Real Richmond Wedding | Emily and Wes | EmmiClaire Photography

Emily - Wes - EmmiClaire Photography

Emily + Wes
October 10, 2020

Tell us how you met and about the proposal
“We’ve known each other since the 6th grade but never thought we’d end up falling in love. We ran in separate social circles in middle and high school so by the time college rolled around, we lost touch and for years never crossed each other’s minds.

Emily - Wes - EmmiClaire Photography

In 2014, a mutual friend from high school, Mariea, was celebrating her birthday at Wes’s house. With no clue whose house she was going to, Emily was shocked when Wes opened his front door. We never thought we’d cross paths again, let alone hit it off like we did.

We quickly forged a strong connection over our love of food, nature and adventure, so we decided to be each other’s ‘adventure buddy.’ After a few travel and laughter-filled years Emily pursued her dream of graduate school in New Zealand. The distance made our relationship even stronger. Wes visited Em in NZ a handful of times (dedication!) and on his last trip down under, we visited the epic Milford Sound. It was a dreadful, dreary day and not a single mountain could be seen through the fog. But with 30 mins left of our trip, the sun came out of hiding and so did the mountains.

Wes wanted to grab just one more picture – Em begrudgingly said yes. Little did Em know, the picture was actually a video. As she made faces at the camera, Wes got down one on knee and proposed. We spent the rest of our trip in utter happiness then traveled back to the states to start our life in our new home in Richmond, VA.”

Emily - Wes - EmmiClaire Photography

Their wedding day
The couple states, “We did it with a lot of help from our family & friends!” Original plans included a big wedding in their backyard. However, due to Covid-19 they decided to scale it back to immediate family only. “A tree fall on our house 2 months before the wedding, so we changed the location to Wes’ grandmother’s beautiful property. Our families really pitched in to make it a special day – from helping with set up, to makeup/attire, to DJ-ing… it was truly a family-made event.”

Emily - Wes - EmmiClaire Photography_0101

WOW factor
“We really wanted to convey our love for each other. We didn’t want much fanfare to take away from the true reason of coming together – to celebrate the deep love we have for each other and to honor the joining of two families.”

Emily - Wes - EmmiClaire Photography

Favorite parts of the day?
“The ceremony was our absolute favorite. We chose to do a ‘warming of the rings’ where we passed our rings around for everyone to hold and transfer a bit of their love into each ring. It was a powerful moment to put on a ring that carried so much positive energy! We also wrote our own vows which was truly special.”

Emily - Wes - EmmiClaire Photography

Biggest challenge 
“Covid-19 was a challenge to ensure we could celebrate safely. The tree that wrecked our house 2 months before the wedding was quite a challenge – having to navigate that and change ceremony/reception sites at the last minute!”

Best advice
“Wedding planning is stressful but the memories of the night are what you’ll remember most. Make sure to communicate openly, compromise when you disagree, laugh throughout the process, and remember why you’re doing this.”

Emily - Wes - EmmiClaire Photography

Life updates
“We held a big anniversary party in 2021 for all the friends & family that were unable to make it to the 2020 wedding. We’ve since started our own businesses, gotten a new puppy, and welcome life’s changes.”

Further Credits

Engagement Photography: David Vaamonde & Sarah Abogabir | Rehearsal Dinner: Bookbinder’s Seafood & Steakhouse | Videography: Alex James Prior | Ceremony/Reception Site Wes’ Grandmother’s Garden | Caterer: Goodrich Gourmet Catering Company | Officiant: Melody Porter – Living For Love | Gown: BHLDN | Alterations: Fariba’s Bridal Alterations & Custom Design | Shoes: Soludos | Hair: Cynthia Martin – sister of the bride |
Jewelry – Engagement Ring: Nobel Yates Fine Jewelry; Em’s wedding band: De Aguiar Fine Jewelry; Wes’ wedding band: Blue Nile | Formalwear: Jos. A. Bank | Stationery: Zola | Flowers: Blooming Heirlooms | Cake/Sweets: Scoop – Ice Cream Cake | Favors: The Handmade Favour – pressed flower glass frames; That Party Chick – mini hand sanitizers | Nails: Shannon Ngo

*All information provided by the featured couple. Richmond Weddings™ is not responsible for discovering and adding vendors who were not on the completed submission form.*