"We also view each other as totally equal partners and don't follow the 'traditional' divisions of labor, meaning we share equally in housework, cooking, yard work, etc. (Though I insist on doing the laundry—otherwise Paul shrinks my clothes!)" ~ Katie WassinkWe filmed Katie and Paul's wedding in Gainesville back in 2008. It was the first wedding that Jeff and I had filmed at Gainesville's Sweetwater Branch Inn after moving here from Tarpon Springs. I remember the photographer being very creative with his shots, and I remember enjoying filming the beautiful suite that Kati and her bridesmaids were getting ready in, and how accommodating the staff were. Here is a secret...it is awesome to be a vendor at Sweetwater Branch Inn because they provide a table and chairs for vendors, located just outside the glass doors to the reception hall. It is great to have a place to put the gear down and sit for a second to change a lens and plug in a battery. The staff leaves a carafe of water and glasses on the table, sometimes even some sweet tea. It makes the whole filming experience pleasurable so it is easier to concentrate on working while feeling welcome and valued!
I was happy to catch up with Katie after 8 years! Here is Katie's account of their marriage and relationship... before, during and after the wedding film!!
On Finding Each Other
When I was 19, my mom and I signed up for a trip to Italy and France with our church, St. Augustine. On the itinerary were museums, cathedrals, countryside, and adventure, and I couldn't wait to explore. I had no idea, of course, that I was also destined to meet my future husband.
Paul and I were both undergrads at the University of Florida, where I studied journalism and he studied mechanical engineering. We attended the same church but had never met.
On the trip—which took place in the summer of 2004—I noticed Paul from the very beginning, on the charter bus that took us all to the airport in Miami. I was shy, though, and didn't say anything. (Interestingly, my mom did—she chatted with him on the bus for a while and came back to say, "He's really nice! You should talk to him.")
Eventually, toward the end of the trip, I did. The group was in Assisi, Italy, at the time, and one day at breakfast I asked him about a solo hike he'd taken the day before. Later that afternoon, a few people went up onto the roof to watch the sunset, and Paul and I spent a while pointing out animals and shapes in the clouds above.
From that point, we were inseparable, and we spent the rest of the trip together. (Sorry, Mom!) We continued to see each other upon our return to Gainesville before school started back up. Unfortunately, though, Paul had previously arranged to study abroad in Munich, Germany, for a whole year, leaving just a month after we returned. You can imagine how devastated I was to learn this! I already knew we were meant to be together, the same kind of knowledge that told me the sun would rise and the tides would turn—I simply knew it to be true.
So I waited, as a year stretched into 18 months. We were never dating, officially, before he left, and we kept only in minimal contact while he was gone. It was easier that way. When he did finally return, I drove down to meet him on the beach in Fort Myers. It was New Year's Eve, 2005. And we've been together ever since.
On The Wedding Day
Our wedding took place in October 2008, a few months after we both returned from living in Switzerland. (Paul went for a year of grad school there—are you sensing a pattern here?—and I joined him to work as an au pair for 6 months after I graduated from UF.) We were married in St. Augustine church by the priest who'd accompanied our group on the European trip. A bunch of our guests had also been on that trip and in a way were witnesses to our love story, making it extra meaningful.
Not everything went according to plan that day: I forgot to wear my earrings, the flower girls' baskets didn't show up with the floral delivery, and we weren't able to visit with everyone at the reception as much as we wanted to. However, I had to let all those little things go and focus on the big, important picture, which was that Paul and I were starting our new life together. Being surrounded by so many friends and family members made for a truly special day.
One favorite moment at our reception, which was held at the lovely Sweetwater Branch Inn, occurred when a group of international friends, who'd traveled all the way from Germany and Switzerland, got up and performed a long, intricate traditional German wedding song. Nobody could understand a word, but their enthusiasm made for a hilarious crowd-pleaser nonetheless!
Starting life as a married couple seemed surprisingly easy for us. We got a little condo and a cute little rescue dog, Buddy. We chose not to live together before the wedding, but we quickly fell into a natural routine afterward. It helps that we're pretty in sync, lifestyle-wise; for example, we're both morning people who enjoy quiet evenings at home. We also view each other as totally equal partners and don't follow the "traditional" divisions of labor, meaning we share equally in housework, cooking, yardwork, etc. (Though I insist on doing the laundry—otherwise Paul shrinks my clothes!)
Some advice to newlyweds: pick your battles. I'm an only child and got used to doing everything my own particular way. It took me a little while to learn that if Paul puts things in the "wrong" place in the pantry, or cleans differently than I do, that's OK! (Alright, I might still be working on this a little bit.) Get used to each other's idiosyncrasies and save the fussing for things that really matter.
After several years in Gainesville, my hometown, we took a big step and moved our lives up to Boston, Massachusetts, so Paul could take a new job just outside the city. Going so far away from my family, my friends, and the place I grew up to a place I'd never been wasn't easy for me. It also didn't help that we moved in the middle of winter, one day before a huge blizzard hit!
It ended up taking me longer than expected to find a job—about 6 months. I'd made some friends through Meetup, so I wasn't lonely, but my unsuccessful job hunt had me very discouraged all that time. However, the right position finally came along (with an awesome location in downtown Boston), and I'm still happily there over 3 years later.
We have a house in the suburbs now, just us, Buddy, and our second pup, Luna. We both love Boston—yes, even despite the winters!—and exploring New England. (Hiking in Vermont is a favorite.) I've learned over the years that I could go just about anywhere as long as Paul is with me. Living in Boston, and Switzerland before that, is something I probably wouldn't have done on my own, and I'm grateful for having done it with him. Now, if we could only make our family not so far away...
Paul and I agree that being married is wonderful. Even after nearly 11 years together, I can't wait to get home and see his face. And to think: it all started because we each wanted to take a trip to Europe.
p.s. Check out "After The Wedding Film" Post #1