A Colorful, Creative Wedding at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts

To say Lisa Anchin (31 and a children’s book illustrator) and Ezra Selove’s (31 and a budget analyst and musician) wedding was one of a kind would be

To say Lisa Anchin (31 and a children’s book illustrator) and Ezra Selove’s (31 and a budget analyst and musician) wedding was one of a kind would be an understatement. From the illustrated stationery to the handcrafted paper-flower centerpieces and hand-stitched chuppah, every detail of this creative couple’s wedding was a perfect reflection of their playful personalities and their strong support system. The pair gathered their friends and families in Amherst, Massachusetts, for their celebration, finding the ultimate backdrop for the day in the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. “As an illustrator, I already love the Carle and appreciate the home and importance they’ve given to children’s books,” Lisa says. “In practical wedding terms, the Carle has beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces.” The evening affair kicked off with a traditional Jewish ceremony at sunset in the orchard behind the museum. The couple exchanged vows under a hand-sewn chuppah, a product of the handiwork of their families and friends, and a close friend conducted the entire ceremony. There was even a special dramatic reading from Calvin and Hobbes, complete with tiger tail and ears. The newlyweds and their guests then moved inside for the reception. The museum’s vibrant murals served as inspiration for the decor and Lisa and Ezra decked out the modern space in a spectrum of bold, bright color. “Our wedding style could only be described as handmade,” Lisa says. In addition to designing all the stationery, she made hundreds of paper flowers for the centerpieces, which were displayed alongside some of the couple’s favorite books and paper-cut illustrations made by a friend. Lisa and Ezra asked their guests to send doodles with their RSVP cards and all their illustrator friends sent artwork, prints and wedding day pieces that they used to decorate the tables. “Our friends were an integral part of our day and the music and entertainment portion of the wedding was no exception,” Lisa says. Their friends arranged an acoustic version of “I Found a Reason” by the Velvet Underground, which they played during the ceremony; for the reception they collaborated to create three distinct playlists for the cocktail hour, dinner and dancing. A tip form Lisa and Ezra: “The day goes by really fast. It's a wonderful and magical joy-bomb of a day. Take time to enjoy, and don't lose your new spouse. It's easy to get separated for long periods of time. Friends and family, with all the best intentions, pull you away to chat and offer congratulations. Bring your spouse with you! Ezra and I made sure we didn't lose track of one another, so we got to spend the entire day together. Likewise, don't worry about that one thing that isn't exactly how you wanted it to be. Don't focus on the things that could or did go wrong. You're marrying the person you love best in the world surrounded by all the important people in your life. The love and joy of the day is palpable, so dance with your new partner and enjoy every minute of it.”

Lisa knew she wanted a dress that reflected her sense of style, and that meant finding a dress with a vintage silhouette. She chose a playful tea-length number from Dolly Couture with a sweetheart neckline, scalloped trim and delicate lace detailing from head to toe. “To make it feel even more like me, I wore a teal petticoat beneath it and teal shoes for a pop of color,” Lisa says.
“We wanted to make things as logistically and financially easy for our friends as possible,” Lisa says of the wedding party’s attire. Lisa found a color swatch in a vivid turquoise hue and had her bridesmaids choose dresses they loved in a similar shade. To make their ensembles pop, Lisa asked the girls to wear pairs of siren red shoes, again in styles of their choosing. The guys wore their own gray trousers, classic pale blue button-down shirts and playful turquoise bow ties.
Before kicking the evening’s festivities into high gear, Lisa and Ezra gathered their family members and friends together at sunset for a Jewish wedding ceremony in the orchard behind the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. “It was beautifully lit by the lights decorating the orchard and a paper lantern that we hung beneath the chuppah,” Lisa says. The chuppah was lovingly made by the couple’s family members and friends and became a tangible representation of their two lives coming together as one. “We asked a number of our crafty friends and family members to knit or crochet a 12-inch square, which Ezra’s mom then sewed together,” Lisa says. “There was love and care in every detail of our wedding; and we said our vows beneath a blanket made by the people who love us most in the world.”
It was important for the wedding to reflect Ezra and Lisa’s creativity and playful personalities, so making much of the decor themselves seemed only natural. “Because I’m an illustrator and Ezra writes and plays music and is a comic-graphic-novel enthusiast, we wanted our wedding to share our passions for the arts,” Lisa says. With the Eric Carle Museum dedicated to picture book art, it seemed logical for the couple to use books, paper crafts and art to decorate. Inspired by the museum’s vibrant murals, they also used a palette rich in bright hues. For the reception, the pair topped their tables with piles of old books, handcrafted paper flowers—all made by Lisa and her close friends—book-themed paper-cut table names, the handiwork of Lisa’s close friends, Nicole Salm.
Lisa and Ezra’s ceremony, though steeped in tradition, was highly personal, thanks to their close friends. “Our ceremony was so special. Becky, the rabbi, was a friend of mine from Smith College and she put together a wedding ceremony that was both personal and relevant,” Lisa says. “One of our favorite moments was when two friends did a dramatic reading from Calvin and Hobbes, complete with tiger tail and ears, during the ceremony.”
Lisa also designed the invitation suite for the wedding. “Neither Ezra nor I are particularly serious; we're fairly silly people and our invitations reflected that,” Lisa says. “I designed the save-the-date card without much thought toward the invitations. Ezra's favorite animal is a turtle and I am partial to bunnies, so I used that as inspiration for the card. When it came time to design the invitations, it seemed right to continue using the turtle and bunny.”
Lisa and Ezra wanted to get their guests involved in the wedding’s decor to give the day a more personal feel. They asked their friends and family members to send doodles with their RSVP cards, and all their illustrator friends sent artwork, prints and handmade, one-of-a-kind wedding day pieces that the couple used to decorate their tables.
After a meal of decadent vegetarian fare, including vegetable tarts, polenta with wild mushrooms and roasted root vegetables, the couple treated guests to an assortment of delicious desserts. Four and Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn, New York, whipped up a selection of fall-inspired pies, like salted-caramel apple, bourbon, pear crumble and buttermilk chess, which Lisa and Ezra’s close friend brought to Amherst, Massachusetts, for the wedding. To give guests a taste of local flavor, they also served cider doughnuts from Atkins Farm in Amherst and vanilla ice cream form Herrell’s in Northampton, Massachusetts. Following tradition, Lisa’s sister made a small ceremonial cake for the couple to cut, topped with a colorful rabbit and turtle topper that tied into the illustrated invitations and programs.
Since music is one of Ezra’s passions, the evening’s entertainment was a top priority. “Our friends were an integral part of our day, and the music and entertainment portion of the wedding was no exception,” Lisa says. Their friends arranged an acoustic version of “I Found a Reason” by the Velvet Underground, which they played during the ceremony. For the reception, they collaborated to create three playlists, including swanky jazz and dance music to set the mood for cocktail hour.