Emily and Mike Johnson don’t do boring and predictable. They take spontaneous trips down south, dance like no one’s watching, and squeeze every drop of life out of each moment. Thoughtfulness, excitement, and plain good timing were key to the beginning of this couple’s love story, and those elements carried through to their wedding day as well.
The two met during their freshman year of college and went on a few dates, but eventually grew apart because they went to different schools. As fate would have it, the pair reconnected their senior year while Mike was in Minneapolis for an internship. They became serious, but it was Emily calling all the shots. “The ball was basically in my court, because Mike was just so nice and not really aggressive,” says Emily. “I didn’t really show my feelings,” Mike adds.
But Mike would soon take the future into his own hands. Shortly after the relationship began, Emily and Mike took a trip to Florida that sealed the deal. As they danced the night away to “Sweet Home Alabama” in a little Florida bar, they didn’t know it at the time, but they were making a very special memory. “I think that trip really helped propel us down a more serious path,” Mike says. “So I knew that I wanted to propose in Florida.”
Almost four years later, when the time came, Mike hadn’t forgotten what that trip meant to them. He planned another vacation to Florida for the two of them, asked her parents for permission, and told them his plan: Emily thought they were going to a bed and breakfast in Wisconsin right up until the night before they were supposed to leave. “It was literally, like, 11 p.m. and I was just in the midst of packing for a cooler climate, so it was for sure a curveball,” Emily recalls.
But the surprises didn’t stop there. While the couple was enjoying the warm Florida weather and beautiful scenery in a state park, Mike was preparing to throw his biggest curveball yet. He pulled two iPods from his pocket, and when he and Emily pressed play, “Sweet Home Alabama” began playing and they danced just like they had on that first trip. When the song ended, Mike proposed.
Given their fun and personal engagement, it’s no surprise that Emily and Mike took the same approach when planning their wedding, and truly wanted to make it an experience for their guests as well. The perfect August weather and outdoor venue set the tone for the night to come, while a slew of wedding activites afforded no time for dull and boring for anyone in attendance. Guests played bean bag toss, bocce ball, and ladder golf while soaking up the sun at the Camrose Hill Flower Farm. A cigar bar and Minnesota beers on tap kept the good times rolling. The couple also made sure to spend time with everyone who came to share their day, making a game out of trying to take a picture with every table during the course of one song.
Although there were plenty of laughs shared, the couple also incorporated sentimentality throughout the evening. They wrote their own vows, and to symbolize their union during the ceremony, they watered a baby tree that is now planted in their backyard. The groomsmen wore argyle socks as a tribute to Emily’s grandfather, who was known for his “outrageous” sock collection. They even had a candy bar featuring “Emily Andes Mints,” “Mike and Em’s,” and “M & Em’s” as a unique and playful treat.
Emily and Mike’s fun-filled wedding day was a testament to the couple’s knack for finding joy in everything. The mixture of fun activities and personal touches made it a day both the guests and the couple truly enjoyed.
Date: August 9, 2013
Bride's Gown: Mori Lee from Heartstrings Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: Alice “DressbLee” from Etsy
Groom’s Attire: Alfani suit from Macy’s
Groomsmen Attire: Suits from Target
Ceremony/Reception Venue: Camrose Hill Flower Farm
Photographer: La Vie Photography
Videographer: Driftwood Media
Planning: Melanie Vejdani, Hire a Host
Makeup: Asia Schultz
Hair: Ashley Bergquist
Flowers: Camrose Hill Flower Farm
Wait Staff: Hire a Host
Rentals: Ultimate Events
Bridal Jewelry: Charming Charlie
Ceremony Music: Jim Falbo Guitar
DJ: Complete DJ
Rings: Blue Nile
Cupcakes: Cub Foods