After backpacking around Europe for several months, Kate traveled to New York City where she rang in the New Year with some friends before returning home to Australia. “Earlier in the night, I’d made eye contact with Michael across the bar but he was standing with two girls,” recalls Kate. Assuming one of them was his girlfriend, she smiled and left it at that. Michael, who was home on winter break from college, and who was not at the bar with a girlfriend, noticed Kate. “I thought she was unbelievably beautiful,” he says.
The two eventually fell into conversation when Kate stepped outside without a coat. “Michael’s first words to me were, ‘You must be cold.’ So romantic!” Michael was equally struck by her. “We talked the rest of the night and when she had to go I didn’t want to say goodbye.”
Michael and Kate made plans to see each other the next day and went on several dates after that. By the time Kate had to fly home, Michael was sure he’d never see her again. We are happy to report that wasn’t the case.
What was the first wedding planning decision you made?
Kate: I think it was probably where to have the wedding. With my family in Australia and his in New York, people were going to have to travel either way. Miami was a fun destination, and our friends and family were excited to travel there. The first time I visited Michael’s grandparents at Fisher Island, I told Michael I thought it would be a beautiful place to get married, but that was years before we were even talking about it. I still can’t believe we were actually able to have our wedding there!
Michael: If I’m being honest, I don’t think I made one wedding planning decision on my own – sorry, Kate! Since my grandparents lived in Fisher Island and I have been going there my entire life, it was both special and a nice destination for everyone attending.
What is the most valuable thing you have learned from each other?
Kate: Michael has taught me to be a lot more relaxed, and not to get hung up on little things outside of my control. He’s so easy-going and helps me to be able to laugh things off. He is incredibly quick-witted and funny, as well as being kind, patient and unbelievably generous.
Michael: The most valuable thing that I have learned from Kate is that if you want something, you have to be willing to work hard for it. We wanted a perfect wedding and Kate took it upon herself to make it the best day of our lives. We wanted to be together even though we lived a world apart, but we made it work. Kate has been the most incredible partner that I could ever ask for; she is the most caring, loving, fun person I have ever had the pleasure to meet and I am beyond lucky to be able to call her my wife and spend the rest of my life with her.
He is incredibly quick-witted and funny, as well as being kind, patient and unbelievably generous.
Michael, which moment from your day stands out the most in your memory?
This is going to sound incredibly cliché, but – the first look at Kate. With her being from another country and us doing a long distance relationship for the first year that we were together, it was like everything that I hoped for was coming true in that moment. She looked incredible and I will always remember that smile on her face when I opened the door to see her. We worked so hard to be together and that was the moment that I realized we are finally together forever. On a less cliché note, the party was incredible and having all of our friends and family in one place, meeting each other, and having a ton of fun will always be a memory that I hold on to.
Kate, which moment from your day stands out the most in your memory?
Standing across from Michael under the chuppah and saying our vows. When I was looking into his eyes, I just had this overwhelming feeling of joy and excitement that we were actually getting married. After the ceremony we also had an amazing few minutes inside with our bridal party where we popped the champagne and had a few private toasts and laughs together before we rejoined the cocktail hour.
We worked so hard to be together and that was the moment that I realized we are finally together forever.
When I was looking into his eyes, I just had this overwhelming feeling of joy and excitement that we were actually getting married.
What details did you include to make your day personalized?
Kate: We had a family friend officiate the wedding, which was a really special part for us. He was an Australian friend who now lives in New York, so he felt like the perfect representative. Michael’s family is Jewish and mine is Christian. We didn’t really like a lot of the interfaith wedding ceremonies we found online, so I decided to write our ceremony myself. It was still pretty traditional, but we were able to incorporate elements from Jewish and Christian weddings and make it really intimate and personal.
Where did you look for ideas and inspiration?
Kate: I looked at all the usual things – blogs, magazines, Pinterest etc., and also took inspiration from other weddings that had been held at the venue. More than anything I was inspired by the architecture, decor and natural beauty of the venue itself. We wanted the wedding to feel like a seamless extension of what was already there.
Michael: We are both very low-key people and want to have a nice, beautiful, classic wedding. We said all along that we were going for “casual elegance.” We wanted people to feel relaxed and have fun.
I am beyond lucky to be able to call her my wife and spend the rest of my life with her.
What song did you choose for your first dance?
Kate: When we were choosing our first dance song, we narrowed it down to three songs. The song we ultimately chose, Frank Sinatra’s “All The Way” was our favorite musically, but we had no real connection to it. Then we found out that “All The Way” was the song Michael’s parents and grandparents danced to at their weddings, which made it the perfect choice.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
Kate: We had our ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner outdoors, and didn’t really have a Plan B in the event of wet weather. The forecast was threatening rain, and luckily it held off until we had moved inside to the ballroom. It started pouring five minutes later.
Michael: The only thing I would have done differently is I would have married her sooner! Seriously though, the day was perfect and Kate did an unbelievable job making our wedding the most special day of my life. I could not have been happier with the way that it turned out.