Emily DeMers and Chris Welsh’s journey to matrimony began on a musical note: They met at a concert, where Emily was photographing a band headlined by one of Chris’s good friends. This chance encounter turned into regular meet-ups at the band’s shows, and, after a few months, became something more.
The pair dated for two and a half years as they solidified their connection and their careers. Emily was finishing her accounting degree, while Chris entered the field of behavior therapy. Creative dates took the two to Foo Fighter concerts and on outdoor adventures—a passion of Chris’s that Emily soon picked up—but on Chris’s chosen proposal day, the weather wasn’t in their favor. “It was a horrible, rainy day,” Emily says. Stuck indoors, Chris suggested they pass the time with a board game. He harangued Emily to play until she finally opened the box to set it up. Inside lay the ring.
As the two began planning their wedding, collaboration was the key component to making the process a smooth one. Chris and Emily worked together to create an elegant, simple ceremony. “The decisions were easier to make knowing Chris cared just as much as I did,” Emily says. Emily was putting in long hours at work during much of the planning process, so Chris took on a number of duties—from calling vendors to making invitations. The invitations proved to be one of the few snags in execution. Opting for handmade invites, the couple went through dozens of drafts before settling on the perfect design. Even the cake was a collaboration. It featured two flavors, so the bride and groom could both indulge in their favorite kind—raspberry chocolate for Chris, and Neapolitan, a childhood favorite, for Emily.
Simplicity and ease of execution remained a focus throughout the entire process. This was partially for the sake of the guests, with much of Chris’s family traveling from as far as California and North Carolina for the celebration. The Wilds in Prior Lake made their choice of venue easy—with space for the ceremony and reception, and an on-site caterer, the all-in-one option was too good to pass up. Emily and Chris also took advantage of Minnesota’s natural beauty, offsetting the rich fall colors with dramatic floral arrangements. “It didn’t need any more than that,” says Emily.
The big day turned out to be the intimate celebration with friends and family the couple had hoped for—with a few fun surprises. In addition to Emily keeping her dress design a secret from everyone besides her mom and sister, an unexpected guest during the post-ceremony photo shoot made for an unforgettable experience. While posing for pictures in downtown Prior Lake, a police officer stopped his car by the wedding party. Expecting a scolding for taking photos in the middle of the street, Emily and Chris were shocked when the officer offered up his squad car as a prop for the shoot. “Dan, our photographer, lit up like a kid on Christmas,” Emily says.
The day’s final high note came from the best man, Steve Rhoden—the same friend whose band headlined the concert where Chris and Emily first met. His toast to the couple honored Emily and Chris in the most fitting way: a personalized song created by the man whose music first brought them together.
Date: October 27, 2012
Ceremony/Reception Location: The Wilds, Prior Lake
Dress Designer: Lazaro
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff
Groom’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank
Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank
Rings: Wedding Day Diamonds
Photographer: Dan Buettner of Dan’s Photography
Caterer: The Wilds, Prior Lake
Flowers: Stems and Vines, Prior Lake
Music/Entertainment: Bellagala DJ
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