October/December 2014

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International Love

By Valarie Slade | Photography by Allison Kuhn Photography

Posted: Tuesday, Jun. 24, 2014

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Before Katie Pleiss left for her study abroad exchange program to the University of Glasgow in 2007, her grandmother made her promise that she would not fall in love with a Scottish boy. “Well, I kept my promise and fell in love with a Norwegian boy,” she says. Just three weeks into her stay in Scotland, Katie met Kristian Kotsbak—a native of Norway studying in Glasgow—and began a romance that would span seven years and two continents.

After years of long-distance, Kristian proposed to Katie during a walk through Central Park in June on his last day in New York before returning to Norway. When he returned to the United States in January, the couple had 90 days to get married under Kristian’s visa requirements.

With just two months to plan, the couple wasted no time in choosing a theme. “Kristian and I have had a very international relationship,” says Katie. “Kristian is from Norway, we fell in love in Scotland and we said I love you for the first time in Spain. We wanted to bring a bit of each country together in a seamless way.” To capture their international love, elements of each of the cultures they have experienced together were incorporated into the big day, including a Scottish fiddler during cocktail hour and a portion of Katie’s vows given in Norwegian.

For the honeymoon, Katie and Kristian decided to stay stateside and explore Sedona, Arizona. “The fiancé visa only allows for a one-time entry, so we couldn’t leave the country. But we’ve done a lot of international travelling, so we wanted to take advantage of somewhere new in America.” After years spent in hostels, the couple enjoyed the five-star amenities at their hotel before returning to their new, permanent home in New York City.

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