Katie and Jon first met online. It was perfect timing for both of them as they had both just overcome some challenges in their lives and were working on becoming the best versions of themselves.
Our first date was at a sushi restaurant and Jon was so cool and he complimented me on my nails and he told me about the strong women in his life—his mom and his sister—and I just remember being mesmerized by his stories and his smile.
Katie knew Jon was the one when they ran the Chicago Marathon together. Jon had done it before and suggested that they do it together and Katie was excited to do something new!
I had recently lost a significant amount of weight, and it was a new experience for me to not only run, but also to share such a physical experience with someone.
Not once did he make fun of me for being slow (and I was slow!) or poke fun at my jiggly parts. Somehow I got it in my head that he might propose at the end of the race—which for a coach potato like me became a major motivating factor in training.
Sometimes the only thing getting me through training days was imagining him on his knee at the finish line! And even though the only thing that I got at the end of that day was a giant hug, his face at the finish line was really all I wanted in that moment.
Jon always hears people say that Katie is so down to earth or that she’s got a great sense of humor, but what attracted him to her were countless little things.
Aside from being beautiful, smart, talented, and funny, it might have been the southern accent. Maybe it was the way she could hold her own when talking about sports. It could have been a plethora of things. What I’ve always looked for was someone who could challenge me mentally and emotionally…someone who could understand my views and ask me to possibly look at them a different way. Beautiful inside and out, it was her mind and heart that had me hooked from day one.
Jon is the best partner on the planet. He has a unique ability to both encourage and love me just as I am while also challenging to be the very best version of myself. I am completely comfortable being myself with him but also feel gently led by him to be better and do better—not because he’ll love me any more or less but because I want to be the best partner to him that I can be. He’s also really funny and thoughtful and kind. He loves our puppy, Allie, so much it makes my heart melt. And he really does have the best butt.
The proposal caught Katie completely by surprise! Her sister Maggie (along with her 3-year-old son, Bennett) came to town to meet a podcaster they both love. The night of the meet up, Jon offered to watch Bennett and their new puppy, Allie while the girls went out. Two hours later he texted Katie saying, “I can’t do this alone, I need you to come home.”
When I walked in the door of our apartment, Jon was on his knee holding our puppy and Bennett had the ring held out for me. The only think I remember him saying is, “I really can’t do any of this without you. Please marry me.” Of course, I said yes!
During the search for the perfect wedding venue, Katie and Jon had been looking for “industrial loft” type buildings in Chicago, but hadn’t found one they were sure about.
The moment we walked into The Haight, I swear we both looked at each other and said, “Oh—this is where we’re getting married.”
They got lucky that the date they picked was the last Saturday open during the spring and summer. Katie said it felt like it was absolutely meant to be!
We loved that the ceremony, cocktail, and reception spaces were all in one building but were separate from one another. We also loved the outdoor space which ended up being an absolute hit with our party. And we just loved the general vibe of the building.
For us, our history is close to us. We recognize that for the two of us to be here and to be who we are, that two people had to fall in love a 100 years ago, and two people after that, and two after that, etc. Getting married in such a “lived in” space and surrounding ourselves with wedding pictures of our parents and grandparents, reminded us of all those who came before us and what a privilege it is to continue their legacy of love.
The best part of the day for Katie was finally seeing Jon at the end of the aisle.
I was afraid having all those people (people I loved!) staring at me would be distracting and that the gravity of the moment might pass me by. But as I turned the corner with my dad, I was only looking for his face. It had been such a beautiful and perfect day with my girls up to that point—getting ready and singing and dancing—but I had really missed him. The ceremony was a blur after that, but for those precious moments as I was walking toward Jon, I really felt like time stood still.
Katie has quite a bit of advice for newly engaged couples! First of all, to brides, stop watching “Say Yes To The Dress” as soon as you buy your dress!
I spent months crying to my bridesmaids about how I had made the wrong decision because I saw a better dress on TV. Luckily they were able to talk me down from the ledge.
Her best friend and wedding planner, Safia, even offered to buy her a new one if she really hated it! Speaking of Safia, Katie advises couples to get a wedding planner. With a busy life it’s nice to have someone take care of all the important details. The flowers were one of Katie’s favorite parts and she only talked to her vendor once—it was all thanks to Safia knowing exactly what she wanted!
Probably my best piece of advice is to find ways of connecting with your partner during the planning process. There were literally months leading up to the wedding where it felt like every conversation Jon and I had was about the wedding. We ended up feeling really disconnected from each other.
My in-laws, in their infinite wisdom, gave us dance lessons as an engagement gift and they were such a blessing to us. We weren’t interested in some intricate dance or a grand display—we just wanted to not look like fools during our first dance. What we actually got were a few nights a week leading up to the best day of our lives where we got to just be together. We got an hour or two to just do an activity that forced us to not talk about money or to-do lists, and to really reconnect and laugh together.
I wouldn’t trade those lessons for anything else in the world.