Married July 16, 2016 A cinematic montage highlighting the relationship of Emily Yates and Justin Riley would have to start with the couple’s earliest junior high school memories from when they first met. In the rural community of Clyde, they shared a circle of friends and then started dating not long before Emily decamped to TCU. In July 2015, their seven-year, mostly long-distance courtship led to a whimsical wedding proposal that caught Emily totally by surprise. “Justin and I are big moviegoers and had a date night to the Movie Tavern in Fort Worth to see Inside Out,” Emily says. “When the lights dimmed and the previews were supposed to come on, that’s when it happened.” Emily’s image filled the theater screen while Justin’s voice-over began telling their story. “At the end he asked if I’d marry him, and all these strangers in the theater started clapping.” A year later, the duo tied the knot at The Brooks at Weatherford, which Emily describes as elegant yet rustic, an aesthetic that reflects the couple’s dual sensibilities. Avid hunter Justin works as a firefighter in Abilene while his “girly-girl” bride, who earned her master’s degree in speech pathology from Texas Tech, works at a hospital. Upon arriving at the wedding venue, some 250 guests scrawled their names on a longhorn skull that today enjoys a place of pride in the couple’s home. Decorating the reception tables were antlers collected from the ranches of Emily’s family and friends, which wedding planner Shannon Rose Ducker spray-painted a shimmering silver. “I told Shannon that we wanted the whole evening to feel like a celebration but that Justin and I aren’t formal,” says Emily. To that end, Abuelo’s catered the Mexican buffet while a margarita machine churned out libations. Colleens Cakes created stunning cake tiers in flavors like white chocolate mousse, strawberry cream, red velvet and Italian cream. As a nod to the groom’s profession as a firefighter, his chocolatechip cake was helmetshaped and included a milk chocolate fire hose. Dancing was also on the post-nuptial menu. “Groove Knight out of Austin was an amazing band,” says Emily. “They had people out on the dance floor that I never would have thought to see out there.” The evening also saw its share of poignant moments. Just one week before the wedding, Justin’s stepfather died after a lengthy illness. “That made the motherson dance even more emotional,” says Emily. “We grew up in a small town, so everyone there knew what had happened. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.” Emotions turned giddy at midnight as the newlyweds sped away in a convertible Corvette lent by Justin’s father for the occasion. The couple spent a night at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel before jetting off on their Turks and Caicos honeymoon. “I still look back and wish I could relive our wedding,” says Emily. “It was the perfect night.” — Lisa Martin The Wedding Details Venue and reception The Brooks at Weatherford, thebrooksatweatherford.com Wedding planner and flowers Shannon Rose Events, shannonroseevents.com | Photographer Amy Zumwalt Photographers, amyzumwalt.com Videographer CinemaStory Wedding Films, cinemastoryweddingfilms.com | Invitations Love Betty Creative Design, lovebettydesign.com Wedding dress Matthew Christopher, matthewchristopher.com | Hair and makeup Pretty on Premises, prettyonpremises.com | Caterer Abuelo’s, abuelos.com/catering Cake Colleens Cakes, colleenscakes.com | Band Groove Knight, grooveknight.com | Photo booth ShutterBooth, shutterbooth.com/dallas Lighting Everlasting Sounds, everlastingsoundsdfw.com | Rentals Pretty Little Plates, prettylittleplates.com
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