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.
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.
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
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.