Love, Marriage, and Second Chances

Health & Wellness

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

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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.

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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.

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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 10 month courtship, we really hit it off. (If you want more on how we met, you can hear it from Joe himself!)

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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.

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The inevitable occurred 3 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.

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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.

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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 2nd, 2013, we were married.

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These pictures document the wedding we planned in 7 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 2. 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.

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We spent those 7 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.

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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.

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Maybe it’s that you attract the people and circumstances that match how you’re living and showing up in the world. Through most of my 20s, 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.

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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.

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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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72 Comments  +

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  1. Salbre

    December 18th, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Beautiful post! Congratulations.

  2. Maddy

    December 18th, 2013 at 11:48 pm

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

  3. Laura

    December 18th, 2013 at 11:52 pm

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

  4. katie

    December 18th, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    this is beautiful beyond words. congratulations!!

  5. miss-moody

    December 19th, 2013 at 12:07 am

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

  6. Olivia

    December 19th, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Beautiful. Congrats!

  7. phuong

    December 19th, 2013 at 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.

  8. Monarose

    December 19th, 2013 at 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??)

  9. Megan

    December 19th, 2013 at 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!

  10. .

    December 19th, 2013 at 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 know that your imperfect wedding is everything I want in our future. It’s really not about losing 5 lbs or having the perfect invitations. Girls get too wrapped up in the things that do not matter. What matters is who you are going to spend your life with. I’m lucky and happy to say that I’ve found and amazing one. And thank you for reminding me

  11. Sandy

    December 19th, 2013 at 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.

  12. rachel

    December 19th, 2013 at 2:43 am

    kate, you are amazing. x

  13. Christine

    December 19th, 2013 at 6:18 am

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

  14. Alexa

    December 19th, 2013 at 7:00 am

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

  15. Bee

    December 19th, 2013 at 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!!!

  16. Becky

    December 19th, 2013 at 7:11 am

    You look stunning! Gorgeous photos.

  17. katie

    December 19th, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Congratulations!

  18. Michelle

    December 19th, 2013 at 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.

  19. Alecia

    December 19th, 2013 at 9:32 am

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

  20. Katie

    December 19th, 2013 at 9:44 am

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

  21. Liz

    December 19th, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I heart you guys. Beautifully written, Kate!

  22. Kat

    December 19th, 2013 at 10:15 am

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

  23. kate

    December 19th, 2013 at 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

  24. Maia

    December 19th, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Congrats Kate! Such a beautifully written love story.

  25. Maren

    December 19th, 2013 at 11:22 am

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

  26. Sally

    December 19th, 2013 at 11:33 am

    This post made me cry.
    Very happy for you!

  27. Rachel

    December 19th, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Beautiful message about love & marriage. Congrats!

  28. Sarah

    December 19th, 2013 at 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 🙂

  29. Kelly

    December 19th, 2013 at 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.

  30. linette

    December 19th, 2013 at 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!

  31. Michelle E

    December 19th, 2013 at 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!

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  33. lyndsay // coco cake land

    December 19th, 2013 at 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

  34. Steph

    December 19th, 2013 at 6:02 pm

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

  35. Jane Flanagan

    December 19th, 2013 at 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!

  36. Liz Bachman

    December 19th, 2013 at 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!!

  37. Kate

    December 19th, 2013 at 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!

  38. Bridget B

    December 19th, 2013 at 7:49 pm

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

  39. Janelle

    December 19th, 2013 at 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!

  40. Meredith

    December 20th, 2013 at 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!

  41. Sue

    December 20th, 2013 at 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!

  42. Shilpa

    December 22nd, 2013 at 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!
    Shilpa

  43. fawn

    December 22nd, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Hooray for true love!

  44. Claire

    December 22nd, 2013 at 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!

  45. Ashlee

    December 23rd, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Quite darling, the lost as well as the honesty.

  46. Shivani

    December 24th, 2013 at 2:28 pm

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

  47. allison

    December 25th, 2013 at 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

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  49. Stephanie

    December 28th, 2013 at 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!

  50. Carleen

    December 29th, 2013 at 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! :))

  51. mary | millay vintage

    December 29th, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Such beautiful words Kate, truly, and what a beautiful journey you’ve made to finding yourself, warts and all, and being able to have full faith in your partner. So happy for you two! xoxo

  52. gorgeousminute

    December 31st, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Congratulations! Very happy for you and Joe! x

  53. Vedette telenko

    December 31st, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I just found you minutes ago in IG but I wanted to tell you that your story gave me chills. I adore everything about this. Every. Little. Thing. Xoxo

  54. Kate

    January 2nd, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    So glad you enjoy it!! xxo

  55. Karla

    January 2nd, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    This is so touching. Congratulations!

  56. Ashley

    January 2nd, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    This was a wonderful post, I know how much it takes to put yourself out there like this but it was well done. Bravo!

  57. Ninie Pouce

    January 3rd, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    You put a little hope in my potential love life…

  58. Erin

    January 4th, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Darling I have tears of happiness in my eyes. You deserve all the joy, success and most importantly love in the world and it looks like you’ve found it. Hugs and huge congrats from SF!

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  60. Nicole F.

    January 5th, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I’m new to your blog. Love!

  61. Kelsey

    January 6th, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Loved this post!

  62. Jess

    January 8th, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Congratulations! I was divorced two years ago, and have often felt very sad about the idea that I might not ever feel comfortable re-marrying in a beautiful or public way. You’re right, divorce changes the meaning of marriage, and I am still struggling with the idea that lives are messy, but not embarrassing. Thank you for posting this, it makes me feel just little bit more hopeful for myself, and gives me a sense of what it is to take that plunge the second time around. 🙂

  63. cass

    January 15th, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    soooooo… i finally read this and totally cried. my word for 2014 is ‘vulnerability’ and i don’t think i have to tell you why. beautiful wedding and beautiful YOU! xo

  64. Hilary

    January 21st, 2014 at 11:40 am

    You look so lovely – just radiating happiness!

    Best wishes. You deserve it!

  65. Jesselyn

    February 2nd, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Gorgeous everything. Have a beautiful and happy marriage. May you sustain each other in good and in bad. Live happily ever after

  66. Helena - A Diary of Lovely

    February 2nd, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    now let me say it Kate, WOW! Congrats, your happiness is inspiring!

  67. Tara

    October 1st, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    This is so wonderful and inspiring. I’ve just stumbled upon your world, and I’m so glad I did. Your Instagram account is one of the best I’ve ever seen. (P.S., I also gained weight before my wedding. I got married young, and I was just so incredibly happy/excited that it didn’t occur to me to diet! Of course, later, I realized that everyone seems to think that a bride needs to lose major weight for her wedding, and since then I’ve stupidly felt bad about myself for “not having it together enough” to just lose the 5-10 pounds. Thank you for reminding me of what I already know, which is, DUH, your happiness is so much more important than any stupid wedding detail! You look happy, healthy, glowing, and gorgeous — and dammit, so did I! Really excited to discover more of your content. Thanks so much for sharing.)

  68. Kate

    October 2nd, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Hi Tara! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your story. You’ve got it so right. Being present for this moment is so much more important than all the puffery. Cheers to you and your marriage! You’re off to a great start already.

  69. ashley

    May 8th, 2015 at 12:12 am

    im not sure how i never got around to reading this post when it was written, but nevertheless, bravo, girl. divorce is hard (been there, done that) and that juxtaposition of feeling liberated and safe being alone yet fearing risk, love, and potential heartbreak is such a tough spot to be in. its like, how do i become a vulnerable badass?!
    isnt it funny how seemingly terrible things (“failed” relationships) allow you actually become more open and more adult when your opportunities truly rise? those trials leave little cracks on your heart, but its those little cracks that finally allow all of that beautiful light to spill out. risk is a brave thing.

    sorry to be a creeper! i related to this so much, you guys are the cutest.

  70. Ashley

    May 8th, 2015 at 12:34 am

    Whoops.. ^Totally not a phishing site I swear 🙂

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