Katlin: A Bridal Portrait

I created this series of posts called Bridal Portraits as a way to showcase strong, beautiful women who are also wives. It is such a pleasure to talk to these amazing women, hear about their lives, and in particular to hear about their weddings and marriages. Please scroll to the end to see all vendor credits!

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Hill

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Hill

When I think about Katlin, the first word that comes to mind is strength.

Strength of mind, strength of body, strength of character. She is a faith-filled community leader with such passion for life and helping those around her shine. Katlin works everyday helping people at her own business as a Licensed Professional Counselor, where she especially has a passion for working with adolescents. When she is not counseling her patients, Katlin enjoys spending time with her husband and dog on their boat, promoting her husband’s business Winter Haven Oyster Co., keeping herself in shape (she was a varsity Division I college swimmer), and being with her family that includes two sisters and six nieces. In addition to everything she accomplishes on a daily basis, Katlin recently spoke at women’s retreat giving her testimony to a conference full of women.

I admire how she always encourages others, cultivating and maintaining relationships with whomever she touches.

 I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Katlin about her role as a bride when she married her college sweetheart, Ben, at their Labor Day destination wedding. It was a joy talking to Katlin about their day (and hearing Ben whisper his answers to some of the questions, because he was sitting right beside her) and their marriage. I hope you enjoy reading about it and viewing their beautiful pictures as much as I enjoyed the interview!

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Hill

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Hill

Katlin and Ben were married on the shore of North Carolina in September, 2014. Katlin did all of the planning and execution herself, striving to have a beautiful wedding that celebrated their love story with the family and friends who have supported them. And she accomplished just that!

For her planning process, Katlin and Ben set a wedding budget, then Katlin set to work researching and booking vendors. She knew what she could handle on the DIY end and what she wanted to hire out. Mainly, Katlin focused on hiring people for the big items, like venue, food, and music, then she filled in the details with all of her own design details. She made her own centerpieces, menus, welcome sign, and photo booth area, among other personal touches. When asked what she was glad to have spent money on for their wedding, Katlin responded, “the food!” They had traditional North Carolina style barbecue catered, and they said it was the best barbecue they’ve ever had!

She also said she loved her DJ because he really felt out the guests and had everyone dancing throughout the night. Katlin still stands by her decision to do her own decor, because she enjoys designing and states “I’m a control freak of my own decor, so I’m glad I took care of that.”

In reflecting on choices for their wedding, Katlin says she was so happy about their choice of location. Their beautiful venue was right on the beach in Outer Banks, NC, so guests were able to make a vacation out of the weekend and stay right on the water. She says she could have done without the photo booth. And, she wishes she had someone to do the setup for her the morning of her wedding. Katlin also wishes she had not given her bridesmaids such free reign on picking their dresses, because constantly getting texts of dresses from seven people was overwhelming. But they looked lovely!

Katlin’s advice to future bride’s: half of the things that you are worrying about in planning your wedding are not going to matter.

The most important part of your day is marrying the person you want to be with for the rest of your life, celebrating with your loved ones.

No one is going to remember your monogrammed napkins, but they will remember the party and the love. Katlin’s favorite memories from her wedding day, besides marrying Ben, were dancing with everyone at the reception (she says EVERYONE was on the dance floor), and that awesome feeling of knowing that all of her loved ones were together in one spot: childhood friends, grandparents, family, everyone there together.

Katlin’s marriage tips: be transparent with each other and express your feelings.

 “You can also note that I’m a therapist - I’m huge on expressing feelings.” She adds that her and Ben’s Christian spirituality has and continues to play a large role in their marriage. She claims that their faith really grew after marriage, and that being married allowed them to support each other in that growth. Katlin thinks that difficulties in marriage are inevitable because of many factors outside of our control, and we make mistakes as humans. But a deeper connectivity as husband and wife requires really getting to know your spouse and giving each other forgiveness and grace, things that Katlin believes come more naturally when you have a relationship with Christ at the center of your marriage.

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Hill

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Hill

Vendor Credits

Floral Design: The Flower Girls OBX - Outerbanks, NC, @flowergirlsobx

Photographer: Kimberly Hill

Location: Ceremony and Reception at Budleigh - Manteo, NC, @108budleigh

Caterer: local bbq master

DJ/Band/MC: John Harper

Wedding Dress: Bridal Elegance - Henrico, VA


Are you in the midst of your wedding planning and feeling overwhelmed?

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