1. Tell me your “love story!” You can include how you met, your first date, your proposal, memorable moments—anything that encapsulates your journey together!
Our story started the summer of 2016 at Otsego Lake. Emily and Josh both spent the majority of their summer weekends up north – Emily on one side of the lake at her Grandma’s cabin and Josh on the other at his buddy’s. After spending many afternoons boating together, Josh made the trek across the lake for an evening campfire. As the summer went on, one campfire led to another and by the end of summer their first date was planned. Josh showed up with flowers in hand, but wouldn’t tell Emily where they were going. After an hour plus car ride, they arrived at their destination. Our first date was a romantic walk along the beach in Caseville followed by a sunset sitting on the pier. We ended the night at the Thumb Brewery where we planned our next date- a Detroit Lions Football game. Over the next two years, Josh and Emily’s relationship grew stronger and stronger. Josh and Emily remained long-distance – Josh in southeast Michigan and Emily in southwest Michigan as Emily finished out pharmacy school and her residency program. On Saturday May 26, 2018, Josh got down on one knee where our story began: Otsego Lake. With the biggest smile, Emily said yes, and the rest was history.
2. What are your favorite things about each other?
Emily: Josh is a truly genuine man. I fell in love with his smile and adventurous nature. As our journey began, I realized how dependable and supportive Josh was/is. Josh was by my side through 2 very tough years as I finished out pharmacy school and as I completed my post-graduate residency program. Josh was there providing me encouragement and support. He spent many nights that we could’ve been out creating memories sitting at home quizzing me and helping me study for my board exams.
Josh: Emily is so incredibly kind, and she really brings out the best in me. I always have a great time with her – whether we are out exploring or just relaxing at home. Emily doesn’t judge, and has always made me feel comfortable – and the best part is she is always herself as well. She is incredibly smart and hard-working, and every bit as competitive as I am – I am still amazed at how easily she fit right in to the tailgate crew for Lions games.
3. Who did most of the planning? How did the two of you take on the process/balance it between each other? How involved were your families?
Josh and I were equal players in the planning process. It was very helpful that my brother and sister-in-law were getting married 6 months before us so we had a template to follow on what needed to be completed and when. Both of our families were very involved in the planning process and we all had so much fun. Both moms were awesome helpers and provided great support – they came to the HORIZONS Showcase and were at the food and cupcake samplings. We couldn’t have done it without our mother’s support as they did a lot of the running and dropping off of items as Josh and I weren’t in the area every weekend as he lived in Detroit area and I in Kalamazoo.
4. Favorite part of the planning process?
Food/dessert tasting! We also had a lot of fun picking out our floral and table arrangements.
5. What is one piece of advice you have for engaged couples in the wedding planning process?
Enjoy the process. It will feel like a lot of planning and you will wonder how all the details will come together the day of the wedding. It’s easier said than done, but don’t sweat the small stuff. Your day will go flawlessly.
6. Looking back on your wedding day, what is one thing about it/or part of it that you loved?
I loved seeing everything come together. We spent the previous 8-9 months planning this one day. The months leading up to the wedding we picked floral arrangements, DJ, videographer, color scheme, dresses/tuxes, food, desserts and we always wondered what is it going to be like the day of the wedding when everything comes together. It came together beautifully and I couldn’t be any happier with how the day turned out.
7. What is one thing/part you wish you did differently?
Nothing. The day in my eyes was flawless.
8. What is one piece of advice you have for the wedding day?
Relax and have fun. The day goes by in the blink of an eye. Take time to soak up every detail from smelling your flowers to feeling the fabric of your dress. It is truly an amazing experience and will jump start the next chapter of your lives as a married couple.
9. Why did you choose HORIZONS for your wedding venue?
We knew our wedding guest list was going to be large so we needed a large enough venue to accommodate all our guests. We ended up taking up 3 whole sections of the beautiful ballroom. In addition 6 months prior to our wedding, my brother and sister-in-law were getting married at the Temple Theater and had Ernie as their wedding coordinator. They had such a phenomenal experience that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with Ernie and his staff.
10. What was your wedding style/vision? Were there any special/unique décor items, etc. that you included/HORIZONS provided?
Our style was “elegant”. Our venue colors were plum and gray which were a beautiful accent to the wedding color scheme with the girls in dusty purple and the guys in gray. All our floral arrangements both at the church and at HORIZONS was provided by Petra from HORIZONS. She did an amazing job. She is so sweet and very pleasant to work with
11. Were there any traditions you included in your day?
Bouquet/Garter toss, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance
12. Any other comments/advice/stories about working with HORIZONS?
HORIZONS was phenomenal to work with. Ernie was there every step of the way keeping us on track. Our planning was unique in that I was living in Kalamazoo at the time so our weekends for planning were limited. Ernie always found time for us. Ernie went above and beyond even contacting us to come look at the ballroom when it was set up for another occasion when we were still contemplating how we wanted our layout to look like. Petra from HORIZONS did all of our floral arrangements and we couldn’t have been any happier. The altar arrangements, pew decorations, table decorations, head table decorations etc were absolutely beautiful. Petra came to the church and made sure everything was set up and in place prior to heading off to finish decorating HORIZONS.