Happy December my sweet friends! We were certainly in for a treat when revisiting this camp wedding on the banks of picturesque Sebago Lakes in Naples. If you ask me, Camp Mataponi is a secret gem in this beautiful state, and needless to say, we were pleased to work at such an inspiring venue. Even more special was the opportunity to work with these two intelligent, remarkable, and lovely individuals.
Daija and Tal met during their second year of law school. On the first day of class, Tal took the empty seat next to Daija, immediately drawn to her classic beauty. They exchanged phone numbers, started working together on class assignments, and according to Daija, “fell in love over their similar nerdiness and drive.”
“I immediately thought Tal was handsome, and I was flattered when he chose the seat next to me in class,” recalled Daija. “I was impressed with his confidence and intelligence.”
“For me, Daija had that rare combination of classical beauty and sexy,” said Tal. “So I had to sit next to her in class. Then she spoke, and I was hooked on her striking intelligence and our matching senses of humor.”
It was Daija’s confidence that escalated their relationship to the next level when she asked Tal to go to the movies one day. To her surprised, he answered with a short, concise no.
“I had to explain to her that I would much rather take her to dinner,” said Tal. “That way I could look at her, we could talk, and finally get to know each other more.”
From continuous giggles and first date jitters during that memorable dinner, to countless adventures that followed, Daija and Tal quickly became an inseparable team. “Being together is always easy,” the two explained. “Even when we argue. We’re best friends and we never get tired of being together. During the day when we’re at work we text each other and talk consistently. We’re always looking forward to getting back to each other again.”
For these two, a proposal seemed destined, but it was the inspiring and heartwarming way that Tal orchestrated the event that still brings tears to my eyes.
As written by Daija just days after the proposal: “Ten days ago, Tal and I and his parents flew to Maine for vacation. Unfortunately, shortly before our vacation began, my grandmother went into the hospital and began a slow decline. My grandmother meant the world to me. I grew up spending almost every day with her while my parents worked. We would make banana milkshakes, play go fish and watch the Mickey Mouse Club. She taught me so much; from how to count in five different languages to how to make the best apple pie (with real butter and lard, of course), but she also taught me the importance of love. I know this is not how you expect a proposal story to begin, but bear with me.”
“As soon as we landed in Maine, we picked up my parents and drove to the hospital to see my grandmother. My grandfather was already at her bedside when we arrived, and all eight of us crammed into the hospital room. Everyone was saying their hellos when my grandmother started giving Tal a hard time, asking why it was taking so long for him to propose and that he better do it before someone else does. I felt awful, my grandfather thought she had lost it, and Tal’s mom left the room because she was getting mad. Tal, being the kind soul that he is, kept holding her hand, smiling, and letting her continue on. Well, little did I know, Tal called my grandmother the day before and put her up to it!”
“After letting my grandmother give him the lecture of his life, Tal looked at me from across the hospital bed and said “Well, Daija. What do you think? Is it time?” I was in complete shock. He walked around the bed toward me, I stood up, and he asked me to be his wife in front of both of our families. I started crying, he slipped my dream ring on my shaking hand, and I embraced my soulmate as our families cheered.”
There is nothing more inspiring than hearing of a proposal that involves not only the couple, but includes their loved ones as well. This sweet gesture is the best way to describe Tal’s personality, as his continued graciousness and love for Daija was profound throughout the entire planning process.
It was evident from the beginning that their vision for the day was one inspired by their love for Maine and their childhood memories of summer camp. Many of Daija and Tal’s guests would be experiencing Maine for the very first time at their wedding, so creating a traditional, yet personalized Maine experience for them was a top priority.
“Our main focus in planning the wedding was to ensure our guests had fun and thought “wow, I have never been to a wedding like this before.” We rented out the entire camp at Camp Mataponi. Guests stayed in the cabins on the campgrounds and got to act like kids again. Guests were also able to re-live their summer camp experience before and after the wedding, with kayaking in the lake and exploring the nature Maine is known for.”
The fun and ease of this wedding was certainly evident throughout the entire weekend, allowing Daija and Tal to fully relax and enjoy the experience. Captured by the talented Kathyn Williams Photography, we are so thrilled to be able to share the details of this lively camp experience with all of you.
Comfy wedding shoes are the best wedding shoes! Daija chose these beautifully colored Tom wedges to wear on her special day.
Tal looked handsome in his custom made Jeff Pratt suit as he patiently waited for Daija to surprise him in the woods for their first look.
These photos truly speak for themselves. There is such magic in a first look, to have the opportunity to be able to share a moment alone before the ceremony with the one you love most. With their wedding jitters calmed, Daija and Tal could now confidently walk down the aisle in front of their family and friends.
Guest enjoyed cold drinks of lemonade, sweet tea, and fruit infused water from this unique pre-ceremony beverage table sourced from our in-house inventory. Knitted yarmulkes and camp guidebooks adorned the table and served as favors for Daija and Tal’s guests.
These lush, vibrant florals were grown and crafted by the always sweet and talented Megan Hevenor of Field Floral Studio. The small pops of color in Daija’s bouquet popped against the white floral and lush greens. Sustainable floristry was a necessity for Daija, and Megan’s promised use of sustainable resources made her the perfect fit for the job.
Daija and Tal shared tears, smiles, and laughs throughout their unique Jewish ceremony. With the Ketubah propped behind them and their beautiful silk chuppah overhead, these two stood hand in hand while reciting their vows and exchanging rings. Jewish traditions carried the ceremony, allowing the love felt between Daija and Tal to be felt by everyone in attendance.
Officially married! Let the celebration begin!
Guests enjoyed delicious Mediterranean inspired hors d’oeuvres, as well as traditional hamburgers and BBQ pulled chicken sliders while playing lawn games and sipping Maine styled cocktails. Camp Mataponi staff served up all of the freshly made food throughout the evening.
“Keeping on theme with the Maine experience, our open bar featured a variety of Maine brewed beers,” Daija recalled. Maine Mixologist had the pleasure of manning the bar and creating a variety of drinks for Daija and Tal’s guests.
This unique guest book was one of our favorite details of the day. With their best wishes and words of wisdom in mind, Daija and Tal’s guests signed these brightly colored fabric squares, all which were sewn together to create a special quilt following the wedding.
“Growing up in Maine, you learn a deep appreciation for nature,” Daija explained, “so our dinner was served on American-made eco-friendly plates and utensils made from wood and leaves from sustainably managed forests.”
Camp Mataponi staff continued to impress guests with these fresh lobster rolls, as well as vegetarian black bean sliders and grilled corn on the cob. Comfort food (because this is the Maine experience after all!) such as homemade Mac n’ Cheese was also a favorite dish of the evening.
We can’t forget desserts! These sweet treats, adorned with the Camp Lifshitz logo (Lifshitz is Tal’s last name for all of you who where wondering!) were baked and beautifully presented by the always impressive European Bakery. To add a touch of Maine, fresh blueberries topped the lemon buttercream cake while individually wrapped whoopie pies were available for guests to enjoy.
With full bellies and warm hearts, Daija and Tal kicked off the reception with their beautifully romantic first dance. The perfect amount of twinkle shined from the bistro lights strung above, thanks to Maine Event Design and Decor. After their dance was complete, this fun couple was ready to officially celebrate!
Just look at the joy on those faces! The Hora dance is certainly one of our favorites – it’s so fun to see everyone involved! And of course, Mom and Dad were not forgotten during the dance either.
These two definitely know how to have a good time! Daija and Tal seriously impressed their guests with fun dance moves and infectious smiles that spread throughout the room. It’s safe to say there was hardly a dull moment the entire evening. Whether they were surrounded by friends and family, or tearing up the dance floor solo, Daija and Tal had the time of their lives celebrating their marriage.
As the music slowed and came to an end, guests retired to their cabins, changed into their comfiest clothes, and finished the evening with everyone’s favorite summer camp memory – a campfire and delicious, perfectly roasted s’mores.
Daija and Tal, we cannot thank you enough for allowing us to be a part of your day! It was memorable, filled with love, and one we will cherish in our hearts for years to come. Congratulations on your first year of marriage – I hope it was filled with as much adventure and joy as the two of you. We are truly bless to know and love you both. We wish you endless happiness for years to come! Xoxo
We would also love to thank the following vendors for assisting us in creating such a memorable day.
Hair and Make Up: Jessica Candage *** Event Rentals: One Stop Event Rentals and A Family Affair of Maine *** DJ: Hicks Productions *** Wedding Rings: Groom’s: Cartier; Bride’s: Custom made by Brickell Jewelers *** Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller