and his mom, Marci who instantly booked a flight from Wisconsin to New York City.
The soon-to-be-parents made it to the hospital around 5pm where (after a battle of wits with the doctor), Val was induced at 7pm. Ian’s mom miraculously arrived at midnight just in time for active labor. Val had been chanting a beautiful, two-toned, primal birthing song for 3 hours and was only 4cm dilated. She finally conceded, “Give me the epidural!” As the anesthesiologist was ready to stick her with a big ‘ole needle, Val pleaded, “Wait, I think I feel a fuzzy poop!” The nurse examined her and to everyone’s surprise, it was a head! Suddenly nurses buzzed all about, but the doctor was nowhere to be found! Ian washed his hands and got into position to deliver the baby himself! Finally the doctor arrived and three little pushes later, at 1:43am, Veda Verity Duerr Courtney arrived on the scene! When the doctor placed Veda on her mother’s chest, Val famously shouted, “ARE YOU F@#$ing KIDDING ME?!” Oops! It all happened SO FAST!
“The number 143 means ‘I love you.’
“It takes one letter to say ‘I’ and four letters
to say ‘love’ and three letters to say ‘you.’
– Mister Rogers
From the ‘Social Impact’
experience event page:
By day, I'm an art director/graphic designer and my husband Ian, is a professional jazz musician. We are also Airbnb superhosts in our home. We love the cultural exchange it fosters, meeting new people and sharing our beloved city! Ian and I are combining our superpowers to raise money for our favorite non-profit 826NYC! I am a two-time 'Volunteer of the Month' winner and after 4+ years of volunteering, an all around 826NYC superfan!
826 is a national non-profit that is dedicated to supporting under-resourced students ages 6-18 with their creative and nonfiction writing skills. 826NYC is the Brooklyn branch that operates in a secret library behind ‘The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co’. All of their amazing programs are offered at no cost to students' families. 4,000 students participate in an 826NYC program each year!
This is a social impact experience where 100% of what you pay for this experience goes to 826NYC.
The experience will be modeled in part after 826NYC's Field Trip program in which a class attends a 2 hour workshop where students are paired up with writers and artists, and together they write, illustrate, and publish a book for the kids to take home that day. We'll meet (behind the secret bookcase) where you'll get to know 826NYC and each other while partaking in collaborative drawing and writing activities. Bring a bottle of wine or drink of choice to enjoy while a live jazz band plays original off-the-cuff music to get your creativity flowing! There won't be any kids present at this experience, but you can chat with Val and the staff about volunteer opportunities!