#SpotlightSaturday – Andrew and Katja

Photo Booth

Introducing Andrew and Katja, a quirky, fun loving, down to earth couple from Sheldon, Vermont. Two weeks ago we brought them onto our site talking about the prelude to their wedding, their engagement, and relationship. We found out that these two were close to being high school sweethearts, and have grown together in friendship for quite sometime. Today we are walking you through their planning process, seeing how they made their wedding uniquely them.

“During our engagement we spent a lot of time discussing what we envisioned for certain aspects of our wedding – constantly confirming that we shared the same values. We also prepared for our lives together, finding our home in Sheldon and making plans for home improvement projects, our garden, and pets.”

Andrew and Katja, having recently purchased a house, were very careful to not compromise their incredibly tight budget of $10,000 to $15,000. They remembered that the hardest part of the process was to stay within this budget without compromising their vision. They wanted their wedding to reflect them as a couple and the friendship that they hve with the people around them.

“The best parts were whenever we figured out a detail that we’d had no good ideas for. Probably the most exciting was Cakewhen we finally figured out the perfect way to incorporate board games, one of our favorite hobbies. We read online the idea of using Carcassonne, a tile laying game, as the guestbook. We had guests sign tiles then we arrange them according to the game rules, framed them and hung them on our wall. Continuing with this train of thought, we decided to have small games on each table and to have the winner take the game home. We also decided to have meeples (little board game people shaped pieces) as the wedding favors and giant meeples for our cake toppers.” By incorporating their board games Andrew and Katja were able to show a reflection of themselves without breaking that tight budget. As a plus, they are now able to use their centerpieces over and over again. They also made budget conscious food and beverage options keeping them within their range.

“First we picked the “tier” that was within budget, then it was pretty easy to select the menu. We knew we wanted a cheese platter and clam chowder, because those were the tastiest starters. We then picked the vegetarian options that sounded best to us, picked the only fish option, and picked the meat option that my mom and sister said tasted best (we’re both vegetarian). For the cake we had cupcakes and a small cutting cake, because I don’t really like cake but love cupcakes, and Andrew liked that choice too. We didn’t stress too much over the menu decisions.”

A and KAs a bit of a “splurge” Katja was able to purchase her favorite dress. They wanted a casual yet classy feel and had the gentleman dressing in bowties and khakis. “I got my dress at Fiori Bridal in Essex, which was the first place (of three) I went to look at dresses. I had the best experience there (maybe in part because that was the one place where all my bridesmaids and my mom and mom-in-law came with me to help me pick). I ended up spending a little more than I intended but the dress was perfect; simple and elegant. The dress was made by Casablanca.”

It is imperative while wedding planning to really decide what is important to you and trying to focus on that rather than the smaller details which could stress you out. Andrew and Katja wanted to focus on the fun aspects of their wedding such as guests playing the board games an relaxing in the Mountains. The ceremony and reception took place in Jay Peak, Vermont.

“Everything was perfect. Even though it poured and we had to move to our back-up ceremony location, we were totally happy with the way everything turned out.”

Andrew and Katja wanted to remind everyone to not stress all that much, at the end of the day you are married and around all of our family and friends that are there to love and support you.Board games

“So far the hardest part has been getting used to my new last name. Enjoy every moment of the wedding, because it goes by so fast! Part of what makes Andrew and I such a strong couple is our similar family values, which come from our equally fantastic families and how we were raised. We’ve been supported by both of our families throughout our relationship, and both felt like a part of each others’ families before it was “official”, making the transition an easy one.  Likewise we have great friends who have been there to support us and will continue to be there for us. We have many people to go to if we ever need help or advice.”


#SpotlightSaturday Preview – Andrew + Katja

February 2013 (2)

“We met freshman year of high school (2005). I had gone to Enosburg school since Kindergarten, and Andrew had just started there since Sheldon (where he went to elementary school) doesn’t have a high school. We had English together, and maybe other classes too. We dated briefly in high school and then just remained friends for a while. When we graduated high school in 2009 we both went to UVM and we’d see each other every once in a while. Finally in 2012, just before our senior year at UVM, we started dating again and have been together ever since.”

Andrew, 23, and Katja, 24, were “almost” high school sweethearts. As we all have experienced at one time or another, sometimes it is hard to see what is staring us right in the face. Although Andrew and Katja were not dating, all throughout they cherished that in between time to really get to know each other as friends. After getting together in college, Andrew and Katja decided to take their relationship to the next level.

December 2013“I (Katja) had gone to my grandma’s on Long Island for Thanksgiving 2013, and Andrew had stayed in VT with his family. When I got back to our apartment all the lights were off except for some white Christmas lights on a miniature Christmas tree, which Andrew had bought and set up for me. I’d been bugging him about getting a Christmas tree earlier but he’d pretended we weren’t getting one because Christmas always overshadows his 12/23 Birthday. Andrew met me at the door, got down on one knee, and proposed by the light of the tree.”

Playing Rampage June 2013Anyone who knows Andrew and Katja, knows that they love the outdoors, fellowship, and most of all… boardgames. With one of the most impressive and obscure board game collections in New England, they are known as the couple to invite over for game night. Be sure to check in next week to see how they used their passion for boardgames as a reflection of their relationship in their wedding!

December 2012