As new classmates at Georgetown, Katie and Brendan met on their first day of freshman year in their Spanish class. Being that Spanish is a romance language, it’s fitting that these two would eventually find themselves entwined. “While the language wasn’t necessarily her strong suit, I was immediately drawn to her infectious personality,” explains Brendan. “Even in our first interactions, I noticed that she had an innate ability to not only put a smile on my face, but keep it there.” After building a friendship, Katie and Brendan started dating in their sophomore year and have been together now seven years and counting.
It made us both so happy to see one another before the ceremony and have this moment of excitement together before all other festivities kicked off.
I've never seen anyone look so beautiful, and seeing her grinning ear to ear as we saw each other for the first time was a memory I'll keep with myself forever.
It was the moment that officially kicked off the best day of my life.
Brendan: After getting engaged, we took a few weeks to ourselves to celebrate the moment before diving into wedding planning. We sought to get ahead and made a few selections at once, the first being our great wedding planners at Hopple Popple, followed by the location and venue. Thereafter, we immediately chose a photographer, a filmmaker and band.
Katie: One of the first decisions we made was where we wanted to get married. We landed on NYC pretty easily, as we have both have lived and worked here since college. We also booked our planner, church, venue, band and photographer-videographer quickly, as we wanted to secure the locations and vendors that were most important to us. Once the big pillars were booked we took time to enjoy being engaged and didn’t worry about planning for several months.
Brendan: For me, the most important thing was ensuring that there would be a vibrant, celebratory atmosphere and that everyone would join Katie & me on the dance floor for the duration of the evening. We were amazed to see that the entire crowd shared our enthusiasm for the day.
Katie: We wanted to make sure our wedding day was as stress-free as possible, not only for us but for our parents. We wanted our parents to feel like guests at the wedding, and not be overwhelmed by day-of logistics. For us, that meant hiring a wonderful wedding planner, creative florist and experienced band. We wanted to spend the entire night on the dance floor with our family and friends and enjoy our time with one another. It was important to us that the food was delicious and the room looked beautiful. When you have a great band and wonderful food everything else just seems to fall into place.
Brendan: I personally believe we learned a tremendous amount about each other during the wedding planning process. Katie’s skills as a problem solver were on display constantly, and I like to think I provided a calming environment, but I could be wrong.
Katie: I think wedding planning can be as overwhelming as you allow it to be—at times I definitely felt inundated with options when it came to things like invitation suites, cake design and floral arrangements. What worked best for us was to focus on how we wanted our day to flow and what we wanted the day to look like. Wedding inspiration and ideas are so readily accessible across a multitude of platforms—so I had to stop myself from getting sucked down the “wedding inspo” rabbit hole. Brendan was great throughout the entire processes. He thankfully reminded me a handful of times to take a step back—that we had amazing vendors, and that it was okay to let the experts handle the little details. We did our best to get ahead of certain aspects of the planning process so that we didn’t feel so bogged down as the big day got closer.
I kept saying how it had already been the best day of my entire life and we hadn’t even started the reception yet.
Brendan: While it’s incredibly difficult to select just a few moments, given the entire day was amazing, I do have a few that stick out. The first was seeing Katie walking down the stairs in the Plaza for our first look. I’ve never seen anyone look so beautiful, and seeing her grinning ear to ear as we saw each other for the first time was a memory I’ll keep with myself forever. It was the moment that officially kicked off the best day of my life. Additionally, I loved exiting the church with Katie hand in hand. Furthermore, I loved our first dance…the band’s first few songs were so incredible that our planners couldn’t get guests to sit down; it made us both slightly anxious with excitement to get in there and start dancing. When we started walking down the stairs and saw our guests so excited to commence the celebration was absolute best feeling. I also loved every speech at the wedding. Katie’s parents spoke beautifully about their lives together and hopes for Katie and me, Jenny shared incredible memories we’ve had together, and my best men displayed how strong our friendships have been over the last 20+ years and showed how they have integrated Katie into our group of best friends.
Katie: I loved our first look for so many reason. It made us both so happy to see one another before the ceremony and have this moment of excitement together before all other festivities kicked off. We got ready with our best friends and family which built up anticipation all morning. After our first look I felt like our wedding celebrations had officially begun, and we could share in the excitement of the day with one another. After the ceremony as we headed to the reception, I kept saying how it had already been the best day of my entire life and we hadn’t even started the reception yet. We were so exhilarated leaving the mass that it was nice to be able to keep up the enthusiasm—we had already done all of the bridal party and family photos so we were able to spend the rest of the night celebrating each other with our families and friends.
Brendan: There are two memories for me the most. The first is our first look, which put the whole day into reality for me, and the second is exchanging our vows and solidifying our status as husband and wife.
Katie: One of my favorite moments of the day was our entrance into the reception — when we came down the steps in Rainbow Room and saw all of our family and friends it was truly special for both of us. I kept thinking to myself that I can’t believe how lucky we are to be able to kidnap all of our favorite people for one day, and that they are all here to celebrate us.
I kept thinking to myself that I can’t believe how lucky we are to be able to kidnap all of our favorite people for one day, and that they are all here to celebrate us.
Brendan: The pictures and video. Jason, Rebecca, Adrian and their assistants did an incredible job capturing the day in a creative way that perfectly reflected the atmosphere of the wedding. I will cherish those mementos for the rest of our lives.
Katie: Yes! We are so lucky to be able to enjoy these moments and memories over and over again; and both Adrian and Jason perfectly captured our day. Not only the beautiful family and bridal party photos but also all of the candids.
Brendan: First, celebrate each other’s victories and accomplishments with your fullest energy. Second, lift each other up when you’re down. Life moves incredibly fast, especially in New York, and I was taught not to look past the small accomplishments that occur every day, and enjoy every moment possible with my wife.
Katie: To celebrate each other’s successes as if they were your own.
Brendan: I have learned a ton from Katie that has helped me in every facet of life, however, one thing immediately come to mind: don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s too easy in life to get bogged down in small problems, overlooking how amazing our lives truly are.
Katie: To focus on the people and the things that make us happier as a couple.
Brendan: While I don’t consider myself a sage in being engaged, I have a few pieces of advice. The first is to enjoy being engaged. I think it’s very easy for couples to get lost in the wedding planning process and forget that they’re entering a new stage in their lives together.
Katie: What helped us enjoy our engagement was to make sure our wedding date worked for all of the most important family and friends in our lives, and then secure the vendors we knew would enhance our day. We had peace of mind early on knowing all of our favorite people would be with us to celebrate on our wedding day.
Life moves incredibly fast, especially in New York, and I was taught not to look past the small accomplishments that occur every day, and enjoy every moment possible with my wife.
We had peace of mind early on knowing all of our favorite people would be with us to celebrate on our wedding day.