Meet A DSE Bride: Emily

October 22, 2014

Emily is SO MUCH fun!! I love her, truly!!! We actually met through friends-of-friends years ago and stayed connected via Facebook. I was honored when she emailed me right after I started DSE and she became one of the first brides to book me!!!

She’s one of those brides who truly is a “friend” and I know we’ll keep in touch even after Wedding Day!! She’s also is an amazing maternity, newborn & portrait photographer… her business is growing & changing so much & I can’t WAIT to see her new brand launch!!! I definitely plan on calling her (in a few YEARS!) when Matt and I are at that stage of our lives!!:)

She also has a DREAM TEAM of wedding vendors making the magic happening!!! I am SO excited to work with Amanda and Katelyn!!!:) Matt and I can’t WAIT to celebrate their marriage with them & our so humbled to be involved! Friends, meet Emily!!:)


Your Name: Emily

Your Sweetheart’s Name: Mark

How’d you meet?!  Mark and I met through our roommates when he had just graduated from dental school and I was starting Grad school at VCU. I was having a problem with one of my teeth and he jumped at the chance to help me out. Several text message conversations later, I went down to his office, and he took me out for lunch, which I didn’t think much of until he referred to me as “babe” in front of his assistant! The rest is history!

Fill in this statement: we go together like Donuts and sprinkles, well the ones with vanilla icing and sprinkles at least, they’re our favorites!

When did you know he was going to be your husband? Did he know before you? I knew I wanted to marry Mark after I had been in a car accident in which I totaled my car. I only ended up with a concussion, and my parents were traveling out of town, so Mark stepped up and took care of me while I recovered. He has been there every time since then that I’ve been sick, or had surgery etc, so he has definitely seen me at my worse! Mark knew before I did, he even says he knew when we first met! I don’t believe him, although he did “propose” to me when I offered to iron one of his shirts once. It should be known that to this day I have only ever ironed one shirt of his and he still wants to marry me!


How’d be put that pretty sparkle on your hand?! Were you surprised? Did you cry, scream, jump up & down? Early in the summer of 2013 Mark and I had decided to take a trip to Niagara Falls. Mark had bought the ring in July and figured he would wait until a good opportunity arose and stuck to a plan of having, well, no plan. Life got busy with new jobs, moving, and family events, which left our trip to Niagara Falls as the only opportunity for Mark to propose.

We headed up one Friday in the fall to Niagara. I told myself repeatedly to “not be upset if we don’t come home engaged”. Mark pointed out on the elevator that there would be fireworks over the falls that evening, knowing I LOVE fireworks we decided we needed to go. After an out of this world steak dinner with a view of the falls we went down to watch the show.

I always said I didn’t want to be around a lot of people when it happened, and Mark noticed the crowd of people headed back up to the hotel, so he suggested we take a walk. We started walking along when Mark began saying a lot of sweet things that I, like most, cannot remember. I can remember saying “yeah, why are you telling me this” after being slightly skeptical all day and a joking proposal at lunch when our song randomly came on. At that point Mark stopped me so I was facing him and got down on one knee, and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I didn’t answer his question; instead I just hugged him and asked him if he was serious about 80 times! We spent the rest of the weekend celebrating ourselves before we went home and shared the news with our family and friends, who all claim “they knew it was happening”!

When & where are you two getting married? What made you decide on your venue and the time of year?  Mark and I actually had our first real date at the Cathedral downtown, and early on in our relationship we said we would get married there. Our families knew that was our plan and happily agreed it would not only be a beautiful place to have our wedding but it also meant something special to us! Once we were engaged, I contacted the Cathedral about available dates for the fall of 2014, as well as our photographer to make sure she would be available! November 1st was the date that matched for both so it was an easy decision. We wanted a reception venue that was elegant and inside, and the John Marshall Ballrooms were just that as well as convenient for our guests!

Describe your wedding in three words: elegant, classic, simple!

Okay, now tell me more: theme, color, styles, must-haves? We don’t have a “theme” other than keeping it simple and classic! Our colors are gold and azalea which is like a berry color! Must-haves: our family and friends to celebrate with us, good food and music to dance to!


What’s your favorite wedding blog or magazine? This is a tough one for me! I bought a few magazines when we first got engaged but never found a favorite! I liked southern weddings because they gave real marriage advice as opposed to only using the magazine as a marketing tool for weddings. I also keep up with my vendors blogs-specifically Dear Sweetheart events (yes, you’re getting a shout out on your own blog!) Katelyn James, and Amanda Veronee to name a few of my dream team!

What have you loved most about planning your wedding? Getting to spend so much extra time with Mark, my mom, sister, and bridesmaids for sure! It has been a team effort!

What’s been the most difficult? Trying to keep everyone happy!! I am pretty decisive and also have tried to keep my focus on preparing my relationship for a marriage, so I don’t let myself get caught up on decisions, but sometimes that means having to explain those decisions to others involved who may not agree.

Have you always dreamed about your wedding day, or is this a new thing for you? How has your dream changed over the course of your engagement? I don’t think I ever “dreamed” of my wedding day, more so the guy I was going to marry. I was focused on finding the qualities I felt like I needed in a partner. Throughout the course of our engagement and wedding planning, I’ve just reminded myself that while it is an important day, it is only ONE day of the rest of our lives, and I refuse to be stressed out about it!

What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day (besides being his wife!!)? Getting to celebrate our marriage! It is always a work in progress and our wedding day is the one day that our friends and family get to be there to celebrate that with us!


Are you two taking a honeymoon? Where to & what do you plan to do? YES! We are going to Grenada, and I am so excited! I haven’t had many opportunities to travel so we do plan to explore the island a bit but relaxing is our main priority!

Why is marriage so important to you two? What are you most excited about or nervous about? BABIES!….just kidding, I am certain that’s what our friends think we would say, although its probably what Mark would say he is most nervous about! For the record, I am primarily a birth and newborn photographer so its no secret I love babies! On a much more serious note, we are most excited about “making it official”. While we both feel we have been committed to each other for some time now, there is definitely going to be a big difference in the commitment we make to each other on our wedding day when we officially become each others life partners.

Do you have any advice for the newly engaged? Or do you have any questions for the already married? For those newly married, I would definitely ask what is one thing you would change about your engagement period, or even particularly the last few weeks before the wedding! I would like these last few weeks to be as stress free as possible!

For the recently engaged-I would say: keep your focus on your relationship! You’re going to have to make more decisions with your soon-to-be spouse in those few months or a year of planning than you’re probably used to, and everyone will have their opinions about your decisions. In my mind its only a small dose of what we will face in our marriage and as long as your relationship stays strong and is the focus it will be a breeze, I hope!


xo!! kat

(( Images by Katelyn James ))



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