Kate and James


How We Met

Funny you should ask.. We actually met at a music festival just outside of Atlanta, Georgia; Counterpoint Music Festival to be exact. It was the Friday afternoon of the weekend that would end up changing my life forever. My first music festival, and the first time I would meet Kate. The headliners that year consisted of the likes of Outkast, Pretty Lights, Foster the People, J. Cole, Major Lazer, and many more. Little did we both know, we had a mutual friend named Tavia. Tavia and I had grown up together and had close family ties. Tavia and Kate ran in the same circle in Atlanta. I was out in Atlanta with Tavia and some friends on that Thursday night before, when she handed me a festival bracelet and a parking pass and told me to “live a little”.


Needless to say, I woke up Friday morning not knowing what I was getting myself into. I showed up to the festival with a backpack, toothbrush, a t-shirt, a pair of shorts, and a 30 rack of Miller Lite, as I was told this is all that I would need for the weekend. Tavia and this little flower child named Kate showed up at the entrance to the festival grounds to meet me. Kate looked at me, looked at the warm 30 rack of Miller Lite and uttered her famous first words, “Whose beer is this? {*cracks a beer*} Cause I’m drinking one!”… The rest is history!


how they asked

In order to understand this part of the story, one must know that Kate was born in the summer of ’90, and I pride myself on being a child of the 90’s. Consequently, some of Kate and I’s greatest memories started at the lake, out on the boat, sitting around the campfire, listening to the Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 20, Counting Crows, Hootie, and the list goes on. Neither Kate nor I are actually from Atlanta, but our story starts there. We were both working in the city at the time; Kate in software sales and myself in corporate banking. We were fondly adopted by a middle-aged Jewish woman who worked in my office named Sharon and her husband, Howard. They chose to not have children themselves, but somewhere along the way, they inherited me as their “Atlanta son”. They were kind enough to open up their lake house to us on Lake Lanier and graciously, Kate and I used it nearly every weekend in the summers.


Fast forward to the present; Kate and I strive to figure out ways to live life like everyday is a summer day on the lake. That “Abercrombie & Fitch”, “American Pie” summer feeling. Grand Haven, Michigan proved to be the perfect backdrop for our engagement. A small, quaint, American, seemingly unknown town on Lake Michigan that can best be described as a place the world hasn’t quite found yet. Neither of us had been to Grand Haven, and like most, neither of us had ever even heard of it. Deemed by Travel + Leisure to be the “best secret beach in America”, Grand Haven, free of sharks and saltwater, would be the place where Kate and I would start the rest of our lives together. {Side note: for those of you who remember the second installment of the American Pie series where the boys move to the lake during their first summer home from college, that place would be Grand Haven, or Grand Harbor as it’s referred to in the movie}

After nearly seven months of planning which included coordination with the City Manager, local photographer, Brenda Hoffman, restaurant owners, and bed and breakfast caretakers, it was finally time to pop the question.





In a trip not soon to be forgotten, Kate agreed to spend the rest of her life with me! As the summer of ’16 came to an end, the rest of our lives began.



Our Video


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Special Thanks

Brenda Hoffman