Maggie and David Convy remember their stays at Camp Foster on Lake Okoboji in Iowa as “summertime bliss.”
For 10 straight years they competed with the same group of friends from all over the Midwest. They spent the week singing songs and playing games and pranks.
“Life was so good,” Maggie Rudersdorf said.
The couple remained friends, and even though David lived in Kansas City, Missouri, and Maggie in Omaha, she worked up the courage to invite him to Marian High School’s prom.
“David drove up after taking the ACT and stayed in one of my brother’s rooms,” she said. “My dad made his famous waffles in the morning before David went back to KC the next day.”
They stayed in touch when David went to Kansas State and Maggie to Marquette, then reconnected in 2018 when Maggie attended a nursing conference in Denver, where David lived.
“The sparks flew. It was as if we had never left each other,” they say.
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David then visited Maggie in Chicago soon after, and Maggie then moved from Chicago to Denver.
They met at Camp Foster for another great moment. Proposal.
They were visiting David’s grandparents and after a long day of swimming and paddling they made the familiar journey back to camp.
They walked around remembering and even found their names written in paint on the walls of the mess hall. David’s name is engraved on a canoe paddle in the dining room for winning the “host family adventure” two years in a row.
Then they stopped at the chapel, the heart of the camp. This is where each morning started with announcements and evening talent shows were held on the center stage.
“David and I sat in the back row to talk about how we always looked at each other across the aisle, hoping to catch a sudden glance or laugh at the time we we danced in the talent show,” Maggie said. “We got up to go out and David took my hand, got down on his knees and pulled out a beautiful ring he had made with a family heirloom diamond, asking me to be his wife. It was a surreal moment.
They returned to David’s grandparents to find David’s entire family and Maggie’s parents ready to surprise them and celebrate. A banner read “It was always you”. Champagne toasts followed, along with tears of happiness and lots of laughter.
“We ended the night watching fireworks over Lake Okoboji,” she said. “It was beyond magic.”
They knew they wanted to get married in the mountains – that’s where their romance really started to blossom. They often took weekends to Vail, Breckenridge and Keystone to explore all that the mountains had to offer.
“David always says, ‘you just feel different in the mountains,'” Maggie said. “It’s a dreamy, magical and romantic place – that’s exactly what our vision was for our wedding. Lots of candles, greenery, elegance and rustic mountain style. We both love to ski in the back bowls of Vail, walking through Vail Village sipping hot cocktails and dancing at the Red Lion. We wanted to share this love with our friends and family in the same place where we rekindled our love. It was a magical ride to fall lovers at 8,150 feet.
The couple tied the knot in November as they wanted a wedding during ski season so everyone could celebrate and then hit the slopes. They invited 200 people and about 140 were able to attend.
Waking up to softly falling snow on the wedding day was just one of many special moments. There was also their first look at the stream next to the chapel, tears in David’s eyes as Maggie walked down the aisle with her father and a special Irish hand blessing from both of their mothers.
Their favorite came after the ceremony, when the newly married couple returned to their bedroom and took a moment to take it all in. “It was really special to sit by the fireplace sipping champagne and looking at our wedding rings,” Maggie said. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime moment, with butterflies of excitement in our stomachs and so much love in our hearts.”
Then came their first dance to “At Last” by Etta James, one of their favorites and 20 years after they first met a camp. “David said in his final speech to everyone, the only way to describe this day is like a fairy tale.”
COVID-19 hasn’t made it any easier. Maggie says she can laugh now wearing N95 masks to her latest wedding dress fittings, nail appointments, flower gatherings and more. They had to change a few plans, with last minute cancellations or sick family members.
“Overall, we can’t help but think that it really helped us enjoy celebrating together even more with a new perspective,” they say. “This whole situation together has really made us enjoy this time in our lives where we can focus on all the things we’re truly grateful for.”
To stay organized, they got themselves a big filing cabinet to keep all their marriage contracts, emails and contacts. Workbook dividers kept each item separate.
If you are getting married later in the day, consider a first look. The day goes by so quickly, and it gives you plenty of photos, videos and couple memories. David says to make it easier by surrounding yourself with easy-going people.
They attended a pre-Cana retreat in Denver, giving them uninterrupted time to sit with each other and talk about their goals and dreams. The venue in Vail offered a full-service coordinator to help with planning.
“It was extremely helpful in getting all the vendor information across and not having to worry about coordination,” Maggie said. “She helped so much with the planning. She was amazing.
Etsy was also a great source of ideas.
The trip says it all
Their favorite gift was to have both sides of their immediate families in Vail as well as so many of their friends making the trip. David’s four grandparents were all present. Their bridesmaid, Katie Williams Huerter, also attended Camp Foster with them.
Maggie wrapped her wedding bouquet in pearls from her late grandmother that have been passed down. Maggie’s cousin Kay, who died of cancer two years ago, also wore them to her wedding. “So these pearls are incredibly special,” she said. Maggie also wore a wedding diamond from her other grandmother.
together at last
During their planning, they took a step back to remember the “why”. Navigating the planning process in these unprecedented times was stressful, but it kept them constantly on top of what the wedding day was really about — spending the rest of your life with your best friend.
“I specifically remember looking up at David and having butterflies in my stomach, thinking, ‘This is David Convy. I can’t believe I’m marrying my crush on Camp Foster Maggie said. “David always says the hardest part of finding each other was over and now we’re spending forever together (even though he had to wait 15 years to finally kiss me).”
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