Our Own Wedding

Today marks the 4th anniversary of the day Martin and I tied the knot (okay – 4th anniversary plus one week since we got a surprise announcement that our friends, Vica and Ion, had just taken the plunge in Romania.  I couldn’t resist sharing that first!).

So now we’re back on track, and with all the prodding and begging, you’ll be glad to hear that today’s featured wedding is…

Martin + Katie

2ZR1Q_A3278.dngWe got married in the church I had grown up in.  It isn’t the most elaborate, stained glass church you imagine when you think of a Catholic Church.  It’s actually a very simple place… which as you know, Martin and I are all about keeping things simple and symbolic these days.

To kick off the whole event, my closest friend (and bridesmaid!), my mom, and I all met at an enormous craft store to pick out a pattern and fabric for a dress.  Yep!  My wedding dress was custom made!  My friend gave it to me as a wedding gift, and I am still pinching myself and wondering how I snagged such a generous pal.

penny in shoe

Just before we walked down the aisle, my dad followed family tradition and slipped a penny under my shoe for good luck.  My sister-in-law and her now-husband who were just married in Vienna won over the crowd with their professional opera voices.  They even sang a song from my parents’ wedding!  And after a lot of big hugs and attempts not to cry, I made my way down the aisle where Martin and 100 of our friends and family awaited.

We worked hard to keep costs down and did everything we could ourselves.  Yes, even back then Martin and I were very hands-on from decorating the church and reception to asking relatives to share their talents.  Of course, most of the time we didn’t even have to ask.  My father-in-law and his sister were begging to be our photographers.  Pinch me again, right?  We love this wedding gift, especially now.  It’s one of the few things we can have with us in Germany and the US.

And then before we knew it, we were signing the marriage license…


and zipping over to the reception…


What kind of wedding would it be without a little unsuspected humor in thick, foamy shaving cream to break up all the sappy action, right?

wedding getaway car

And how many Germans take off in a little borrowed Nissan truck?  Okay, okay… how many people in general?

One of my favorite gifts actually came from my grandmother.  It wasn’t something new or shiny.  In fact, it didn’t cost her a dime.  It was one of those priceless gifts… another one of those moments where I have to wonder how I could be part of such a loving group of people.

She gave us a piece of advice – never go to bed angry with one another.  She also gave us a symbol of love and resolution that she’s been hanging onto for all of these years.  It’s the cake topper from the day she married my grandfather almost 60 years ago.

wedding cake

A lot of the food (all vegetarian even back then) was spread on enormous dishes my other grandmother had collected over the years.  Some were gifts she received at her wedding.  And a couple were even from her mother’s wedding.  A couple of my sister’s friends managed the food and dishes so we didn’t have to hire a catering service.  My mom and I had been collecting punch cups and various saucers at estate sales to minimize waste.

Marrying a pilot (and now learning how to fly myself!), I don’t want to totally shock you or anything… but our first dance was to the song, Fly Me to the Moon.

fly me to the moon

Fly away we did.  The next morning, we hoped into a little Cessna airplane and headed to the San Juan Islands to go camping.

Peek into all the international weddings our friends and family have shared on Making This Home (from Vienna to Japan) on the International Wedding Page.