What an honor to document this beautiful day for Emily and Ian and their families! In the months leading up to the wedding, I’d get fun weekly updates from Emily’s mom, Betsy, who is a regular in my Pilates class. With Emily and Ian now living in Omaha for Emily’s residency, Betsy did many of the local preparations for the day, which turned out spectacularly.
What we never would’ve guessed was the 90-degree temperature at the end of September, but the breeze blowing across the fields provided relief. Emily and Ian have a lot of fun together and I knew their wedding day would reflect their love and their fun spirits.
“Whatever we do, we’re going to have fun with it,” Ian said. “Life’s way too short to get bogged down with the serious things! We both wants kids eventually, but are enjoying our couple-time. Big plans to travel and visit other friends around the country and world before psuedo-settling down. There’s a lot of unknowns on where Emily will be professionally in the next years so we’re biting off life with curiosity and enthusiasm. We also joke about how funny a couple we’ll be when 100 years old.”
Ian proposed in December of 2021, but prior to that, they had decided a wedding date and booked Walker Homestead for their space, knowing (with great foresight) how quickly venues were booking up in advance.
“We had always talked about staying at the fancy hotel in Decorah for a get-away and I finally booked it for a Saturday night,” Ian said. “I had the ring for about two weeks and knew this was the weekend. I planned to go on a hike in the bluffs and propose some where along the way. I had also told my best friend EJ this was when it was going to happen. We were playing Wordle on my phone at lunch and EJ texted me, ‘Have you done the thing yet?’ Emily obviously saw the text pop up. We made eye contact and really just didn’t say anything and kept eating our lunch.
“I played it cool the rest of the day as we went to shops and got drinks. We mutually decided a hike was a no-go with it being below zero with the wind chill. I had absolutely no plan at this point and was going to take the shot when I had it. We had an amazing dinner at a local bistro and it was packed; no way I was going to do it in there! We then got drinks across the street and ended up talking to the bartender and staff for 2 hours about where we were from and other Midwest banter – not apt for such a romantic move. Finally, at the late hour of about 9:15pm, we went back to the hotel room and in true Emily style she said, ‘Well, are you going to propose?’ And then I said, ‘Yes, obviously.’ and I ‘did the thing!’”
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Photography: Emily Crall Photography
Venue: Walker Homestead
Florals: Hydrangea Bloom
Bride’s Makeup: Makeup by Ashley
Bridal Gown: Bridal Boutique
Suits: Holley’s Shop for Men
Decor: Borrow My Vintage
Videography: Rock Tai Photography
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Emily father, Keith, died years ago and, though he was physically absent, his presence was felt that day. Her necklace was made from the diamond ring that Keith had proposed to Betsy with and keep scrolling to see something even sweeter.
If you look closely, you can see two butterflies fluttering around in the image below right. I didn’t even notice during the ceremony (to be honest, it was so sunny and I was looking right into the sun the whole time so it was hard to see those small details), but Betsy said afterward that many of her friends had told her that during the ceremony, there were butterflies around the arch, a sign they attribute to Keith, Emily’s dad.