Kathryn (Katie) O’Brien Trout met Douglas (Doug) Martin Ackerman at the wedding of some mutual friends, not knowing, one day, the celebration would be for them. “We met again a couple of years later at a charity event and went on our first date,” Katie says. “I soon [went] to Rome to witness the papal conclave, where Pope Francis was elected. Doug and I racked up a huge phone bill across the ocean.”

She knew from that initial separation Doug might be the one to change everything. “The first time I met Katie, I had to get to know her better,” Doug says. “She gave me that special feeling I have been looking for all my life.”

The next step seemed natural. With a ready excuse to take them to the Windy City, he set out to plan a proposal. “There is a charming Italian restaurant she loves; I knew that would be the place. All I had to do was book a nice place to stay, fuel the plane – and let Chicago do the rest,” Doug tells. Caught by surprise, Katie said yes through blinding tears.

The wedding represented the three pillars of their lives. “We wanted to incorporate faith, family and friends,” she says. “We knew the wedding needed to be in Rome, where our love story began. Thanks to my family’s dear friend, His Eminence Justin Cardinal Rigali, we got married inside St. Peter’s Basilica, which has always been a dream of mine.”

The bride honored Doug’s deceased mother, alongside her own, by bearing their school pins on her bouquet. She also carried a rosary, gifted by her matron of honor and grandmother. “I took a long walk, with the Swiss Guard escorting and holding tourists back, to the chapel. The ‘Wedding March,’ which is no longer allowed to be played in the states, swelled from the organ,” Katie recalls. “I saw Doug face-to-face for the first time that day, and my heart skipped. It all got very real at that moment.”

Doug experienced a similar sensation upon seeing his bride across the aisle. “I cherished the sight of the most beautiful woman in the world, standing in the middle of St. Peter’s Basilica – ready to marry me – and the overwhelming presence of God,” he says. “It was like we were in a fairy tale.”

The celebrations continued with a luncheon at their Italian hotel and, again, in St. Louis at The Racquet Club. The couple honeymooned in Tuscany and Portofino.

THE DETAILS

The Date

Oct. 13, 2015

The Bride

Kathryn O’Brien Trout

The Groom

Douglas Martin Ackerman

The Bride’s Parents

Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Hayden Trout of St. Louis

The Groom’s Parents

The late Mr. and Mrs. Jerold Ackerman of St. Louis

The Bride’s Grandmother

Mrs. Joseph (Ann) Patrick Frayn of St. Louis

Matron of Honor

Mrs. Joseph (Ann) Patrick Frayn, grandmother of the bride

Best Man

Mr. Ryan Ackerman, son of the groom

The Ceremony

St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City

The Reception

Residenza Paolo VI in Rome; The Racquet Club in St. Louis on Oct. 24, 2015

The Officiant

His Eminence Justin Cardinal Rigali

The Wedding Dress

Hayley Paige from Maiden Voyage Bridal

The Invitations

William Arthur from The Service Bureau Fine Stationery & Gifts

The Rings

Custom ring for the bride and Lordo’s Diamonds for the groom

The Florist

Residenza Paolo VI in Rome; Ken Miesner’s Flowers in St. Louis

The Cake

Residenza Paolo VI in Rome; McArthur’s Bakery Café in St. Louis

The Band

Residenza Paolo VI in Rome; Push the Limit in St. Louis

The Photographer

Luca Bellocchio of Photo Bellocchio in Rome; Suzy Gorman in St. Louis