Emily & Eli’s Downtown Des Moines Wedding

In 2017 Emily and Eli had what I’d call the perfect central Iowa first date. Whiskey River for drinks and Texas Roadhouse for dinner! Emily even completed the perfect date by ordering chicken strips for dinner because she didn’t want Eli to think she was high maintenance on the first date! To Emily’s surprise, they shared their first kiss that night and have been together ever since! They made their relationship official on a trip to Nashville with their friends and Emily moved in with Eli shortly after! In 2019 they were engaged while on a trip to New York City. One of the best parts of the story is that Eli had planned to propose in Times Square but once they were there he got too nervous and they ended up watching a street performer for 15 minutes. It wasn’t until they got back to their hotel room before Emily turned around and Eli was standing there with the ring!

Almost half of their engagement was during the pandemic and they both said that quarantining together and still wanting to get married is one of the most defining parts of their relationship. Like many other couples recently, Emily and Eli had to change their original wedding plans due to the virus. But, as you’ll see, you wouldn’t have been able to tell based on how well their day turned out! When asked what they want their wedding to be like they said, “Family and friends would all be gathered. Sun would be shining. We would have perfect weather.” And they truly got just that for their outdoor ceremony in downtown Des Moines!

Emily and Eli are both quick to say that they’re one of their favorite things about each other is how they make each other laugh, and you’ll see in the photos that that was so true on their wedding day! Take a look!

wedding day hair and makeup

The floral colors that Emily and Eli chose were so stunning and unique paired with the fall background.

wedding corsages wedding bouquets and invitations wedding boutonnieres

There’s beauty in the details – like having unity sand that matches the rest of your wedding colors!

wedding ceremony unity sand wedding dress

It’s not often that you’re able to get flowers that closely match/compliment the wedding invitations, but I think they nailed it!

bride getting ready

Eli basically had this smile on his face the entire day!

groom getting ready

This first look was one of the sweetest! The backdrop made the pictures turn out really cool, but the joy on their faces was even better!

first look groom first look

I mean, come on! They just keep getting better and better!

des moines iowa wedding pictures

Gorgeous bouquet from Pepper & Harrow 

bridal bouquet

This veil was gorgeous and the way it flows makes these pictures so unique!

bridal veil long veil

Is it really a covid wedding if there isn’t at least one picture of the bridal party in masks?!

covid wedding masks

Personalized flasks are never a bad idea for your groomsmen gifts!

groomsmen gifts flower girl floral crown bridemaids

These florals at the ceremony were amazing! The prairie grass was the perfect fall touch and the wind blowing it around made it even cooler.

fall wedding decor bridal party

Something tells me the flower girl doesn’t know quite what to think!

Nothing like a good ring bearer photobomb to complete the picture!

ring bearer photobomb

This was such a unique backdrop for Emily and Eli’s ceremony and the skyline of downtown really completed the setting!

downtown des moines outdoor wedding ceremony wedding program fans walking mom down the aisle

The hilarious sign for the ring bearer was such a fun touch!

ring bearer sign

walking down the aisle giving away of the bride

These mid ceremony smiles were so precious!

wedding ceremony unity sand signing the wedding certificate during the ceremony

I’ve seen bubble exits from receptions but seeing them as people walk back down the aisle was so cool!

bubble ceremony exit wedding ring and band downtown des moines skyline

This spot in the city has so many cool backdrops, it was great to be able to take advantage of all of them!

Their reception was held at the downtown Des Moines Marriott.

hotel wedding reception decor

The decorations that they chose for the reception perfectly complimented their fall day and looked great in this space!

fall florals reception decor wedding cake wedding dessert truffles bridal party intros

Emily and Eli mentioned that one of the things they were most excited about for their wedding day was all the toasts. And as you’ll see in these pictures, they definitely lived up to the hype!

wedding toasts first dances with parents

It’s just so clear how much fun these two have together!

gold wedding decorations first dance

Doing the father daughter dance at the same time as the mother son dance was such a unique idea and it turned out really great!

father daughter and mother son first dance

This has to be one of the funniest pictures from the reception!

wedding dance

Congratulations again to Emily and Eli! It was such a joy to be a part of your day and we wish you many years of loving each other and laughing together!




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