Emma and Richard Smith
Written by: Alana Stewart
Photography by: Tiffany Caldwell Photography, tiffpics.com
Emma and Richard are both in the army—Emma as a chemical officer and Richard as an infantry officer.
Emma is from Kennett Square, Pa., and Richard is from Nesquehoning, Pa.
When and How They Met
Emma and Richard both attended West Point and met their freshman year. One of Emma’s friends was in Richard’s company and introduced them.
During their junior year at West Point, the couple both planned to travel home for the Martin Luther King Jr. long weekend from college. What Emma did not know however, was that Richard had driven to her parent’s house in Kennett Square to ask for their daughter’s hand in marriage. In March, as a birthday gift to Emma, Richard took her on a weekend getaway at a B&B. After treating her to a manicure and spa treatment, Emma had a feeling that a proposal was imminent. The following week, they drove to Emma’s favorite place, Longwood Gardens, where Richard popped the question inside the Conservatory at the Gardens.
The location: Richard visited multiple locations with Emma’s parents during his spring break while Emma was at Clemson University training for the crew team. Ultimately, Richard felt the Ivy at Dewey Beach was the perfect fit because of its beautiful view and great potential for a fun reception.
Theme: “We had a color scheme [navy blue and blush] and we knew that we wanted the decorations and everything to go with the location we picked, but we never really had a theme. We were both in our senior year at West Point while we were planning the entire wedding and had all this stuff going on, so there was not a lot of time for wedding planning,” Emma says. The couple did have the help of wedding planner Nikki Bailey (of élevée events & paper), whom they say took care of every little detail.
Best and Worst Parts of Wedding Planning
Emma: “The worst part was wanting to make all the little details perfect but not having the time to do that. It was stressful, but it all worked out.”
Richard: “The best part for me was definitely tasting the cake.”
The Morning of the Big Day, June 10, 2017
Richard: “I woke up around 10 a.m. and then we went to the beach—all the guys—to relax. We started getting ready in the early afternoon. We played a game outside while we waited called Hammerschalgen.”
Emma: “It’s a game where you have to hit nails into a stump. They were playing that in their tuxes. I got up pretty early. I had gotten my nails done about a week earlier but then the morning of my wedding I decided I didn’t like how they looked so I went and got them redone.”
Richard: “I’m Catholic and Emma’s Jewish so we had a joint ceremony. I got to break a glass with my foot.”
Emma and Richard also wrote their own vows.
“We literally didn’t leave the dance floor for the entire night,” says Emma. “They had to stop the music awkwardly because we needed to cut the cake. And then it was right back to dancing. We were both just graduating from college and all of our friends are in their 20s so we didn’t want any type of stuffy, sit-down wedding. We just wanted to have a big party, a big celebration.”
After the Reception
After heading to Northbeach in Dewey Beach after the reception, Emma and Richard stopped at Grotto Pizza—Emma in her dress and Richard in his uniform—to grab a slice.
Most Unexpected Parts of the Wedding Day
“There was a lot of singing by the cantor. He didn’t show up for the rehearsal so we didn’t know he was going to be singing. It was memorable,” says Emma. “We also had wedding crashers. The wedding planner and my maid of honor went over and they were out within 60 seconds.”
Favorite part of the wedding day
Emma: “I really loved reading our vows to each other. We both included the same joke without realizing it so it was just funny. And then, dancing, like all night. It was just so fun and I was so happy.”
Richard: “It was definitely seeing her walk down the aisle. I was a mess. Then, it would be the dance that I had with my mom. That was pretty sentimental for me.”
CEREMONY AND RECEPTION: Ivy, deweybeachweddings.com
WEDDING PLANNER: Nikki Bailey of élevée events & paper, eleveeevents.com
GOWN: Willowby by Watters from Claire’s Fashions, clairesfashions.net
BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: Lulu’s, lulus.com
GROOM’S SUIT: Army Service Uniform
GROOMSMENS’ SUITS: Jim’s Formal Wear, jimsformalwear.com
HAIR AND MAKEUP: Bad Hair Day?, badhairday.biz
NUMBER OF ATTENDEES: 150
FLORIST: Bayberry Flowers, bayberryflowers.net
CAKE: Carolina Sugar Fairy, carolinasugarfairy.com
STATIONERY: Wedding Paper Divas, shutterfly.com/wedding-paper-divas
MUSIC: DJ Amaze, icondjs.com
FIRST DANCE SONG: “Something I Need” OneRepublic