Emily and Chuck exchanged vows on a beautiful fall day in November. Here is their story from their perspective:
How did the two of you meet?
Emily: “We met online. Chuck later revealed he didn’t think I seemed interested with my one word answers. I never do anything spontaneous, but I lost a bet in which I had to go to “opening day” to the Chicago Cubs for him on our third date. It ended up freezing, but we had the best time and it really is a special place for us. I didn’t know how much he loved the Chicago Cubs when he took me. He kept buying hot dogs or hot food items as I didn’t bring gloves (just a thing jacket since I didn’t check the weather) so I could keep my hands warm.”
Tell us about the proposal:
Chuck: “Well one thing that was very important to Emily was that the proposal be done with family present while one thing that was important to me was that it be a surprise. Since some family members are out of town, and due to the fact Emily is too intelligent to pull a fast one over, I had to get creative in how I planned this.
“A tradition in Emily’s family is to go Christmas tree shopping on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, which happened to fall on my birthday, so I knew this would be the perfect time to propose. The goal here was to hype up my birthday as much as possible, to get her so fixated on my birthday that she couldn’t possibly think anything else was happening! I managed to get her whole family and the store (Growing Grounds) in on it – everyone knew, except for Emily.
“I distinctly recall Emily even making a comment how nobody was looking at any of the trees except for her that day. Eventually I was able to lead her over to a tree that was decorated in pictures of us and custom engagement ornaments, took a knee, and my life changed forever.”
What qualities do you love the most about your new spouse?
Emily: “I love Chuck’s genuine nature and kind heart. He is always willing to help others and keeps such a positive outlook on life. He makes me laugh and always lets me know how much he loves me. He enjoys everything about life and isn’t afraid to be himself.”
Chuck: “I love her drive and passion, her beauty and intelligence, her kindness and understanding nature, her sense of humor and the fact she’s family oriented, and most importantly that she always makes me happy and feel whole.”
How did you feel right after your ceremony?
Chuck: “Excited. I knew that I was walking down the aisle with the love of my life and was officially beginning the rest of our lives together. I genuinely felt like a new man heading towards the next chapter in life with my soul mate; its an amazing feeling.”
Emily: “I thought I would feel relieved that we got through the ceremony without a hitch (my brother officiated and had never done it before, but did wonderful), but mostly I just remember not being able to stop smiling. I think the ceremony really highlighted how much we love each other, so I just felt so grateful to have had shared the experience with him. I thought I would be nervous the whole ceremony just being in front of people, but I mostly felt at home with Chuck there. Walking down the aisle after with him just felt natural and joyful.”
What were your top 3 favorite moments of your wedding day?
1. Sharing our vows- it was important to us to share these words and ideas with each other on this day. I always feel I better express myself when I can think it out or write it down and Chuck agreed to do it. We loved everything about our atmosphere from the decor, flowers, and company, so it really was a special moment.
2. Our first kiss
3. Send off/pictures after- I surprised Chuck with “w” flags for our send off and it was just a fun way to celebrate with friends and family right after.
I also am glad we took pictures by ourselves with just Stephanie after as it gave us time to breath, relax, and enjoy being married just between us for a little bit that day before heading into the reception.
When it came to planning your wedding, what were your biggest concerns?
Chuck: “I’d say my biggest concern was always thinking, “what’d we miss?!”. Thankfully my wife is amazing at planning and was able to think of literally everything and then some. I did my best to support her in the process and try to make sure everything came together the best I could, but I definitely would have been lost without her.”
Emily: “I think my biggest concern was making sure the day reflected us including our commitment and love and wasn’t some spectacle that we felt uncomfortable with or like it was as show. We both just wanted everyone to have a good time and not be stressed or worried about timelines, etc… We of course wanted the atmosphere to reflect this as well.”
What advice would you give to someone who is planning their wedding?
“My biggest piece of advice is to be honest in planning and think about the things that are most important to you. We knew we wanted family and friends to enjoy themselves so that was a main goal. I’d also advise people to get to know their vendors for the day and be honest with them.
“All of our vendors were great at asking us questions to understanding what we wanted and how to reflect us in everything from the decor, flowers, music, food, and pictures. They are professionals so we trusted them and didn’t worry. And ask questions. I ask a lot of questions because I’ve never gotten married before, so I didn’t know some things and the vendors always had great advice.”
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding day?
Chuck: “Being able to share that moment with all of our family and friends was definitely worth all the stress of planning it. I couldn’t ask for a better partner and am grateful everyday that I get to spend the rest of my life with Emily.”
Emily: “We had a lot of family and friends that helped us make the day special and we are so grateful we shared it with them.”
Thanks for sharing your story, Emily and Chuck!! Your wedding was absolutely gorgeous!
Venue: Lakeside Country Club
Styling/Rentals: Two Sisters Event Design and Rental
DJ: Palma Entertainment
Florals: Growing Grounds
Invitations: The Copy Shop
Custom Watercolor: Elyce B Art
Cake: Sugar Mama Bakery
Wedding Dress: Adore Bridal Salon
Hair and Makeup: Textur Salon/Bryant Miller Salon
Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse
Bridesmaid Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu
Photography: Stephanie Wood Photography