Wedding: Annie & Otto


ANNIE MURAWSKI AND OTTO MAGDANZ tied the knot at Basin Harbor in Ferrisburgh this past July. Photo: Lily Landes Photography

Photo: Lily Landes Photography

Annie and Otto share a passion for traveling and find any window to explore the world that they can.

In November 2018, they were in Colombia for a hiking trip in one of the country’s national parks. The pair had been together for several years and had openly talked about getting married, but still Otto managed to surprise Annie when he popped the question in this remote setting. He somehow had managed to hike the ring in their shared backpack for four days without her noticing!

Despite the thousands of beautiful places they had visited in the world, Annie and Otto easily committed to a Vermont wedding. Annie grew up in Shoreham and Cornwall and while the couple now lives in Boston they cherish opportunities to visit family in Vermont and return to the beautiful Green Mountains.

It was important to them not just to formalize their union, but also to use their wedding as an opportunity to celebrate with all of the people who meant the most to them and had supported them as their relationship blossomed. Their guests came from far and wide and therefore Annie and Otto were looking for a venue that could accommodate their party for a full weekend, not just a few hours.

Basin Harbor, on the shores of Lake Champlain, was a perfect fit. Guests could stay on site and enjoy the wide range of activities and gorgeous setting for catching up. The wedding was held over the 4th of July weekend, so many guests were able to come early and stay for several extra days. As a bonus, Annie had spent a summer working at Basin Harbor as a waterskiing instructor, so she was extra familiar with the site and thrilled to be returning for her own celebration.

Plan though they did, Annie and Otto did get a bit caught off guard by the weather. While they had a rain plan, it was an air-tight option that didn’t seem as appealing when their wedding day brought temperatures in the upper 90s and high humidity. Brief but torrential thunder showers with dramatic lighting episodes forced them to commit to an inside plan for the ceremony, but they were able to move outdoors to their tent for the reception. The heat made for an especially sweaty dance floor, but that didn’t seem to deter Annie and Otto’s guests, who carried on their joyous celebration. It even gave them a good excuse to cap the night with a jump in the lake together, something that ended up being one of Annie and Otto’s most cherished memories from their big day.

A few extra-special details helped mark Annie and Otto’s celebration with their unique signatures. Otto’s father is a glassblower, so the trio collaborated on a design and plan for him to make custom vases and candelabras just for the wedding. These pieces were then gifted to family members after the wedding, providing mementos that will help them all remember Annie and Otto’s wedding day for years to come. Otto’s father also made two personalized glasses for the bride and groom that his mother etched quotes onto. Within their wedding ceremony, Annie and Otto each stomped their glass, giving a nod to a classic Jewish custom during wedding celebrations (Otto’s family has Jewish roots).

Despite the turbulent weather on their wedding day, the skies cleared just after their ceremony and allowed the newlyweds to head out on a short boat ride on an antique Chris Craft motorboat.

“It was beautiful scenery (with some great photo ops), but more importantly it was a wonderful time for just the two of us to relax and reflect on the ceremony while it was fresh.  We also took a pass by the docks where all of our guests were gathered, which gave a great view and perspective of all of the wonderful friends and family that we had been able to bring together,” Annie recalled.

As two lovers of waterskiing, Annie and Otto each managed to waterski every day they were at Basin Harbor leading up to the wedding. Each time was an opportunity for them to escape from the details of the wedding and enjoy a favorite pastime that they shared together.

It was only fitting, then, to conclude their stay on Sunday with one final ski. Only this time, he in his suit and she in her wedding dress!

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