our vow renewal registry

our story


Hey!! My name is Katja and my lovely husband is named Christian. Christian and I have been married for 9 years! We have a little dog named Bailey. We got married when I was just 19 years old.

We were JWs (Jehovah's Witnesses) when we got married. I met Christian through his younger sister and brother who were my friends at the time. I was Christian's first girlfriend when he was 25! He said he didn't want to date just anyone, it had to be someone special.

Luckily, I was that girl! 

We dated for 8 months. We saw each other almost every day and fell in love after two months of dating. Our dating was going great at first until Christian's father found out that I had gotten drunk years prior at a friend’s party. You see, Christian's father was a JW elder and his "image" as a JW elder was the most important thing to him; more important than his son. He didn't want Christian dating me anymore because (in his opinion) my "image" was not squeaky clean. Hypocritically, this judgment was extreme as Christian's father drank to excess extensively himself, while a "elder".

Because Christian refused to dump me, our dating was very difficult. No support from our families. They tried to break us up and spread horrible rumors. But we continued to stick together! We got engaged after 8 months of dating. We tried to make wedding plans according to the JW requirements; however our families made it obvious that they did not want to attend the wedding because we didn't "follow their rules". Because of all the JW drama, we ended up eloping and missed out on the magical day of a wedding. We went and found a commissioner and got married, just us two. I didn't even have a wedding dress. We just wanted to be together as we were so in love. That is why we call each other "Romeo & Juliet", because we had to run away to be together. We packed a suitcase one morning and met each other on the public bus and got married.

We told our families after our eloping that we had gotten married. Of course they were upset! We were also upset because we always wanted our families there! I wanted a Dad to walk down the aisle. In the end it was still worth it, because we just wanted to be together.

We soon after found our own place to live and started our own cleaning company together. As JWs, we pioneered and continued to do many activities for the religion.

After four years of marriage we finally woke up from the JW organization realizing the Jehovahs Witnesses didn't have the "truth" and we escaped the Watchtower.

Sadly, we were shunned by our families (parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and life-long friends) because we were disfellowshipped for "apostasy" (the most fatal sin in the JW organization). We did what was right for us, despite the consequences.

To this day, we put each other first! We have always put each other first. That is why we believe we have lasted this long in our relationship - despite being married so young.

It's been almost 5 years now since we left the JWs. We have traveled a little and made new friends. We created YouTube videos to help in the activism and support of other Ex-JWs! We are each others best friends Although we have gone through ups and downs, we believe in "unconditional love".

We will be having our 10-year wedding anniversary this coming fall! We have planned to renew our wedding vows to each other on our 10-year wedding anniversary! We are so excited to celebrate our marriage and prove that true love does exist! Since we never got to truly celebrate our first wedding day or have a honeymoon, this trip on the Norwegian Joy to Alaska cruise is a dream! We want to have a simple but elegant wedding vow renewal!

One of the things we sadly live with is not having our families in our lives due to shunning.

We have always wanted to have children together, but especially lately we truly want to have our own little family! I love kids! I so want to be a mother. Unfortunately, I have been diagnosed with endometriosis which makes getting pregnant difficult. (Not to mention the other physical issues.) We have been to a fertility clinic & have been told we will need some assistance to get pregnant. We want at least 2 children; however I would be thrilled to even just have one! Our work economy is not so good right now. We dont have the funds to pay for the fertility treatments right now ourselves, but I dont want to delay as my fertility will just get more difficult with age. We want more then anything to start our next chapter of our marriage with children. If you would like to celebrate our marriage with us and give us a gift, we would love if you could help us with some funds towards fertility treatment. This is our love story.

We thank you in advance for your gift.  This opportunity for us is a dream come true and we are blessed to have you a part of it. 

Our Cruise to Alaska on the NCL Joy

The best way to cruise Alaska just got better as Norwegian Joy joins her sister ship Norwegian Bliss starting May 2019. We will find our happy place on board Norwegian Joy when she cruises from Seattle WA USA to Alaska. We will enjoy a rush like no other while racing in the middle of the ocean on a thrilling two–level race track.  We will be pampered in luxury in the new, spacious and beautifully appointed  accommodations. We can't wait to explore the wilds of Alaska including pods of whales up close in untouched Icy Strait Point.

Join us and enjoy vacation experiences that will delight your senses and calm your soul on Norwegian Joy.

See link below for the Official Facebook Page of the Ex-JW Cruise Group we are Joining

More Cruise information

Our registry

event sponsored by lisa balistreri travel and with special thanks to p3 services of oregon

More about our cruise


We're sailing on the Norwegian Joy out of Seattle, Washington .                                        August 31, 2019 - September 7th, 2019

We hope you can join us!

See below for information if you'd like to join us on our Alaskan Cruise!

Find out more

Thank you!

We don't expect anyone to give to our registry or feel they have to join us on the cruise.  It was mentioned to us that some may like to.  So, we created this page to help you do so if you like.

For more about our sponsors