When two strangers from different parts of the country signed up to work for a program in Boston for at risk high school students, they didn’t expect to find their soulmate; but like many love stories – Emily and James found love in an unexpected way. After a year with AmeriCorps, the pair were the only two in their program to give it a go for a second year in a row.
“Working so closely together really helped us to know that we had found something special. At the end of the second year in Boston, I moved to Nashville to teach Special Education there, and James told me that he wanted to come with me. I will always remember him telling me that; it was right after a concert that he went with me to (one of my very favorites), and I was ecstatic but didn’t want him to feel like I was pressuring him. I never told him this, but that was when I knew deep down that we would get married one day.”
These two were so in love and it showed from the very first time we met them during their engagements in Kansas City – where they both live now. It was freezing, but they made the best of it and we had a great time getting to know them. We will forever think of them when we think of Kansas City! Fast forward to their wedding.
I love something about every wedding we photograph. But with Emily and James, I loved every single part (seriously) it was planned so well from top to bottom, inside and out. It was intimate yet still a good size; held in the backyard of her family home. It was wonderful. We thought it might rain (Thank you mother nature for preventing that!) but it was clear all day long, allowing us to capture every little detail without having to worry about the weather. Emily credits most of the success of the wedding to her mom, which I am sure is where her amazing planning skills come from. I was so blessed to have such an organized bride – she was always so prompt and helpful when I asked her questions.
Emily: “Planning our wedding was all about the help of family and friends. Outside of the week-of when we almost had to move the wedding inside for extreme weather, with the help of my family and friends it really wasn’t stressful for James and I at all. I’m a details person (it was actually very relaxing for me to make a spreadsheet Cue-to-Cue of everything happening on the day of) and my mom is a vision person. More than anything else, it was a bonding experience for us, we make a great team! My mom handmade so many perfect little details- the beautiful signs with the white script, the tassels on the garland, even the pew markers! There was nothing that I could dream up that she couldn’t make happen. And what she didn’t make or find, someone else did! Almost every detail and decoration was touched by the love of our families and my community (I lived in Bentonville from preschool through graduating from BHS). One of my bridesmaids families that we’ve known forever just happened to have an ice cream truck that they lent us for the day! It really was such a humbling and loving experience to have so many people who wanted to help make our day perfect. And it really was.”
Emily and her mom really thought of it all. The macarons were the best I have had in my life (no exaggeration here!), the ice cream truck, the mustang, the greenhouse where we did portraits after, the “snow” that the guests threw at the exit, the lotion they gave out as favors (Fresh Sparkling Snow scented from Bath & BodyWorks), the giftbags for out-of-towners with a ‘Bentonville’ theme and ideas for tourists; and so many other sweet details. The ceremony had everyone in the crowd (including me) tearing up, it was so genuine and romantically sweet.
Emily: “Having so many handmade and borrowed elements really made our wedding very affordable without having to make many hard choices in terms of money. Between my mom working on the wedding basically full-time on top of our hired wedding planner, we had a team assembled around us and it really brought costs down. Our planner I felt was very affordable, but I would definitely say that every single bride should have one. At the very least, a day-of planner, who you feel truly understands your entire vision. It really took away the stress from me and my mom on the day of to know that we could leave the last minute decisions to someone we trusted. Other splurges for us were a great photographer (which I would also recommend to every bride–it’s so easy to forget many of the details of your wedding, and the pictures will remind you of everything you forget!), pampering/beauty for us and the wedding party (we are firm believers that we need to pamper our people), and lots of flowers to really emphasize the garden party feel! We also wanted to locally source as many of our foods in particular as possible, so that was an important investment as well.”
Cheers to one of my favorite weddings of all time! Love this couple to the moon!
-Callie & Jaison
Wedding Dress: Savvy Bridal of Kansas City
Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux
Coordinator: Kim Mertes
Ceremony String Quartet and Vocalists: Chris Brown & Company
DJ: Scott Lamp
Hair & Makeup: Hannah Lamp and Brushed by Shae
Bridesmaids Dresses: Union Station
Tablecloths: Tablecloths Factory