They met in January 2011 and had a lot in common. Both of them were busy with careers, maintaining friendships, spending time with family, and co-parenting boys. At the time, Derek's son, Zac, was 8 and Kate's son, Blake, was 4. They found each other on Match.com. *I know right* After they dated for a year, they made the dive into introducing each other to their families and kids. Another year or so went by and their separate households became one. The journey began of blending their families and building their lives together. Balancing full-time management jobs, a wedding business, 2 active teenage boys, 2 dogs (Sadie & Bleu), and 2 cats (George & Domino)- their house is often a circus but they love the life they have built together.
Never taking big vacations together, they would escape for weekend get-a-ways to Hermann, MO. Their birthdays are only 4 days apart (some years too) but they often celebrate their birthdays together. This year was different, it was Kate's 30th birthday. They escaped to Hermann for a quick get-a-way. On their second day, after a limo ride around tasting wine and visiting distilleries they settled back for Kate to cook dinner. She loves staying at places with full-kitchens, so she can cook while vacationing... I know... weird :) They popped open a bottle of wine and Kate put on her apron. Next thing she knew, Derek pulled her onto the balcony (on-top of a hill overlooking Hermann) and popped the question! She cried and they called parents that were anxiously awaiting their phone calls. They finished cooking and celebrating before hopping back on the train to return to Kansas City as future Mr. & Mrs.
Over their two year engagement, plans changed... A LOT! "I don't think I can even remember all the different "weddings" we planned" Kate remembers. "I had endless spreadsheets, folders, files, plans, and inspiration pictures." She knows it started with the big traditional Italian wedding. A massive guest list, delicious food, enough Italian cookies to feed an army, and dancing the night away.
Since Kate had a background in hospitality, catering, and events she really wanted to do everything herself, especially if it meant saving some money. She knew they had to keep costs low and was prepared to do all the floral, food, and even her wedding cake herself. "I remember family telling me that no one, including myself, was going to want to be wrapped up in wedding details the day of. In hindsight...I WAS INSANE. I can't imagine the loss of "being in the moment" that would have occurred, and the regrets I would have, if I had tried to do everything myself."
Stress began to build quickly, right along with the budget and the guest list. You know how it is: invite so & so, then you need to invite so & so, then so & so- it's a snowball effect. They knew something had to give. They couldn't have a $25,000 wedding. They didn't want the stress and expense of a large guest list. So, they started prioritizing. "Honestly, we just wanted to be with our closest loved ones, who know us best, so we could just relax, be in the moment, and make it official. No traditional non-sense, no introductions on our wedding day, no long receiving lines, no anxiety of being in front of lots of people..." So, they switched gears and spent countless hours planning a different kind of wedding, an intimate wedding. It took the shape of everything from immediate family in Hermann, to a winery, to an all-inclusive venue, to eloping in Oregon, to the backyard, etc... it was all over the place.
The Big Day
They finally settled on a guest list that included their parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces & nephews. They had their boys by their sides at the altar and Kate's sister married them. It was a wonderful intimate ceremony & brunch at a fantastic restaurant in the Crossroads, Affare. The brunch included mimosas, a bloody Mary bar, a bottle of their favorite port to sip-on and delicious German food. Followed by stops at their favorite places in the Crossroads that included Tapcade, Ruins Pub (a self-serve taproom), and Antons - where they invited their closest friends to meet-up and party the night away. "We had to keep our costs low and prioritize our needs and wants. Our closest friends and family were understanding and supported us. It was amazing."
The following day they hopped on a plane for their dream vacation that they had been planning for several years... before they were even engaged. They flew into Portland, OR and rented a Mustang convertible to drive the Oregon Coast. They started in Cannon Beach where they had a beautiful ocean view room. Activities included exploring Haystack Rock and roasting smores at night on a beautiful beach bonfire. Then, they headed to Depoe Bay. The two made several stops along the coast exploring little coastal towns and even tried sand boarding. Once they arrived at the tiny harbor of Depoe Bay, they enjoying their ocean view balcony (with a hot tub) where they spent the evening drinking bubbly and whale watching!
After the coast, they headed to Willamette Valley and enjoyed several wine tastings at amazing wineries and vineyards. They stayed in an amazing B&B that had a great view. After wine country, the two returned to Portland where a gorgeous condo overlooking downtown was ready for them. They walked, biked, ate, drank, explored, and repeated... several times. On their final night, they explored the Alberta District and stayed at The Tiny House Caravan, in their 160 sq. ft. tiny house. Today, they dream of one day living in Oregon in their very own tiny home. :)
The Wedding Details 6/11/17
Venue: Affare Catering: Affare Cake & Sweets: Affare Photographer: Timothy Zeller Photography Hair & Make-up: Tamera Smith Dress & Veil: David's Bridal Vests: Tip Top Tux Flowers: Bloominous (assembled by Kate, her mother, and two sisters) Favors: Bottle of Wine + Wine Bags (designed by Derek) Rings: Heirlooms from Derek's mother & grandfather