Seth and Emily may have attended rival schools throughout their life, but they didn’t let their schooling differences effect their relationship.
They both graduated from Dickinson County High Schools in 2017; Seth went to Okoboji and later attended South Dakota State University. Emily graduated from Spirit Lake and received her degree from the University of South Dakota.
“We knew of each other in high school, but we didn’t actually meet until we were back in town during college,” Emily said. “Mutual friends connected us.”
The couple first met at The Okoboji Barn during Thursday night line dancing. “We had a lot of fun!” she added. “We really liked each other, even if we were still attending rival schools!”
In 2020, while finishing her last year online from USD, Emily moved to Brookings. The closer distance allowed Seth and her to get to know each other better.
“This is where our relationship really started to kick off - we were able to see if this was the person we wanted to be with for the rest of our life,” Emily shared. “The answer quickly became ‘YES!’ He has such a giving heart, and he would do anything for anyone.”
The couple moved back to the area in 2021 and enjoyed regular Sunday family meals at Seth’s grandparents’ home near Horseshoe Bend. Over Memorial Day weekend 2021, the meal had been moved to Monday, Sept. 6, and before dinner, the couple went out on a Ranger ride with several of their friends. While they were driving around, Seth and Emily stopped at the top of one of the hills at Horseshoe Bend.
“He proposed to me on the hill!” Emily said. The newly engaged couple went back to his grandparents’ home, where both their parents were waiting.
“I found out that Seth had the ring for about three months, and he’d try to propose different times but I’m such a homebody that I unknowingly changed his plans a few times,” she added.
Planning a Fall Wedding
Besides booking Arrowwood Resort for the wedding and reception, one of the first things Emily did was look for her special dress.
“I knew I wanted a straight dress!” Emily said. “I wore a poofy dress for prom my junior year and I didn’t like it. It was hard to move in, and I found it’s much easier to dance in a straight dress.”
Emily visited Grand Bridal in Spencer with her mom Lisa Parks and her Maid of Honor Alison Duncan. Owner Denice Schoelerman’s daughter Adalyn helped the ladies, and Emily found six dresses to try on.
“I can’t remember if it was the first or last dress I tried on, but I knew this was the dress!” Emily said. “Adalyn did a great job helping me, and Denice made little alterations – she is amazing.”
Emily chose a customized Eddy K Mia dress that the designer added lining to the bodice. At first, she said no to a veil, but she changed her mind two weeks before the wedding.
“It was very much a last-minute decision,” she shared. “I tried on my dress after it was altered, and I felt like there was something missing. Denice had a lot of veil options to pick from – short, cathedral and mid-length. I really liked the mid-length, as it went from my head to the ground, but it didn’t cover my train. It was perfect and was the final touch.”
On the day, Emily wore her mother Lisa’s engagement ring - something blue and borrowed.
Seth and his groomsmen found their tuxes at Elegance Boutique in Okoboji. They all wore a tan havana tux and cognac shoes. The groom wore a champagne floral bow tie with matching pocket square, while the rest of the men wore a matching bowtie with the havana tux and had burnt orange pocket squares. They also all had the matching havana vest.
“Sarah and her staff made the experience super easy for the men, which was so helpful,” the couple said.
Emily chose rust orange bridesmaid dresses from Azazie, an online bridal store.
With so many beautiful wedding options in the area, the family decided to have the wedding ceremony and reception at Arrowwood Resort in Okoboji.
“The ceremony was beautiful outside on the croquet court, and it was so nice how they took care of everything for us, from the linens to setting up the chairs. Everything is set up perfectly, and it’s nice that the hotel is right there for people to stay at,” Emily said. “Another plus is when you book a wedding with Arrowwood, you receive one free room to use.”
Emily and her bridesmaids used St. Andrew’s Room south as their room to get ready in. Arrowwood then catered breakfast for the ladies.
“It was the perfect room for us to get ready in. There’s floor to ceiling windows, allowing so much natural lighting,” she added. “It was so nice to have everything right there; it just made things easier for us.”
The flowers were one of Emily’s favorite things about the wedding; a friend's Facebook post led her to the florist out of Paullina, Broadway Market Place.
“I absolutely loved the flowers KT had done for a friend’s wedding, so I thought I’d get a quote and see what happened,” Emily shared. “Her flowers were gorgeous, and I loved them – the real flowers were probably one of my most favorite parts of the whole day.”
KT used a boho terracotta theme on the 35 tables, head and cake tables, as well as the boutonnieres, arch and all accent flowers. The bouquet's main flowers were terracotta and white mums and roses, while the protea blooms added touches of dark red. Astrantia, Lisianthus, and Statice added a beautiful white punch, alongside the white roses and carnations. Eucalyptus and Pampas grass brought the colors together.
During the whole process, Emily made many of the decisions on her own, but she was thankful for her mom’s wisdom if she had questions. She also valued Seth’s feedback when a question arose.
Seth’s parents hosted the rehearsal dinner at Emerald Hills in Arnolds Park, which is another special spot for the couple.
“We enjoy golfing there in the summer, and Emerald Hills worked really well for the rehearsal dinner with family and friends,” she said. “Seth’s parents did a wonderful job creating a special night.”
The Wedding Day
The long-awaited DAY arrived – September 24, 2022. The ladies began getting ready at Arrowwood early that morning, while Seth got dressed at his friend Travis’ home. Okoboji Skin Care did the makeup for Emily and the bridesmaids, while her aunt Stephanie Parks and her friend Delanie Tangen created hair masterpieces.
“They all did it together, splitting up our group by half,” Emily explained. “My aunt did my hair; I had picked out something simple and elegant. I wanted a low bun with pieces out in front, and then she added these beautiful pearl pins to give it something extra special.”
The first look between the couple took place at 1:30 p.m. Seth and Emily’s photographer friend Lindsay Williams out of Sioux City captured every aspect of the day, along with local videographer Katelyn Krieger.
“We met Lindsay after I won a photography Valentine’s Day giveaway in 2020, when we were living in Brooking. Then we helped her with a photographer workshop, as she needed models,” Emily shared. “She was so kind to do our engagement pictures in Sioux City, but we didn’t think we’d have her for our wedding as she was supposed to be on a mission trip. However, unfortunately her husband got sick on the trip, and they came back early. We were the first booking she took after coming back! We love her!”
The weather was super nice that afternoon, which Seth and Emily were thankful for. Emily said there was light rain right before the ceremony, but it stopped right as Emily and her dad walked out.
“It was perfect weather, especially since the day before it was freezing during the rehearsal practice and we all wore coats,” she added.
Pastor Greg Jorgensen officiated the wedding, while Greg Spaethe of Biggie G Entertainment was the DJ for the ceremony. Spaethe brought speakers and organized all the transitions.
“It was so helpful because we were at the point where we thought we’d just be using phones for music,” Emily shared. “He told us when to walk and made it super nice.”
During the ceremony, Seth and Emily made a point to turn around and just take in the moment.
“It was something I saw on TikTok. You just stop and take in the moment and gaze out at everyone who loves you,” Emily said. “With the rush of the day, that special, quiet moment stays in your mind!”
After the ceremony, the bridal party enjoyed a drive around the area in the party bus. Then Seth and Emily entered the reception from the staircase into the Wimbledon Room at Arrowwood Resort.
“We came down the stairs and it let everyone see us better. Then we decided to do something a little different and have our first dance before everyone ate,” Emily said. “It was such a special moment. Everyone was watching and no one was talking.”
The music for the night was Nick Hickman, a band from Nashville, TN. The couple first heard him at The Gardens and loved his music. Emily reached out to him August 2021 and found out that he played for weddings.
“He came up from Nashville and everyone really liked his music,” she
shared. “He is so good and so good about going along with the flow. It was so nice and added a special touch to the reception.”
The beautiful white cake was created by Carla Radcliffe, as well as numerous flavors of cupcakes, such as cookie dough, caramel delight, carrot with maple cream cheese frosting, white, and chocolate with peanut butter. The food was plated by Minerva’s and loved by all in attendance.
“It was such a special night we will never forget!” the couple said.
Months have passed but the memories stay close to the heart. Seth is an engineering technician for Beck Engineering, while Emily owns Emily Marie Social Media and Emily Marie Photo Co.
Emily’s advice for newlyweds is to go with the flow.
“Don’t stress the little details because everything will fall into place,” she said.