A Nontraditional Wedding at a Contemporary Art Museum

Moira and Dustin

Cambria Grace Photography

They say every pot has its lid. For Moira and Dustin, that's also true of plasticware. After not one but two groups of mutual friends tried to get them together, Moira, a clinical psychologist in Cambridge, Massachusetts, brought cupcakes to a barbecue hosted by Dustin, president and CEO of a Boston-based investment firm, in April 2014."We had so much fun," she says. "At the end of the night, I accidentally left the top to one of my containers." Smitten, Dustin saw an opportunity and e-mailed Moira, offering to return it—over drinks. "It was so not about the lid that I forgot to bring it!" he admits.

Moira didn't mind at all. "We were just inseparable from that first date," she recalls. Within six months, each of them was preparing a proposal, though Dustin got there first, dropping down on one knee during a morning run. Moira said yes, but went ahead with the scavenger hunt she and her then-five-year-old daughter, Aoife, had organized to pop their own question. "In truth, my—now our—daughter won him over even before I did," she says.

The planning moved as quickly as their courtship had. They set a date (May 24, 2015) six months after Dustin's proposal and booked the first venue they toured: the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA), in a restored 19th-century factory located among the rolling hills of the Berkshires. Just over a year after their first meeting, they gathered 140 loved ones for a weekend of hiking, yoga, farm-to-table fare, and a civil ceremony with vows they wrote themselves. And there was just a touch of drama, when flower girl Aoife lost the rings—momentarily—in the layers of her mother's epic gown.

Afterward, guests sipped cocktails on the patio before strolling through the art-filled galleries to a dinner that included salmon, orecchiette, and kale salad. When the couple kicked off their first dance and an excited Aoife ran over to join them, they did an unrehearsed three-person jig. It wasn't the night's only surprise. Later that evening, Dustin handed Moira a wrapped box; inside was the plastic lid, framed for posterity.

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The Style

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From the start, the couple wanted a nontraditional wedding. And when it came to a dress, Moira thought she might wear a white pantsuit or an offbeat vintage piece—until she saw the Lazaro gown. "I saw this gown while visiting my sister in Colorado, and she insisted I try it on. It's enormous. I said, 'Eh, I'll just buy some pants.' But a couple of weeks later I couldn't stop thinking about it."

Dustin chose a gray John Varvatos suit.

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A Wild Bouquet

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The bride's untamed bouquet by Pollen Floral Design featured a large air plant and included white clematis, peonies, eucalyptus, and ferns.

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Pre-Ceremony Drinks

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Guests enjoyed individual bottles of lemonade (some spiked with vodka) before the ceremony.

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A Work of Art

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The ceremony, officiated by a close friend, took place alongside an oversize art installation by Lee Boroson.

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Conversation Starters

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Rather than print programs or schedules, the couple put up oversize posters on wooden placards around the space. "We wanted everyone to interact with one another, and when you have something in your hand, you don't think to ask your neighbor what's going on," Moira says.

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Sealed With a Kiss

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The museum's collection of modern artwork meant countless photo ops. Here, the couple shares a cheeky kiss under the entrance to Jim Shaw's show, titled "Entertaining Doubts."

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Drinks al Fresco

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The Boston-based Goodtime String Band strummed bluegrass music during a cocktail hour on the museum's deck.

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Fun Coasters and Napkins

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For the reception, napkins and coasters were printed with fun facts about the newlyweds, their courtship, and the Boston neighborhood they call home.

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Joking Around

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Dustin and Moira brainstormed what the coasters and napkins would say together, but also submitted ideas on their own. Others were printed with Moira's daughter's best knock-knock jokes, including: "Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Wanda." "Wanda who?" "Wanna go get married?!"

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Seating Wanted

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In a playful take on a "Help Wanted" sign, attendees tore off escort­ card strips.

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The Reception Setup

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Dinner was served family­-style on long plank tables lit by vintage filament bulbs.

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The Place Settings

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Fern fronds in mismatched glass vessels brought the outside into the industrial-chic setting.

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Swing Time

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A close friend and dance instructor helped Moira and Dustin prepare a choreographed number to the Avett Brothers' "February 7." But when six-year-old Aoife ran out to join them, they quickly scrapped the plan in favor of a spur-of-the-moment group dance.

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Cambria Grace Photography

Location, Mass MoCA
Event planning and design, Lauren Wells Events
Catering, Mezze Catering and Events
Flowers, Pollen Floral Design
Photography, Cambria Grace Photography
Stationery, Alexandra Yeske
Desserts, Lickety Split; Union Square Donuts
Music, The Goodtime Stringband
Rentals, Rentals Unlimited; True North Event Rentals
Bride's gown, Lazaro
Bride's shoes, Badgley Mischka
Hair and makeup, Leather and Lace Artistry
Flower-girl dress and shoes, Alfred Angelo
Flower-girl belt, Bhldn
Groom's suit, shirt, and tie, John Varvatos
Groom's shoes, Ecco
Lighting, Seitel Lighting
Wedding bands, E. Scott Originals

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