This blog post is very special to me. To explain, Brett is my cousin. But, more like a brother. My siblings and I spent a lot of time with our cousins at our grandparent’s house growing up. We all have tons of memories together swimming in the creek , riding horses, exploring the vast areas at “The Farm”, laughing hysterically at sleepovers when we were supposed to be asleep, and SO many more to list.
When I first heard Brett had proposed to Emily, I was NOT happy with him. Why? Nothing to do with his choice of course, but because I found out through a third party. I also happened to be in Arizona at the time, so I texted a flurry of messages about “How could you NOT tell me?” Then…my brother, Steven, texted me “Brenda, don’t say anything, he actually hasn’t proposed yet, he’s just planning to.” Oh…open mouth, insert foot. I texted Brett back and was like “hey, ignore all of that, I’m actually an idiot! Happy birthday, see you tonight!” Yeah….that’s a typical happening in my life. Brett laughed it off and said “this is actually perfect.” I wish I saved a screenshot of the text, I am such a dingbat.
Anyway, shortly after that trip to Arizona, he DID propose to Emily and they had been talking to me about their wedding plans. They wanted a small wedding in Arizona. But then take a trip back to Illinois to have a celebration with the extended family and friends. Even with COVID-19, they kept their plans on track.
About two weeks prior to their reception, Emily asked me if I would be available to take photos at their reception since I would be there as a guest anyway. Of course I would! I was so excited to get to be there to celebrate the moments, but also to capture them for them both to cherish forever. It was extra special to do that as a family member who loved them both.
Emily looked GORGEOUS in her wedding gown, it is a two piece set that she had designed specifically for her. My favorite part…it was FLOWY. You all know how I feel about dresses/skirts that can be swished! Brett looked very handsome as well in his suit!
I asked Brett & Emily to fill out my blog post questionnaire to hear more about their love story! Even as a close family member, it was fun to learn more. Without further ado, enjoy reading more about Emily & Brett. <3
How did you and your husband meet?
We grew up in the same small town in Illinois. Around 2010 we started hanging out in the same circles and got on each others radar. I (Emily) went off to college, and in 2013 he reached out to me when I became single and we reconnected.
Tell me about yourselves: jobs, hobbies, etc
Emily: I’m a photo retoucher working at Shutterfly. I love taking photos in my spare time (and then retouching of course) and live to take care of my many plants.
Brett: I’m passionate about doing triathlons and when it’s not 110 degrees here in Phoenix I spend a lot of time on my bike.
Tell me about your personalities! Are you peas in a pod or total opposites?
Emily: We are absolutely opposites! Brett’s the better driver, an excellent cook, and takes his time to make sure whatever he’s doing is done with excellence (he makes perfect rows while vacuuming). I am the financial planner, the artist, the cleaner and organizer.
Tell me your love story:
We started catching feelings for each other in 2013 when Emily was in the process of transferring to a school in Italy. She left in January of 2014 and we stayed in pretty much constant contact. We didn’t know if it was a good idea to be starting a relationship as we were living on different continents, but when has love ever been convenient? We spent the summer together in Illinois and Brett moved down to Arizona at the end of the summer. Emily decided Italy wasn’t home and returned to the US permanently in December of 2014. She tied up her associate degrees that spring and then moved down to join Brett a few months later. We only lasted until just before Christmas when we realized we weren’t mature enough to be together (yet), and spent three years apart. Brett reached out at the end of 2018 and we met back up and have been completely inseparable since.
How long did you date before you knew he/she was the one?
Emily: When we reconnected after the 3 years apart. We went to go get coffee and we spent the entire day just talking. We were at the coffee shop until about 4pm and then went to dinner.
Brett: I think I definitely figured it out while we were apart and was ecstatic when we decided to get back together. The time apart really made me realize the she was my other half.
What do you admire most about each other?
Emily: He is so loving. I have never had an easy time feeling emotions for people or really knew how to act if you loved someone and he just has a really pure heart and is very sweet with me.
Brett: She has an incredible work ethic and is driven to achieve her goals. She does this while still maintaining a fun and loving relationship with me which I appreciate. I know any time I need attention she will put up with me.
What is the ONE thing you want to remember most about your love story?
How good it is to be together! Distance really does make the heart grow fonder and having our relationship is one of the best gifts life has to offer!
What is your ideal date night? Night on the town, or snuggle on the couch?
We’re definitely home bodies. We love to go to Whole Foods to get some really good cheese, meat, sourdough, and wine, and we watch the Great British Baking Show while we eat.
Tell me about your wedding! How did you decide to do it the way you did?
We really wanted to elope. We always talked about eloping, but our families wanted more of a celebration. We decided to have a small backyard ceremony with immediately family in Arizona to keep it intimate, and we had a reception for the extended family the following weekend in Illinois.
What was the best part of your wedding day?
Emily: I had all of my favorite people in one spot. It was awesome to be able to introduce people to each other and to have a really relaxed day together. We all spent the afternoon in the pool.
Any funny moments from that day?
Emily’s dad officiated, and he has his jokes. It was really special to have him play that part.
How did you feel about getting to be surrounded by all of your family back in Illinois?
It was very fun to have everyone there and in the same place again. Its been years since I (Brett) have been back. So to be able to be with family on the old stomping grounds, and to see the farm was really special.
What are your hopes for the future?
We’re saving as fast as we can to get a house. We’re looking forward to having a house, getting a dog, and to start building a home together.
Thank you both again for letting me be there to capture your loveliness and love story! Can’t wait to see you guys again! <3