Love, Marriage, and Second Chances


20131102-katejoe-wedding-0054 (Collin Hughes's conflicted copy 2013-11-28)
Photos by Collin Hughes

If you would have told me a year ago I’d be writing a blog post about my wedding day, I would have thought you were insane. Not because there wouldn’t be the opportunity, but because I was very much afraid to give it a try (and risk failure) once again.


At this time, the “game of love” was much more about the former than the latter, and my post-divorce dating record read: a handful of flings, a few month-long fumbles, and one important (albeit very complicated) relationship. I truly loved being on my own because it finally felt safe.


Safe was liberating, but made taking risks seem scarier than ever. And nothing felt riskier than falling in love.

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Enter the force that is my husband, Joe Peters. Joe and I met after an event called Northerngrade, where, in short, Joe asked me to tea and, as you might conclude from our ten-month courtship, we really hit it off.


Joe came into our relationship with an open mind and heart, with experience that gave him a strong understanding of who he is, and the ability to communicate his needs. He was an adult! And soon enough I realized, so was I.


The inevitable occurred three months into our relationship: we got into our first big fight. It happened as it so often does—after far too many glasses of wine. We yelled a bit, and I cried. But the outcome was a turning point for us.


While the details of this fight are a moot point, the result solidified the foundation we built our relationship upon. With multiple failed relationships under both our belts, we realized this was only going to work if each of us agreed to be vulnerable in a way neither of us had experienced before. Soon enough, truths began to spill out, and we grew incredibly close.


Joe stood by my side as I stumbled and experienced a few setbacks this summer. I, for the first time, expressed my true fears and insecurities… and he didn’t leave or pull away. The foundation proved to be solid, and so was our feeling about a future together. On November 2, 2013, we were married.


These pictures document the wedding we planned in seven short weeks. The day was perfectly imperfect and most importantly, full of love. The thing is, divorce fundamentally changes (as it should) what marriage means. It also puts the monstrosity that is planning a wedding into perspective. We decided there would be no place settings, programs, or registry for our wedding. We kept the guest list small and spent money where it mattered to us: food and photography.

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I didn’t lose the five pounds I planned on; in fact, I gained two. My dress was in pieces the day before our wedding, and sadly, many members of my family couldn’t attend. These things were both sad and stressful, but because the important things were in place, we kept them from blowing out of proportion.


We spent those seven weeks of planning preparing to transition into married life, and instead of tending to elaborately folded invitations, Joe and I took long dinners together, talking about our future, money, kids, and tough topics like infidelity and illness.


Every day, I wake up next to Joe feeling like I won the lottery. It’s not a feeling you can bottle up and buy… it’s not a feeling I can describe at all, really. I’ve gained everything I could have ever hoped for, simply by showing up and being myself—a concept that is still very new and difficult for me. I often wonder how I got so lucky to find someone so kind-hearted, caring, and compatible—a person who laughs with me, cheers me on, and keeps my feet on the ground. I’ll be forever grateful for what Joe has brought to my life.


Maybe it’s that you attract the people and circumstances that match how you’re living and showing up in the world. Throughout most of my twenties, I chased after things I thought I wanted, but it wasn’t until I started living my own life that someone like Joe showed up at my doorstep. And thankfully, I invested in therapy and in getting better, so I can be the wife Joe deserves.


So here I am, writing a blog post I never thought I’d be writing. I am humbled and blessed by this second chance at marriage, and I’m very proud of the woman I’ve become. There’s still so much to learn and discover in life, and I couldn’t be more excited to start the next chapter with my counterpart, Joe Peters.


A special thanks to families, friends, our friend and officiant Matt Brue, and especially Dave and Deb Peters, for making this incredible day possible. We’d also like to give a shout-out to our vendors, who are without a doubt, the absolute best in the business: Collin Hughes (photography) / Munster Rose (florals) / The Bachelor Farmer (venue + food) / L’Atelier Couture (wedding dress) / Capture Studios (videography) / Matt Blum (photo booth) / Kohlman Harshbarger (DJ).

BY Kate Arends - December 18, 2013

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December 18, 2013 11:47 pm

Beautiful post! Congratulations.

December 18, 2013 11:48 pm

You did it!! You wrote it 😉 so happy for you two- Dinner soon!

December 18, 2013 11:52 pm

Lovely Post. Thank you for sharing with us!!!

December 18, 2013 11:53 pm

this is beautiful beyond words. congratulations!!

December 19, 2013 12:07 am

so beautifully written! congrats to you! everyone should be so lucky! 🙂

December 19, 2013 12:10 am

Beautiful. Congrats!

December 19, 2013 12:16 am

Congratulations! I appreciate your honesty and thoughtfulness in what it takes to get to that point as a person. Beautiful– inside and out.

December 19, 2013 12:17 am

Congratulations! Having married the perfect man the second time around every word resonated with me. (Is Joe drinking a Surly Furious at the start of his video??)

December 19, 2013 12:59 am

And now I am crying. I am so happy for you Kate. That feeling and the journey that comes with marriage is incredible and I am so glad you and joe get that experience and with each other. Your words are beautiful and so were you 🙂

Xoxo my friend!

December 19, 2013 1:09 am

I just want to say that you’ve really touched my heart. Ive had a few serious relationships that didn’t feel right. Until I met my guy. He was the first man I could actually feel myself let go with. And unfortunitely we actually had our real first fight tonight a little before I read your post. And as soon as of read your post, it set me into realty. All of the anger went away. And the stupid fight we were in meant nothing to me. Because I know what matters more than anyone. Him. Thank you for sharing. And… Read more »

December 19, 2013 2:00 am

I have been reading your blog for a long time and I love it! It’s great to see a personal post and I wish you and your groom the very best! You make a stunning couple.

December 19, 2013 2:43 am

kate, you are amazing. x

December 19, 2013 6:18 am

So beautiful, Kate and Joe. Cheers to perfectly imperfect days, unset tables & forever happiness! xo

December 19, 2013 7:00 am

Kate! So happy for you both. It was a beautiful event – congrats 😉

December 19, 2013 7:06 am

I wish you both the stars & the moon for your lovescape! Thanks for sharing your story, the pictures and your honesty. Take time for each other – always! You guys got this!! Congrats Again!!!

December 19, 2013 7:11 am

You look stunning! Gorgeous photos.

December 19, 2013 8:51 am


December 19, 2013 9:28 am

Beautiful story Kate, beautiful love you guys have. I am so happy for you! And reading your post reminded me of my own true love and that makes me think you will have all of the deep experiences of growing closer over time like I have had, and that makes me even more happy for you because its fucking awesome.

December 19, 2013 9:32 am

you were + are stunning Kate! Congrats to you and Joe 🙂

December 19, 2013 9:44 am

Congratulations, Kate and Joe! What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing.

December 19, 2013 10:04 am

I heart you guys. Beautifully written, Kate!

December 19, 2013 10:15 am

Congratulations to you both! It’s a beautiful post describing a beautiful couple! Thank you for sharing.

December 19, 2013 10:39 am

As another lady who just got married for the second time, this post is awesome. Everything is a learning lesson and we just come at #2 wiser and more awesome wives than ever. xoxo

December 19, 2013 10:59 am

Congrats Kate! Such a beautifully written love story.

December 19, 2013 11:22 am

What a beautiful post – best, best wishes to you and Joe!

December 19, 2013 11:33 am

This post made me cry.
Very happy for you!

December 19, 2013 11:47 am

Beautiful message about love & marriage. Congrats!

December 19, 2013 1:25 pm

I know I don’t know you but I am beyond thrilled for you! you look absolutely gorgeous, and are so deserving of such happiness! best from indianapolis 🙂

December 19, 2013 1:37 pm

‘…instead of tending to elaborately folded invitations, Joe and I took long dinners together’

Yes please! Thank you for reminding me how I should be spending my engagement.

December 19, 2013 1:40 pm

This is inspiring and beautiful. Best wishes to you both! Thank you for sharing this important chapter in your life with all of us!

December 19, 2013 1:44 pm

This was really great, thank you. I recently went through a breakup and its good for me to remember that as sad as I am about it, and as lonely as I sometimes feel, it’s worth waiting for the guy that I know is the right one for me – not someone with whom “I’m sure we could make it work.” Time to wait for an adult man 😉 Congratulations!

December 19, 2013 3:42 pm

[…] • I loved reading Kate’s post on love, marriage and second chances. […]

December 19, 2013 6:01 pm

dear kate… what a lovely post… congratulations! you looked beautiful on your wedding day! so happy you found someone wonderful for you – isn’t life sometimes a trippy adventure and continual process of growth, learning and experience? all the best to you both! thank you for sharing. xo

December 19, 2013 6:02 pm

Love you both! Hope your first Christmas together is perfect. Bring that boy to NYC soon.

December 19, 2013 6:32 pm

Congratulations Kate! You’re a beautiful bride, but more important is the love captured in these beautiful moments. Best wishes to both of you!

December 19, 2013 6:39 pm

Through these stunning photos of that beautiful day, your happiness radiates. So happy you found yourself through loving someone else. It’s a pretty rad feeling to be all in. Scary, but good, and a commitment that takes courage. This is all probably weird coming from a stranger (who most definitely blogstalks you – I feel good that THAT’S finally out there). Congrats!!

December 19, 2013 7:38 pm

What a beautiful post! I follow you on Instagram, and saw this. I am so glad I read it! I am a wedding photographer, & I wish I could tell all my brides, just what you have. The little things don’t matter. Thank you for sharing your very honest story. What beautiful pictures too!

Bridget B
December 19, 2013 7:49 pm

Fantastic post! So lucky to now be able to call you a friend! 🙂

December 19, 2013 8:51 pm

Such a beautiful post, Kate. You always keep it real and that’s what i LOVE about this blog. Congratulations! And omg that video of your husband. Totalllllly cried watching it!

December 20, 2013 4:04 pm

This was the most refreshingly lovely wedding-related blog post I’ve read in a long, long time. Wishing you both the very best, Kate!

December 20, 2013 11:13 pm

I felt the same way when I married for the second time. The first was so painful and heartbreaking and being alone was safe. I wasn’t going to get married again! Then I realized it wasn’t about never again, it was about the right person. And I’m so grateful for him and the life we’ve built together.

Congratulations to you!

December 22, 2013 2:01 pm

What a beautiful post Kate. I love how you focused on the marriage and not the wedding- using the few short weeks on the upcoming realities you will both face as a couple. I wish you and Joe the best of luck in this new chapter of your life. I can’t wait to toast to the two of you soon.

Lots of love!

December 22, 2013 4:42 pm

Hooray for true love!

December 22, 2013 10:27 pm

Congratulations to the both of you on what looks to have been a beautiful wedding. What a sweet, touching, lovely post this was. In addition to thinking you’re just, well, the coolest for all the great design/fashion/etc. things you post, I also admire you and your prose so much when you talk about more serious/personal issues.

Basically, this post made me smile. Here’s to you two!

December 23, 2013 1:47 pm

Quite darling, the lost as well as the honesty.

December 24, 2013 2:28 pm

You look absolutely stunning and so incredibly happy. Thank you so much for your honesty, it was an honor to read.

December 25, 2013 10:11 am

such a beautiful story! timing really is everything.

i had such dismissive, unhealthy relationships before i met Mark. but looking back, all of that had to happen so i could experience the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one. i had such an appreciation for him early on, because he was so different!

best wishes! you looked amazing! <3 <3

[…] And lastly, a wonderful little photo essay on Love, Marriage and Second Chances. […]

December 28, 2013 12:16 pm

Holy crap. I know I’m late to the game but I needed to comment and say that this was most definitely the most beautiful wedding post I’ve ever read. You are such a real, honest person which is why I love your blog. Congratulations to you both, you look so incredibly happy!

December 29, 2013 7:57 pm

Oh man! I’m shedding some tears here! Thank you for posting this and thank you for sharing your love story in an honest and vulnerable way! Congratulations and I wish all the best and more to you! :))

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