Emily & Dakota’s Wedding

After their intimate wedding the couple went to Lake Lure, NC for an afternoon boating, tequila and fun!

Of her Isolde gown, Emily said “I seriously went to at least 8 different bridal shops and didn’t think it was going to take me that long to find “the one”.  It was down to the last appointment in the third city shopping and getting really nervous that I wasn’t going to find it.  Since I had tried on so many dresses I knew what I wanted and pulled 4 from the Tara Lauren collection that was there.  I tried on two from other designers but quickly took them off. The second I put on the Isolde dress I knew it was it.  It was sexy but classic with a boho vibe. That was it!”

Names: Emily & Dakota

Wedding Date: 8/22/20

Guest Numbers: 40

Wedding Location: Private Property Hendersonville, NC

Photographer: Victoria Grace Photography

Videography: Peak Of The Mountain Productions

Tell Us Your Love Story

How did you meet?

Through a mutual friend (Ben – Groomsman).  He invited us both to a Halloween Party.  We both were seeing other people at the time but this is when we first laid eyes on each other – Emily dressed as Batman and Dakota as Hugh Hefner.

Over the next year we had kept in touch hanging out with that same group of friends.  Another year later, Dakota finally decided to ask me out on a date after he realized I was into him when I came to his 28th birthday dinner. It was about a week later when we had the best (last) first date!  We went to a seafood restaurant first, then martini’s at an ocean front bar, followed by a dive bar cocktail and ended the night at a cigar bar.  A few weeks later was St. Patrick’s day and when he used his sense of humor to ask me to be his girlfriend. He gave me a multiple choice question asking “How do you want me to introduce you?”

A. Friend
B. Ex-wife
C. Side piece
D. Girlfriend

Of course I chose D.

How did he put a ring on it?

This all started with our love for two teams that were scheduled to play each other in November of 2018.  It was (and maybe) the last time that Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady play on the same field so there was no way we were going to miss the game since I’m a huge Green Bay Packers Fan and he’s a New England Patriots fan.  We paid a lot of money for some nosebleed seats but planned our trip up to Boston for what I thought the only reason was to see the game.  Little did I know….Dakota was also planning on proposing the day before. He had it all planned out.

One of his friends from high school lives up there and he said we were going to meet up with him for the day and go down to Scituate, MA. Well, Dakota’s not great at keeping secrets and nerves got to him the same day we landed in Boston. Not even 15 minutes into our stroll around downtown did Dakota burst into tears and said “I have to tell you why we’re really here.” He proceeded to tell me how much he loved me and that he wanted to marry me. No ring, no down on one knee proposal – just him pouring out his heart in a city we both love, and I said yes. (I’m crying thinking about it again lol!)

When we got back to the Airbnb that night he wanted to give me the ring so badly but I told him that he should go through with the plans he had already set for the next day.  He did and right before he got down on one knee at the lighthouse a beautiful rainbow came across the sky.  It was like a sign from his father in heaven blessing us and sharing that special moment.

I should also mention that the diamond he gave me is the one is dad picked out for his mom.

Where did you draw inspiration from?

Pinterest and nature!  I love flowers and knew I wanted a dress that spoke like it belonged at an outdoor venue.

What made the wedding personal to you?

Even though we originally planned for a 200 person wedding and only ended up with 40 of our closest family and friends, the intimacy of being able to spend time with each of the guests made it so special. With the restrictions that the NC governor put on gatherings during COVID, we couldn’t even host having our small wedding at the original outdoor spot. We ended up having the ceremony on Dakota’s father’s close friends’ land. This was very special to him since father passed away suddenly a couple years ago. The land was something that made him like his father was a part of the ceremony. We sprinkled some of his ashes post ceremony.

What were you most nervous or excited about?

Well with COVID just making sure all the people who made the trip to come felt comfortable and still had fun!  The only other thing was saying my vows. I’m horrible at public speaking and knowing we were going to be mic’d for the video made me even more nervous to not mess it up.

Now, the most important part – the Dress!

Tell us about your dress? 

I seriously went to at least 8 different bridal shops and didn’t think it was going to take me that long to find “the one”.  It was down to the last appointment in the third city shopping and getting really nervous that I wasn’t going to find it.  I had arranged to meet my sisters, mom and step mom in Chicago because it was important to have them there when making the decision. If I wasn’t going to find it that weekend I was going to be really bummed.  Since I had tried on so many dresses I knew what I wanted and pulled 4 from the Tara Lauren collection that was there.  I tried on two from other designers but quickly took them off. The second I put on the Isolde dress I knew it was it.  It was sexy but classic with a boho vibe. That was it!

What stockist did you get it from?

Lovely Bride, Chicago

What was your most memorable moment from your day?

Oh man, it’s hard to narrow it down because it was so much fun!  I’m sure everyone says “when I got to say I do”. But for me, it was seeing all of our family and close friends together and having fun even though for most of them it was their first time meeting. With all the craziness 2020 has brought so far, we got to take a moment and just be all together safely.

After the ceremony we went down to Lake Lure, NC where we had rented pontoon boats for the rest of the day. Dakota and I went out on our own board first, took a shot of tequila and jumped in the lake. We had done this at the end of our engagement shoot and thought it would be fun to do it again. We had hired Billingsley Rocks originally for the big wedding day but instead of canceling, they were super cool and agreed to come down to play on a floating dock. So our “reception” was all of us just floating around in the sunshine with family and friends while listening to a live band until the sunset. It was no way traditional but sure was something we’ll talk about forever!

Vendors to credit:

Photography by Victoria Grace Photography    //   Dress Tara Lauren from Lovely Bride   //   Jewelry  Amarnam   //   Veil Lamnhi Bridal   //   Suit Indochino   //   Ties BHLDN, The Tie Bar, J Crew   //   Videography Peak Of The Mountain Productions  //   Flowers Etsy  //  Make Up Andrea Albers  //  Hair Shelby Miller  //  Bridesmaid Dresses  ASOS, Lulu’s, Maltic Born Clothing, BHLDN & Show Me Your Mumu //   Decorations Dakota made the Arbor!   //   Boat Rentals Lake Lure Adventure Company  //  Tequila  Casamigos

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