The weather gods smile on a easygoing couple

The morning of her wedding, Emily Johnston, 26, gazed up at the July sky from a window of the Churchill Pointe Inn on Hubbard Lake, Michigan. It was dark, stormy and altogether ominous. “It looked like it would pour any minute,” she recalls. But as Emily, holding on to her father's arm, began her walk across the inn's lawn toward the altar, where her groom, David Rushing, 33, was waiting, the clouds suddenly parted and a bit of sun peeked through. Good thing, too—Emily had envisioned the entire wedding as a casual, sunny yellow outdoor celebration on the lake where she had spent summer vacations as a child. By the time she and David exchanged vows, the sun was shining for real. Says the bride, “Everyone was asking us later, 'How'd you pull that off?'”

After the ceremony, the wedding party, including the groom's daughters, junior bridesmaids Alexis, 10, and Hannah, 7, took a brief time-out on a pontoon boat that was piloted by Emily's Uncle Jeff. (“Who needed a limousine?” says the bride.) They circled the lake, sipping champagne, while, back on shore, 150 guests feasted on jumbo crab claws and bruschetta. Everything about the day echoed the couple's approach to romance. “David and I never really went on dates. Instead, we would just stay home and watch movies, laugh, and talk. We were so comfortable with each other, we wanted every guest to feel that way too—to kick back, relax, and enjoy.” —Sheryl Berk

Our Favorite Things

Shoe Business: Emily provided a large basket of green, yellow, and white flip-flops on the dance floor for any potential aching feet. “People actually left wearing them. We found heels everywhere!”

For the Girls: The ring ceremony also included David's daughters. “We wanted them to take part in our vows,” says Emily, “so after I promised to always be there for them, I placed a small ring on each girl's finger. It was a really special moment for all of us.”

In Tune: Instead of a traditional recessional song, “which felt too uptight,” the couple chose John Hiatt's “Have a Little Faith in Me.” “We liked what it said about being there for someone, no matter how tough things get. It seemed to echo our vows: 'For better, for worse…'”

Emily and her dad made their way to the altar.

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