What is your story?
As fish we would say we are a “Bermuda chubb fish” and a “Bermuda pudding wife” fish and we found each other at a crossroads in both of our lives and decided to risk our comfort zones to have one another. Since we’ve built a beautiful life as one another’s best friends, hiking and noise-music making partners, parents to Crispy the rescue pup and co-homeowners in our upstate Callicoon Yellow-door farmhouse. We really like and really love each other.
How did the two of you meet?
We first met shortly after a few days of humorously flirting and sparring over Tinder messages; by the time Kate told Mike that she would be willing to offer him 45 minutes of her time, but that our meeting had to take place in Times Square, we had both begun to suspect that we were either about to go on one of the strangest and most absurd dates imaginable, or that we were about to meet someone who would profoundly change both of our lives for the better – both would turn out to be true. While the early phases of our relationship were characterized by a hilarious and almost confrontational irreverence (we once essentially dared each other into a date at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, where we served nachos that were fully frozen), we were both hooked on one another’s passion, empathy, and creativity from the start. This immediate and intense connection fueled our early relationship despite Kate’s essentially living in 3 different cities at the time, and was supplemented by a deep and ever-growing respect and admiration for one another as individuals; this combination has sustained us as we have slowly morphed from two strangers on the internet into something greater than two individuals- greater even than the sum of our parts- a living singular big, beautiful, and brilliant biosphere of people, experiences, and love.
What was your favorite memory of your wedding day?
We have so many! But the ceremony and living in that moment, feeling like it was so beautiful, cinematic, perfect and present, that we had put so much thought and energy into crafting that ritual and that it came more perfectly true than we could have imagined- that was the moment. Other highlights include our first dance, bohemian rhapsody, reading one another our cards with gifts and our dog following us around at the cake cutting and beyond with her floral wares.
What were the main influences behind the style of your wedding, its location and your venue choice for your big day?
We wanted to make the wedding as connected to community and place, as local and sustainable as possible in our home-base Callicoon, and have a flair of our own freaky smooth cool. We called it an Upstate Rustic Disco #lovefest inspired by Grover Washington Junior’s Winelight, orchards and the deep connection we have to our beloved family and friends. It was literally more perfect than we could have imagined- fire pit, dance floor, firework-gazing, visual splendor and all.
What would your top tips be for somebody planning their wedding?
Three things + a bonus….:
-Purpose statements, Set it and Forget it, and Make it your Own
-Find a purpose statement and talk about it- think hard about the “why” you are doing it, even make it debatable/arguable, and let decisions and intuition flow from there (from the guest list to location etc.) Our purpose was to “nurture one another’s spiritual growth and embodied joy” – to love one another and love our beloved community better (more joyfully, more richly) in our wedding weekend. This included our local “place” upstate in the Catskills. We culled inspiration from spiritual experts like bell hooks etc. and included their words in our ceremony, but we also were able to do things like provide local treats to our guests, include them in the making of the three-day ritual in unique low-stress ways, and let things go (like exactly the flower types or extra games or extra transportations/events) in service of more grounded and purpose-forward less – as- more.
-Do the planning work upfront so that on the week of and the day of you can just set it and forget it. Period. Let everything go and flow with trusted hired or community of fam/friends the days of.
-Make it your own- don’t forget that your relationship is a work of art, and so is your wedding. There are amazing resources and valuable examples and guidance from those who have done it- and you are the artists, stay brave and try something unique- there is a high-risk high reward impact you can’t imagine! And things that fail truly arent that big of a deal and always have silver linings (a trivia game we built went on too long but ended up letting our friends and family meet in a totally unique and special way!)
(BONUS) Finally: Trust the experts like a day of coordinator or wedding planner, a videographer like Gavin, an awesome photographer, DJs, etc. to do their job well- they are experts and when you find and hire the best, it pays off to trust them the days of and let them do their great work- they will listen to you, and you in turn: listen to them and trust their practice!!!
What made you decide to hire a wedding videographer? Any tips for couples on the fence for a film?
Kate: As a director in theatre and film myself, I realized that the day of a meaningful ritual not only goes by in a heartbeat, it is made that much richer by its being memorialized and held in the eyes of other artists who help build and co-create it. Adding more art and makers like the photographer and videographer to the mix is more than “capturing” the memories- it is seeing your day in a new light and in ways you maybe didn’t imagine. Its beyond special *AND* the videography, once I saw Gavin’s work, was also a chance to zoom out and experience the potential impact of all our hard work in a bigger picture.
Mike and I both said not only the day of and weeks after “We are so glad we hired Gavin” because it actually helped put another big-picture leader in charge of holding us, framing and setting up the deeper impact and mission for success that day- it let us be actors instead of directors the day of. We also can’t wait to see all the other loved ones on film in exciting ways because we only got to live the day from our experiences!
If you are on the fence- remember that being held by a filmmaker on the day of your wedding can actually lower your stress and re-focus you on the purpose of the day. A videographer can help you also see the bigger picture and let you truly be in it!!
Anything else you would like to share?
We feel strongly this was an amazing investment we’d recommend for every single couple, particularly because of the way Gavin worked through any time either of us were reluctant to become vulnerable with care and strength to open us up and focus on the love between us and of the day. We can’t recommend a videographer like Gavin enough!
Venue – Seminary Hill Orchard & Cidery https://www.seminaryhill.co
Wedding Planner – KR Occasions https://kroccasions.com
Photographer – Daphne Laput Photography https://www.daphnelaputphotography.com
DJ/ Photobooth – Much Music DJ https://www.muchmusicdj.com
Hair Stylist/Makeup Artist – Hair Hive
Florist – Emma Fassler
Flower Girl – Crispy the dog
Officiant – Mauricio Salgado
Harpist – Terrease Rebecca Aiken
Cake – Baked Narrowsburg https://www.instagram.com/baked.narrowsburg
Wedding Rings – Macha Studio https://machastudio.com/collections/wedding-rings