The Wehles. Photo by Krystal Jayde Photography.
Newlyweds Lucas and Emmie Wehle met online nearly three years ago in June 2020.
“Just a few months into the pandemic,” Lucas remembers. “We just started talking … we were both just kind of bored and lonely and excited to talk to somebody.”
They texted and chatted via FaceTime for about a week before meeting in person during Emmie’s work break. It wasn’t long before they were spending most of their time together.
“We hung out all the time and became really close,” Lucas notes.
The couple was living together within a few months, each having “had to get out of toxic living situations” around the same time. They moved to a north St. Petersburg apartment, which they still share today.
While seven months might seem like a short period to some before getting engaged, it was the right time for the couple, whose bond grew strong and quickly because of the isolation caused by COVID-19. In fact, Emmie was surprised that Lucas waited so long to propose.
“I thought he was going to propose during the holidays,” she says. “I thought Christmas, for sure. It didn’t happen. I thought New Year’s for sure. I told everyone at work when I came back that it didn’t happen.”
Lucas adds, “I’m not one to do the expected. I would want to do something unique for us.”
Initially, he planned to propose in his family’s backyard during a visit by his grandparents; he was especially close with his grandfather, who has since passed away.
“But the ring didn’t come in time,” he says.
Instead, it arrived the next day. It led him to propose a few days later at the Riverwalk while meeting his mother for dinner.
“It was such a surprise that I said ‘no,’” Emmie notes.
“She was in a bad mood and it was like the worst-case scenario,” Lucas adds. “Then she said ‘no.’”
“It was like a surprised ‘no,’” Emmie laughs. “I didn’t actually say ‘no.’”
Lucas asked if she said no, to which she replied “no, I mean, yes.” Now he notes that “it was perfect because we are both just so awkward.”
With uncertainty about the pandemic and wanting to have a large wedding, the couple held off on getting married for two years. During that time, they put a lot of planning and details into their big day, including hand painted wood bark flowers for everything — from table centerpieces to the archway they stood in front of during the ceremony to the bouquet Emmie held.
Having that additional time to plan made their wedding day even more special, Lucas says. They found the perfect venue — The Regent in Riverview, not far from his parents in Valrico — through PFLAG Tampa Founders Nancy and John Desmond. They’ve been close with Lucas since he was a teen.
“We call them my second parents. They’ve become like family to me,,” he says. “When I came out, it took my parents seven years to accept me and when I had to move out, they took me in.”
Nancy and Lefty, as John is affectionately called, stepped up again when Emmie’s father, who was supposed to walk her down the aisle, bailed on the couple at the last minute.
“He was going to walk Emmie down the aisle and dance with her, which was a big deal because it was a struggle to gain acceptance from him as well,” Lucas explains. “It was really one of those emotional times and one of the hardest things she’s ever gone through because she had a high expectation of something that she didn’t expect in the first place. She was looking forward to that and was devastated.”
Lefty, who had also become close to Emmie since she and Lucas started dating, took his place to walk her down the aisle.
The couple also added personal touches to their wedding day, including a big reveal where Lucas saw his future wife for the first time just minutes before they wed. They had spent the previous 24 hours apart and didn’t see each other until their wedding day. He was blindfolded as Emmie walked in.
“I was so anxious to see her. I was an emotional wreck,” he says.
Emmie adds, “I think that was actually one of the most emotional things ever.”
Lucas, who sometimes sings at open mic and Pride events, also performed for his wife after the ceremony. He sang “Better Together” by Luke Combs to her.
“The reason I chose it was not just because it’s our song, but because the whole song is talking about coffee in the sunshine, things that go better together,” he says. “In the bridge, it says, ‘And if I’m being honest, your first and my last name would just go better together and probably always will.’ I just felt like it was a perfect fit for the wedding.”
View photos below by Krystal Jayde Photography:
Engagement date: Jan. 20, 2021
Wedding date: Jan. 20, 2023
Wedding venue: The Regent in Riverview
First dance song: “Changed by You” by Between the Trees
Wedding theme/colors: Rustic; colors: Tiffany blue and coral; sunflower arrangements made of wood bark
Florist: Hand painted wood bark flowers
Officiant: Annie Brooks, Lucas’ best friend
Cake Bakery: Publix bakery
Cake Flavors: Raspberry Elegance cake
Photographer: Krystal Jayde Photography
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