Emily Hardman and Rob Reading had known each other for 4 years and dated for a year when Rob decided to pop the question. On New Years Eve, while shopping for groceries with Emily, Rob purchased an engagement ring for $8.88 at Walmart. Later that day– on a hike in Sedona Verde Valley, Arizona– Rob asked Emily to marry him. She said “yes.”
Because Rob and Emily both have complicated job schedules that require travel, the pair knew they wouldn’t be able to get married for several months… unless, they got married right away!
“We knew at this point that we wanted to get married and spend an eternity together,” said Emily. “We knew that we could either get married now or wait up to a year to make that happen.” So, the love-birds made a decision other people might call crazy: to plan a wedding in 5 days!
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With Rob’s $8 ring on her finger, Emily set out to plan a wedding that was all about love and nothing else.
When it came to details like florals, bridesmaids dresses, napkin colors, and the rest, Emily decided not to worry and instead asked herself the same questions: “Does this achieve the goal of making people at my wedding feel loved and appreciated for the role they play in my life? Will it help strengthen my marriage and the promises we made each other? If the answer was no, I didn’t waste any more time.”
In lieu of an invitation, Emily and Rob sent out a text message to 100 friends. “Would love to have you come if you can make it. No gifts. Just love.”
Surprisingly, only a few people weren’t able to make it. “But whether five days or five years, it would have been inconvenient and there would have been those who would have missed it,” Emily said.
Emily and Rob skipped flowers and fancy wedding-ware. Rob wore a suit he already owned and Emily wore a $10 lace top paired with a skirt made by her mother from scratch in just 8 hours.
Emily and Rob’s wedding has encouraged countless couples to “focus on the essence of what’s really important in life.” Because, as Emily said, “We may not have a $200 gravy boat, and I may have worn an $8.88 Walmart wedding ring that eventually turned my finger green, but our flowerless, navy-and-pink wedding set the perfect precedent for married life — elegantly simple.”
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