An OKCupid success story, Jon and Katie were married on a crisp, beautiful day in October of 2016 surrounded by their friends, family, and champions. After an unforgettable 8-hour-long first date, they knew early on: marriage was the end goal. What’s special about their story is that Katie didn’t just marry Jon, she took vows to his son as well. They are grateful to be next to each other in all of life’s trials and as Jon says, “I’d rather be on this hard road by your side than living an easy life with anyone else.”
It’s our joy to celebrate these two this week at The Big Fake Wedding Portland! Their story is a special one, and we just had to share. Read on for Katie + Jon’s Sappy Love Story!
We have spent our three years together cultivating a culture of vulnerability, community, and intentionality, with a focus on maintaining our identity in God’s love for us as individuals, brought together to make a beautiful partnership, using each other’s unique gifts to mend & heal our hearts and create something beautiful where brokenness once was- “beauty from brokenness” is our life theme. The rest of our adventure awaits, and we are so grateful to be next to each other through all of life’s trials and twists and turns; because if there’s anything we know well, it’s that we were never promised “easy”- but we did promise each other forever, and that makes all the difference to us.
The First Date
Our first date was unforgettable. It lasted for 8 hours on a patio on Mississippi Ave. We had been texting nonstop for a week before that, so we already knew this was gonna be good. Our knees touched under the table and neither of us moved – you know that feeling! We talked and talked and he totally cried when I shared my story (he blames the whiskey). I kissed him that night, right on the sidewalk outside. I’d never kissed anyone first before, but you know…equality! He still reminds me of that weekly.
The most unique part of our engagement story is possibly the intentional way in which we approached it. While I had no idea the ring and the question was coming when it did, the marriage part was never a surprise. We knew early on (seriously, like after the first date) that this was the end goal for us, and we decided to start doing all the heavy lifting to make sure we were being wise about this choice. I wouldn’t just be marrying Jon, but I’d be taking vows to his son as well, so we sought counseling and read every book we could about how to responsibly go down this path together and set ourselves up for success, since blended families come with challenges most newlyweds don’t face.
We took communion together to Sufjan Stevens’ version of Come Thou Fount, and at the end, there’s an a cappella chorus that our wedding guests all joined in for. The acoustics in the little chapel where we were married were incredible, and there was just this joyous moment of us standing together as husband and wife with the voices of all our loved ones raised around us in beautiful harmony. I’ll never forget that moment. I cry just thinking about it.
Our best gift to each other was definitely our honeymoon, which we waited a year to take so we could do it how we wanted. We drove around Iceland in a camper van, which had been a dream of ours separately for years and years, but we got to experience it together. Neither of us are really “present people”, so saving and planning together is a bigger deal for us than a wrapped gift.
“We are together which is better than any fairy-tale.”
Our song is called Honest Songs by Noah Gunderson. It’s a reminder that “our trouble is never over and our work is never done, but with the turning of the season we will always see the sun.” This is something that has proven to be so true in our relationship. Neither of us are strangers to grief or heartache, but Jon always says “I’d rather be on this hard road by your side than living an easy life with anyone else.” We’re currently battling infertility and also miscarried last year, but we just keep going back to that song.
Jon inspires me daily. I’m kind of known for my sappy Facebook posts about how consistently he shows up for his family, but I’ll never tire of bragging about him. He serves his family with a constant smile on his face, something I have not perfected. He is such a good reminder that a great attitude changes the game. He is unfailingly patient with us, and just always such a ray of sunshine. I want to be more like him in this regard.
To an engaged couple, I’d urge them to remember that marriage is about so much more than a beautiful wedding. Hard days are coming, but you have to keep choosing each other, and soft seasons will come. Stay close to each other, and stay made of hope.