This story appears in the Pre-Spring 2014 issue of Eidé Magazine. Read it here, or click here to read it in the issue.
Story by Jaime Lin Weinstein | Photography by Max Eremine
The expression opposites attract has been debated for centuries, but Nathan and Seth Woodard-Persily may prove the old adage to be true. While they’re certainly not complete opposites, some divergent qualities are obvious (like the Christmas decorations lining the roof of their Midtown Atlanta home and the mezuzah nailed to the doorframe below). Seth appears to be your typical Long Island Jew, though calm in demeanor, while Nathan — a self-described “recovering Southern Baptist” who grew up in Georgia — walks and talks a bit faster. But together, they seem like the perfect pair. Any differences are void of conflict, and their bond appears, in a word, effortless.
When the couple met eight years ago it was, to cite another romantic trope, “love at first sight.” Well, maybe not love, “but there was definitely a very strong, mutual interest at first sight,” Seth clarifies. Today, they are married (“Georgia won’t recognize it, but we recognize it,” Seth explains) with twin 4 1⁄2-year-old daughters (who happen to be opposites themselves — Brittany the “daredevil,” as witnessed by her treating the couch like a jungle gym during the interview, and Caitlin, the “princess,” dressed in a tutu and pink heels, posing for the camera at every opportunity) and two businesses. Seth, a Harvard Law graduate, currently owns Penn Multimedia, an online marketing firm, and Nathan, a former accountant, is the co-owner of Look Young Atlanta, a spa that features everything from laser hair removal and skin treatments to injectables and weight-loss programs. They each are also very involved in gay rights activism: Nathan is on the leadership council for GLAAD and spends a lot of time helping them with fundraisers. Seth has sat on the boards of a host of organizations as well, including Georgia Equality and Youth Pride, and is currently volunteering with a homeless shelter that works with gay youth.
Their key to a successful relationship amidst charities, careers and kids? “We’re both flexible, which is good. We can work from either place (the office or home) ... and we both kind of create a work life that has flexibility,” Nathan says. “Yeah, relationships are difficult, especially when both parents or both people in the relationship work. It can be very difficult so having a supportive community is really important,” adds Seth.
The Woodard-Persily’s (“Mine is hyphenated. Well, whose is hyphenated?” Nathan asks when questioned about the decision to share last names. “Yeah, it’s hyphenated,” Seth laughs in reply. “We keep changing it. We don’t know.”) also live by a veto philosophy. “Either of us have a veto power. Basically unless we both agree, it’s off the table,” Nathan says. “Something as simple as buying a piece of art — if he’s in love with it but I’m not, we agree that the answer is no,” Seth explains. “Sometimes we make less progress than we would like to with things that we want to do, but it keeps the fighting to a minimum.”
As for the future: “We just want to be grandparents,” Seth says immediately. “Yeah, grandkids,” Nathan agrees. No veto necessary.