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A wedding of creative talents: Princess Bride (and groom) to show how it's done

Published 12:44 pm, Wednesday, January 1, 2014

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  • Enacting a scene at the "Princess Bride"-themed nuptials of Kerstin Warner and Vijay Rao last October are, from left: Marty Wiesner, Bill Derry, Warner, Rao and George Walsh. Photo: Pamela Einarsen / Westport News contributed

    Enacting a scene at the "Princess Bride"-themed nuptials of Kerstin Warner and Vijay Rao last October are, from left: Marty Wiesner, Bill Derry, Warner, Rao and George Walsh.

    Photo: Pamela Einarsen

 

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While a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich might, rather oddly, be more appealing to some than true love, one recently wed Westport couple was able to bring the flavor of both to their unique nuptials.

On Thursday, the public will have a chance to share in the couple's unusual matrimonial festivities and hear about the creative inspiration behind having a "Princess Bride" wedding, inspired by the 1987 movie of the same name.

Kerstin Warner, a teacher at Bedford Middle School, and Vijay Rao, a computer programmer who works in the Southport section of Fairfield, will host "A Maker Wedding: The Princess Bride, 2.0" at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Westport Library.

The presentation will give visitors a chance to not only share in the fun of the couple's nuptials -- featuring a costumed performance of several scenes from the romantic fantasy movie, based on the book by William Goldman -- but also gain insights on how to make creativity a more immediate part of their life.

"It's very much in the spirit of the Maker movement," Rao said of their wedding, which took place Oct. 14 at the Inn at Longshore. "Rather than farming it out to someone else, it's a lot of making it ourselves, making it our own experience and sharing it with family and friends."

Both Rao and Warner serve on the library's Maker Faire committee, and they wanted to do something unique and creative for the marriage ceremony. They spent close to eight months planning a celebration that featured their own calligraphy work, creation of a scale-model based on the "Princess Bride" theme, and a performance done in tandem with Warner's comedy improve troupe, Funny Side Up.

"This is kind of part of the Maker Faire movement," Warner said. "We rolled up our sleeves and we built a model ... Neither of us had ever built a model before. Vijay had never acted before. There was just a lot of stuff we had to learn along the way as we put this together, and we kind of wanted to inspire people to make things their own."

"The public will get an inside look at what can happen when the age-old tradition of marriage gets reimagined to meet the arts and technology interests and experiences of the couple," said Bill Derry, the library's assistant director for innovation and user experience.

Not only an advocate of the Maker philosophy that guided the wedding, Derry, a friend and ordained minister, also performed the marriage ceremony for the couple, as well as acting in the performance.

"I loved being a part of Kerstin and Vijay's Maker wedding," he said. "It was a once upon a time collaborative event filled with fun, joy and layers of meaning."

Part of the idea came about when the couple realized that Funny Side Up performers, who helped Rao propose to Warner at one of their shows, corresponded with characters in the "Princess Bride."

"It was never really an intention to do that as a theme," Warner said, but things began moving in that direction as they began planning. "It kind of all just fell into place."

"We knew we wanted to make sure it was fun, fun, fun," Warner said.

"More than anything else, we wanted to give them back some energy," Rao said.

"It's a very invigorating thing," Warner said of executing such a creative project. "I think I'm looking for our next big project like this, because it brought so much joy."

"I don't know what we're going to do for our anniversary," Rao said.

For information about the Westport Library workshop, go here: http://bit.ly/18WrI8t