I Do! Emily Clote & Ben Wood
Emily Clote and Ben Wood’s love story started with a little sisterly matchmaking. “I went to a Cardinals playoff game downtown, and my sister knew Ben and introduced us,” Emily says. “We went to Paddy O’s after the game, hit it off and started dating a month later.” After about four years, the couple got engaged and made plans to marry on a Miami beach.
“We love the outdoors and warm weather and had always talked about a destination wedding,” Emily says. “There is always a lot going on in Miami, so we knew there would be plenty for our out-of-town guests to do.” Hurricane Irma rolled through the area a couple of months before, and the pair worried how it might affect their plans, but Emily says everything was back to normal by the time they arrived. “The weather was amazing, and there was a beautiful sunset,” she says of the big day. Emily’s grandparents had planned to attend the ceremony but were unable to travel at the last minute, so her uncle connected them via Facetime, and they watched the ceremony live. “They even dressed up in the clothes they were going to wear,” she recalls fondly.
After the ceremony, everyone celebrated at an indoor/outdoor hotel reception and danced to a variety of tunes spun by a DJ. “Many of our guests made a long weekend of it,” Emily says. “We played golf at two different courses, had a nightcap at the hotel Thursday and invited the out-of-towners to our rehearsal dinner Friday.”
Ben is from Dallas and Emily grew up in St. Louis, so they incorporated images of both city skylines into their table decorations. “We wanted to show our hometown spirits,” she says. During the reception, a painter captured an image of the newlyweds with the wedding gazebo in the background. The couple’s special gifts to each other included diamond earrings from Ben and a belt Emily handmade for him.
The bride attended Nerinx Hall High School and the University of Mississippi, and the groom studied at Gettysburg College. “Our whole wedding weekend went by so fast,” Emily recalls. “It was a whirlwind. We spent a little time in Savannah, Georgia, on our way home but are still planning a bigger honeymoon!”
ceremony | Miami, Florida
reception | The Palms Hotel & Spa
cake | Edda’s Cake Designs
florist | Bayfront Floral & Event Design
music | AA Musicians
matron of honor | Elizabeth Clote Lillis
bridesmaids | Katie Blakeley, Kiley Schmidt, Hannah Vohra, Erin Walser
best man | Thomas Wood
groomsmen | John Clote, Willie Griffin, Tim Leahy, Mason Shank
bride’s parents | Mike & Susie Clote of Kirkwood
groom’s parents | Mark & Carol Wood of St. Louis
wedding date | dec. 2, 2017
Photos: Nat & Bryan Weddings