Emily and James Snow’s love story began in New England and took them to Nashville and Kansas City before they tied the knot in Arkansas this past May.
The couple met when they were both working for AmeriCorps out of Boston. First co-workers and then friends, their feelings developed into something deeper after two years together in the program. When Emily decided to move to Nashville for a teaching position, James followed her, even though he had never been west of the Appalachians.
James could already tell they had something special.
“It just felt so right,” he explains. “In relationships that I’d had in the past, nothing ever felt like it clicked in the same way that it had with Emily. I just knew.”
When James and Emily decided to move again, this time to Kansas City, it was swiftly followed by an engagement. They settled in KC in June 2016, and over July 4th weekend, James asked for Emily’s parents’ blessing to propose. In September, he planned out a day for Emily that started with making her favorite morning dish (breakfast tacos) and included a shopping excursion.
“I had a bunch of bags in my hand and he stopped me and said, ‘Wait a second, there’s something else that I want you to have with you.’ That’s when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I think it took me a really long time to respond,” Emily laughs.
“She was freaking out in a positive way,” James adds.
Emily initially had a venue in her home state of Arkansas in mind, but it quickly became apparent it couldn’t hold all their guests. Her parents offered up their beautiful backyard surrounded by lush green woods. Given Emily’s close bond with her family, it was a fitting solution.
Because those family relationships are so important to her, she naturally wanted to make sure her mom and grandma were present when she chose her dress. They were in Kansas City for a day looking at gowns, but nothing seemed quite right. Emily had found Savvy Bridal online and, joined by her sister on FaceTime, made it their last stop.
“It was just a really great experience,” she says. “There was no one else there, and we had really good service. It was really important and special for me that all of the ladies that had raised me in my life were able to be there in an intimate environment.”
As for the dress she chose, “It was true for me that I ended up getting kind of the opposite of what I thought I was going to get,” Emily says. She envisioned herself in something bohemian but ultimately fell for a backless mermaid-cut gown with straps adorned with small, overlapping leaves, a charming touch for the wedding the Snows describe as a garden tea party.
“We served all the food on mismatched china plates, and we had an ice cream truck and yard games, but we tried to go for an elegant feel,” Emily says.
The ice cream truck, owned by the family of one of Emily’s bridesmaids, was one of many contributions by family and friends that helped ensure their special day was one to remember.
“Literally every detail in our wedding was brought to us by either family or family friends, Emily says. “It was really neat.”
Another such detail stands out as a highlight of the wedding for Emily. One of her close friends assembled a string quartet and performed Kishi Bashi’s “Manchester” during the processional. The song made such an impact on her when she first heard it during a concert in 2011 that she recorded it on her phone and looked it up when she got home so that someday she could get married to it.
“Hearing my very favorite song sung by one of my dearest friends, standing next to my dad knowing the door is going to open and I’m about to marry the love of my life, that was a moment of clarity and also just a lot of excitement,” she says.
James’ favorite moment came after the ceremony and reception when the couple was taking photos.
“Those were the moments that felt the best for me because we were just reveling in it,” he says. “We were standing there posing for pictures just looking into each other’s eyes. It was just like, ‘Wow, we’re married. This is the best day.”
Photographer: Sterling Imageworks