Bride Spotlight: Emma

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Happy  wedding week to Emma and Bob!!! Their wedding week is officially here, and I am incredibly excited for Emma and Bob to be married this weekend! Emma and Bob are the sweetest couple with such giving, generous hearts, and I have loved getting to know them (and Emma’s mom!) throughout their engagement and wedding planning process! Their ceremony is going to be such a special, personalized, faith-filled, and joyous time that reflects who they are as a couple, their hearts and faith, and God’s abundant, unconditional love for all of us. I already know there are going to be so many happy tears and big smiles as Emma and Bob become husband and wife!

Their ceremony is taking place outside under a clear top tent, which is such a beautiful, organic addition to their ceremony location. Top it off with a wooden cross, soft draping, an abundance of flowers in white and soft mauve, organic greenery installations, dove grey programs, and their beautiful bridesmaids and dapper groomsmen… perfection!

As you may imagine, 2020 is a hard year to be a bride to be and to plan your wedding! Emma and Bob’s graciousness, flexibility, joy, and understanding during this hard, unprecedented time is truly admirable, and I couldn’t ask for a sweeter, more trusting couple (or parents)! We’ve pivoted a lot of their original wedding plans many times, and I am so, so excited that their wedding is almost here and that they are able to celebrate with their families and friends. Though their ceremony is not quite what any of us ever imagined when we started planning a year ago, it’s going to be an incredibly joyful, meaningful, and truly memorable first day of marriage as Emma and Bob are married and celebrated by their loved ones! It has been such an honor and joy to be a part of their wedding planning process and to get to know them. Emma and Bob are incredibly genuine, thoughtful, dedicated, passionate, loving people who clearly bring out the best in one another. I also love that they met online like we did!

At the end of the day, even with some changes and updates (and plenty of safety precautions, of course!), it’s going to be the sweetest, most faith-filled, and most beautiful day as Emma and Bob are married! It’s such a joyful occasion to celebrate with their beloved family and friends and to kick off married life for them in such a special, heartfelt, memorable, and meaningful way. Emma and Bob, your wedding week is finally here, and I hope you feel nothing but an abundance of love, excitement, and joy as you two are married and are celebrated with such profound joy and excitement! You were clearly made for one another, and your love is so inspiring.

I’m so excited to share Emma’s bride spotlight with you today, where you can learn more about the two of them, their love story, and what they’re most excited about on their wedding day and for their ceremony! Also, are they not the most attractive couple just bursting with joy?! Their love simply radiates in their engagement session by the amazing Kelsey Nelson Photography — swoon!

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1.Tell us about you and your fiancé, Bob, and more about your love story.

Bob is a Matthews, NC (near Charlotte) native, but moved to Raleigh for college where he attended NC State University. Bob is the oldest of 5 children, and his family resides in his hometown of Matthews, NC. Bob graduated college and began a job with a Bio Pharma company in Raleigh where he still works today as a Manufacturing Lead. I am a Raleigh native, but attended UNC Wilmington for college where I graduated, and worked for about a year and a half following as a Child Protective Services Investigative Social Worker. I am the second of 4 children, and my family resides in Raleigh, NC.  During my senior year of college, a Raleigh friend convinced me to download a dating app “just for fun” while home in Raleigh on Christmas break. I downloaded the app, and matched with Bob that same night.  We officially met a week later in January of 2018. I returned to Wilmington following Christmas break to finish out my senior year of college. During this time, Bob would reach out regularly and we would go on dates whenever I was in Raleigh visiting family and friends.  Following college I accepted a job in Wilmington, NC and by this time I was sure Bob probably just wanted to be friends.  However, he had other plans and continued to patiently pursue me even through distance. In May 2018, Bob and I made it official and began our dating relationship.   Bob’s consistency, patience, and commitment through the many challenges that come with dating long distance and working opposite schedules are just a few of the things that I grew to love in Bob.  On January 26th, 2020 Bob proposed at Jones Chapel, Meredith College in Raleigh where our wedding reception was formerly set to be held. I moved to Raleigh several weeks following our engagement.  On October 18th, 2020 Bob and I will start our life together as husband and wife and live in Raleigh.

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2. How have your wedding plans changed due to the pandemic and what did you and Bob decide to do? How has it been for you?

Bob and I originally planned to get married at Jones Chapel with the reception at Merrimon-Wynne, however, due to the pandemic we ultimately decided to move our ceremony to Merrimon-Wynne and our reception to an outdoor venue. The planning process has been difficult with many twists and turns, but it has also had many sweet moments of remembering that this day is ultimately about our love and commitment to one another.

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3. What are you most excited about your wedding day? Do you have a moment that you’re most anticipating?

Bob and I are not doing a first look, so we are both greatly anticipating the moment we first see each other when I am walking down the aisle. I am also so excited for the morning getting ready at Merrimon-Wynne with my mom and best girls.

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4. What was your biggest inspiration for your ceremony?

Bob and I wanted our ceremony to be faith-focused and to showcase our love for each other and God’s love for us.

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5. What advice do you have for 2020 brides and for planning a wedding during a pandemic?

My biggest advice to 2020 brides is to just enjoy the ride no matter how bumpy and to keep your love for your fiance as your number one priority.  While there is always something to be done, prioritize time with your fiance preparing for your marriage and remembering why you wanted to get married in the first place.  It is so easy to lose sight of this in the stress and excitement of planning, but coming back to this each time will make it all worth it!

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6. What is something you’re passionate about? What are some things you and Bob love to do together?
I am passionate about child welfare and trauma recovery, and hope to return to school to earn a clinical licensure as a trauma therapist.  Bob and I love to spend time with our families and friends, take hikes, travel to the mountains, eat Mexican food, and watch TV series together over a bucket of popcorn.

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7. What has been the biggest surprise in the wedding planning process?

The biggest surprise for me has been how many details there are. I never knew all the planning and decisions that need to be made to pull off the day!

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8. What is your favorite part of your ceremony design?

My favorite part of our ceremony design is our floral arrangement/wooden cross made by a family friend!

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9. What is your favorite thing about Bob?

My favorite thing about Bob is his genuineness and loyalty.  With Bob, what you see is what you get, and all those close to him know that they can rely on him to show up when it matters.  He is a friend to many, and I feel very blessed to get to call him my forever best friend!

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Stayed tuned this weekend for lots of sneak peeks of their ceremony on my Instagram! I already can’t wait to see it all come to life for Emma and Bob as we celebrate this joyous, gorgeous day!

all photos by the wonderful Kelsey Nelson Photography

As a note, this wedding ceremony is taking place in accordance with all current state and local government mandates and ordinates and CDC recommendations for wedding ceremonies in North Carolina. We are all taking countless health and safety precautions for both guests and vendors and adhering to all required and recommended safety measures for their ceremony. I just had to add in this little caveat that their wedding ceremony, which is the only part of the day Stephanie Shaul Events is planning, is very much legal and allowed in North Carolina and at their venue – and that the health and safety of their families, friends, and vendors are incredibly important concerns to all of us.

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