Emily is no stranger to wedding planning—after all, she’s the associate editor of Real Weddings Magazine—but that didn’t mean that planning her own wedding was a breeze. “Wedding planning was hard,” she says. “It probably didn’t help that I looked at weddings all day only to come home and look at more.”
Emily and Mikey met in the “normal” way, at least for modern daters: on an app. But what’s not as normal is the fact that their first date lasted 11 hours. “My best friend and dad highly suspected I was kidnapped,” jokes Emily. The two dated for three years before Mikey popped the question casually one weekday morning over coffee and donuts. “I started crying before I even said anything, and just asked her,” Mikey says. “It was pretty pathetic, but she said yes, so joke’s on her!”
The two got to work planning an elegant but laid-back celebration at their venue, which they customized with touches special to the two of them. A bridesmaid designed the signage, Emily’s parents made the table numbers and dessert stands, and they made a custom “Mr. & Mrs.” sign that harkened back to the proposal: a cup of coffee for Mikey and a donut for Emily. They also included signage bearing quotes from “The Office,” one of their favorite shows. “Our welcome sign had a quote from Dwight Schrute,” says Emily. “He says to Angela, ’I just want to be friends. Plus a little extra. Also, I love you.’ It may sound silly to some, but that show means a lot to me and it’s something that I’ve been able to share with Mikey, so it was important to incorporate into our wedding day.”
The couple skipped traditions like the garter toss and bouquet toss to avoid interrupting the party. It was the right decision, as Emily says her favorite part of the reception was having plenty of time to dance with everyone in attendance. But Mikey’s favorite part of the reception was all about dancing with Emily, especially when one of her favorite songs came on and everyone watched as the two of them tore it up together on the dance floor.
Overall, Emily and Mikey were surprised at how low-stress the day was, especially since Emily says she was indecisive and overthinking every wedding planning decision. She expected to be overwhelmed with anxiety and nerves on the big day, but says she felt calm and comfortable from the vows to the speeches to the dancing. But in retrospect, Emily thinks she knows why that was. “I committed myself to Mikey a long time ago, so choosing to spend my life with him was easy. When you love a person so endlessly, there’s nothing to it when you choose them to marry.”
First Dance Song
“Be Good (Lion’s Song)” by Gregory Porter
Father/Daughter Dance Song
“The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra
Mother/Son Dance Song
“Colour My World” by Chicago
Cake Cutting Song
“When I’m Sixty-Four” by Beatles
Last Dance Song
“You’re My First, the Last, My Everything” by Barry White
Details about the cake
Chocolate cake layered with raspberry frosting covered in white chocolate ganache and topped with the most amazing buttercream flowers.
From Frank Vilt’s Cakes we had mini versions of lemon bars, cheesecakes topped with fresh fruit, snickerdoodle and ginger molasses cookies, “death by chocolate” cupcakes, carrot cupcakes with raspberry filling and Champagne buttercream.
Details about the flowers
I told Strelitzia what colors we wanted, and they picked whatever was in season. I honestly have no idea what types of flowers we had but they were perfect!
Details about the favors
Matchbooks from For Your Party
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
I had this idea in my head of what I wanted the reception to look like and when I saw it, it was exactly as I had imagined it. Tan Weddings & Events set up the rentals and décor so perfectly, and Strelitzia went above and beyond with the flowers. Michelle with Valley Images did an incredible job and we really didn’t even notice her and her second shooter. They captured everything but were not in the way, same with our videographer, Phil and his second shooter. I love seeing footage and photos of our guests enjoying themselves. The food from Beth Sogaard received so many compliments from our guests. Our desserts from Frank Vilt’s Cakes flew off the table, and our cake by Mikey’s longtime friend was the most beautiful cake ever! I gave her a vague idea of what I wanted and she made a picture-perfect dessert–plus it was delicious!
In addition to tons of support, my parents also made the table numbers and dessert stands. I told them what I was looking for and they took it upon themselves to make them for us!
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?
Hire the videographer and coordinator. I hear a lot of brides say these two “are not in their budget” but they should be. A coordinator will take the stress off you and there is nothing comparable to a wedding video. Weddings are not cheap, so I advise investing in your vendors. They come together to give you one of the best days of your life, something you have planned for months, and your investment will pay off when you have the absolute best memories of your wedding day.
Work with a timeline and tick things off your to-do list little by little. And once you’ve made a decision, try not to let the constant influx of wedding inspiration change your mind. Instagram and Pinterest provide such great inspiration, but it can be easy to want to change your mind and compare yourself. Be kind to yourself and remember that your wedding will always be the best wedding you’ve been to because it was yours.
We used Wedwordy to compose our ceremony and it was incredibly helpful. It’s all there and you just fill in the blanks!
What would you have done differently if you had the chance?
I’ve been saying “go big or go destination” when it comes to weddings. I either would have hired Tan Weddings & Events as full-time planners, and let them plan everything based on my ideas, or I would have had a smaller destination wedding where we could have spent a weekend with family and friends. With that being said, I am proud of the wedding I designed (although my sanity took a hit!) and if we did a destination wedding, some family members most likely would not have been able to travel, and having them there is much more important in the long run.
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