Katie & Mike initially met in middle school, in the small town where they both grew up. ‘Our family homes were actually only a few streets apart!’ Katie remembers. ‘It was a typical middle school relationship where we exchanged silly notes and had secret dates at the movies. Mike finally asked me to be his girlfriend on our friend’s couch while watching Matilda (so romantic!). I couldn’t possibly say no to his braces and handsome hair flip. Over ten years later, the romance is still burning. But in all honesty, it’s one of those magical “meant to be,” “love at first sight” kind of situations…it just worked from the moment we met.’
As we hung out in the Bridal suite on the morning of their Wedding, Katie pulled up that very photo on her Instagram feed. How wildly romantic, super sweet, heart-warming and inspiring to see love like this!
Here is their fabulous destination wedding at Jellyfish Restaurant in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Our dearest Katie & Mike – you’ve stayed true to who you are and have grown together over the years, into such an amazingly remarkable Couple!! We are so grateful to have been there to celebrate with you – THANK YOU – hope these precious images will make you laugh and cry for decades to come. xx K+R.
Make-up & hair GENIUS Krystie Ann.
Mike: ‘I love Katie’s compassion for others and the way she always puts others before herself, how uniquely funny she is and her terrible way of telling stories. Also, she has a great rack.’
Katie: ‘Mike is the most genuine, kindest human being I have ever met. I love his easy-going nature, the way he loves his family, and his silly laugh – it’s hard not to join him. I also love his beard – but he refuses to keep it!’
Katie, on the Proposal:
‘We were in Kauai, Hawaii for a vacation shortly after moving in together with Mike’s sister & husband. We were having trouble with the time adjustment, so we woke up to see the sunrise for the first couple of days. When we walked out on a peninsula, the words “you are loved” were laid out in stones in the sand – we thought it was the cutest thing and started taking pictures. Mike handed Gavin the camera, and proposed right there out of the blue! Nobody knew what was happening! Thankfully, Gavin was on point and was able to capture the moment perfectly. A man walking nearby happened to be a priest and blessed the moment for us.’
‘I didn’t put the stones there and didn’t plan to propose at that time! I carried the ring with me “just in case,” but knew instantly when I saw the written words that it was the perfect moment. Everybody was shocked. Thank you, mystery person, for putting those special words in the sand!’
‘We connected originally because we were (and still are) ridiculously nerdy! We love science, engineering, and above all – the challenge of learning new things.’
Ideal day together according to Mike: ‘We start the day with blueberry chocolate chip pancakes, head out for golf, and end it with burgers and some good beer. Throw in playtime with Ernie (our black English Labrador retriever), a movie, and more beer, and it’s a perfect day.’
Ideal day together according to Katie: ‘Any day at home hanging out, reading books, or binge watching Netflix (House of Cards, obviously) and drinking white Russians. Or, if it’s nice out, heading out on the lake in a kayak with our dog, Ernie, taking a walk, and grabbing some delicious food. Or, farmers market!’
‘We call each other Peng, and Nug (weird).Peng is short for Penguin – Penguins mate for life. Nug is short for “nugget” and we have absolutely no idea where it came from.’
Mike, on favourite ways Katie makes him feel better: ‘Cook dinner. Neck massage.’
Katie, on favourite ways Mike makes her feel better: ‘Cook dinner. Neck massage.’
Mike: ‘One of Katie’s hidden talents is that can crochet hats for baby animals.’
Katie: ‘Mike makes a killer electrical circuit and knows how to solder components like no other. Seriously, UNMATCHED skills.’
Mike’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Video games. Building electrical circuits. Cape Cod chips and eating ice cream out of the container.’
Katie’s favourite guilty pleasures: ‘Eating an entire box of Mac and Cheese. Binge watching old Grey’s Anatomy re-runs. Wine (but is it really guilty?) Being in my robe ALL DAY.’
Mike’s favourite gift from Katie: ‘Our dog Ernie. Katie surprised me for our first Christmas in our new home.’
Katie’s favourite gift from Mike: ‘He left Tiffany earrings under my pillow for my 16th birthday.’
Mike’s favourite thing to find in the fridge: ‘Cookie Butter ice cream from Trader Joes.’
Katie’s favourite things to find in the fridge: ‘Wine. Organic fruits and veggies. Leftover mac and cheese.’
Mike: ‘I love that Katie keeps me grounded. I do not know how life would be without her.’
Katie: ‘I have no idea what life is like without Mike… and I never want to know.’
First Dance song ‘Something in the Way She Moves’ by James Taylor.
Mike: ‘Katie is very loving and has a lot of love to give to those around her.’
Katie: ‘Mike is simply just a kind human being, and I love that.’
BRIDE & GROOM POST-WEDDING REFLECTIONS:
What did you love most about your Wedding?
Mike: ‘My dad officiating. Writing and saying our own vows. It was really important to me that we made promises specific to our relationship and it kept the ceremony fun. I also loved when Katie slipped in a “rick-ism” (one of my dad’s crazy quotes) in place of “I do”- “a frog’s ass really is water tight … and the lobster!!”
Katie: ‘Seeing Mike for the first time after the anticipation build up from the First Touch! It was so sweet to share a special moment and calm down before the ceremony, but I am so happy we waited to see each other until I walked down the aisle. It’s an emotional moment that can never be replicated! We also wrote our own vows which kept the ceremony very intimate and personal – I’m not surprised we ended up talking about some of the same things and laughing a lot. Absolute perfection.’
Any regrets? What would you have done differently if you could?
Katie: ‘Eat more of the cake! Drink more pina coladas! Stay up and party later! Book a Rock the Dress sunrise session – we went back and forth on booking one and I totally wish we did for those extra pictures and the intimate time alone.’
Most memorable moments from the Day / Wedding week:
Mike: ‘Snorkeling trip with Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures, fishing with the groomsmen, our Wedding, the bridal party speeches.’
Katie: ‘Snorkeling trip, spa day with the women in my life, our Wedding, getting on the plane made it feel real…The pilot kept my dress in the cockpit!’ 🙂
Comments about vendors, resort etc
‘Jellyfish Restaurant: exceeded all of our expectations! When we had originally picked the date, Mayte was the decorator but we loved the Jellyfish so much we decided to stay when she left… and we were not disappointed! Gianna and Clara were very kind, took our vision and turned it into reality. We hadn’t communicated with them too much about decor except for filling out the typical forms and sending them a Pinterest board, but everything was perfect. The venue felt very private and intimate. Our guests loved the food and really enjoyed getting off the resort. The staff was very attentive, professional, and organized. The day went very smooth….They know exactly what they are doing and took care of everything down to the place cards and menus. Get a piña colada, it was amazing. The steak, appetizers, lobsters, and dulce de leche cake were all delicious. The beach is as beautiful in person as it is in the pictures. Best food of the entire week! Cannot say enough about it.
Katya & Rob: what can we say that has not been said about them before!! We picked Katya and Rob before we even picked our venue. They are so kind, calm, and have an energy about them that is contagious. They communicated with us quickly and answered all questions thoroughly and honestly. They were very sensitive to us spending time alone during the reception and really understood our personalities. They accommodated our schedules and even stayed an extra hour for us at a last minute’s notice. Our guests loved them!! The only regret we have is that we did not get to spend as much time chatting with them after the ceremony!
Krystie Ann: I want Krystie to come live with me and do my hair and makeup every day! She made the girls and I feel very glamorous and special. I sat in the chair, showed her some photos, and asked her to make me feel beautiful – she absolutely delivered. Highly recommend!
Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures: most fantastic excursion we (and our guests) have ever been on! Reasonably priced and a fantastic crew. Transportation was provided right from our lobby. They took us snorkelling and captured underwater pictures of everybody (at no extra charge – check them out on Facebook). Brought us to a beach for rum-filled coconuts and then to a shallow pool for football, langoustines, music, and chicken kabobs (best part of the trip!!!). We booked the Forever Teresa for around 28 people and it was amazing…..highly recommend! It helped get our guests comfortable with each other before the Wedding and is something we will be talking about for a long time to come.
Majestic Elegance: we were a little nervous after reading some conflicting reviews about the resort, but at the end I can say that we were pleased with our choice! The grounds are very clean and well kept. The food was good (better in the restaurants) and there were plenty of options. Some guests upgraded to the Elegance Club, which had some nice perks. The resort was very big, which was nice because there was some privacy but it was intimate enough that we still crossed paths with our guests a lot and it kept us in touch. Overall, very beautiful with nice amenities and beaches. Great spa!
Video Punta Cana: we almost didn’t book a videographer and decided to book with Florian last minute – we are so glad we did. Florian was amazing – he captured every important moment and gave us our full video two days after our Wedding right before we left. It’s impossible to remember and absorb everything going on but the video really captured the day! We’ve already watched it twice! Looking forward to getting our highlight video in a few weeks.’
Any advice for future Brides & Grooms!?
Katie: ‘Keep your ceremony personal! Relax, be present in every moment, spend time with your guests… remember that if you are a Couple willing to have a destination wedding that you need to go with the flow! I LOVED it and would recommend it to anybody. Make time for yourselves – we made some reservations for late night dinners (just the two of us) and it kept us connected even with all the excitement. Don’t worry about the weather – it called for rain all day but it made for some gorgeous clouds and when it rained during dinner it really helped cool everything down (other than that the sun was out shining). Also, you only wear your dress once! I hopped right in the ocean with the bottom of mine for Katya’s pictures and I can’t wait to see them. Enjoy!!’
Mike: ‘Do an excursion with your family – it helped everybody get to know each other and relax before the Wedding. Stay the entire week! It was nice to be on vacation with a lot of our closest friends and family… not something you get to do very often. Get your guests sunglasses, everybody loved them and it was easy to find people that were there for our Wedding. Book Katya and Rob…..they were amazing. Get a videographer – I didn’t think we needed it but I am so glad we have everything on video to watch later.’