By Kristin Bartus | Published June 2016

For a couple who adores Disney, Mike and Emilee Prasad’s gradual, low-key romance lacked the drama we usually associate with fairytales—and that’s precisely why they make such a good match. The couple met back in 2004 at that center of romantic bliss, the mall. They became friends while employees at the old Abercrombie & Fitch at the Valley River Center, where they worked while pursuing their degrees at UO. “Mike and I have never been much into the party scene,” Emilee says, so they would spend time together when hanging out with work friends. “We grew closer over time,” she says. “We realized we had so much in common. We were hanging out every single day, meeting up after classes, and then it was holding hands and going to movies. It just progressed.”

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They started dating in 2006 and spent many of their school breaks at Disneyland and Disney World. “I’ve always grown up loving Disney. It’s kind of carefree fun,” Emilee says. So naturally, when it came time to propose, it happened at Disney World. Mike planned a proposal at the Grand Floridian’s upscale Victoria & Albert’s restaurant. It was 2010 and Emilee was about to graduate from UO and Mike was getting ready to head to medical school. As they were eating, Mike looked sweaty and ill (aka nervous), so Emilee was worried about him and how she was going to get him back to the hotel. “I was so focused on that and our waiter brought out this silver platter. I thought it was dessert,” she says. When Mike stood up and plucked a ring out of the roses on the platter, “I just lost it. I don’t even think he could get a word out. I couldn’t get a word out, besides a head nod. We were both just crying.”

With Mike heading off to Ross University, a Caribbean-based U.S. medical school, they put their focus on his schooling and medical training around the country rather than on planning a wedding right away. After living with him in Dominica, Florida and Michigan, Emilee eventually moved back to Eugene to finish her second degree, as a registered dietician, and to plan their August 2015 wedding. Their main priority was to have it outside. “I wanted it to embody our love of Oregon,” Emilee explains. “We traveled so much for medical school—we missed home so much.” She wanted it green, natural, and relaxed. They picked the first venue they looked at: the UO campus. “Mike and I would always walk around campus through dating and just talk about how much we loved the buildings and the architecture.”

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Once they secured the venue, they just added some personal touches. “I think my wedding decorator said it was rustic, vintage, chic,” Emilee says of the lace covered jars and candles they added to the site. She wanted her bridesmaids to be comfortable, so she and a family friend dreamed up some skirts that were “sparkly, silver, and fabulous,” and sewed them according to the bridesmaids’ desires (they even had pockets for necessities like phones), and the ladies got to pick a shirt of their choice. Also, Emilee’s best friend’s boyfriend handmade a wooden altar for the special day, which they can put in their own garden in the future. And, of course, “There was a lot of little Disney kitsch here and there throughout the wedding,” Emilee shares. They themed their wedding pamphlets after Disney World maps, had a cake topper of the couple in mouse ears, and the ceremony and big dance songs all came from Disney movies.

Before they left for the night, Mike’s groomsman Joe brought a special surprise out on the dance floor: matching Minnie and Mickey Vans shoes and backpacks. Because what were they going to do next for their honeymoon? They were going to Disney World! “I definitely kicked my heels off and put those Disney Vans on,” Emilee laughs. “And they were really comfy. That was a really nice surprise.”

DETAILS:

Wedding Date: August 15, 2015

Ceremony & Reception Venue: University of Oregon, Pioneer Mother lawn

Number of Guests: 220

Music: DJ: Barry MacGuire from BMAC Productions

Officiant: Bride’s aunt, Vickie Becker

Photography: Mark Longstreet Photography

Guest favors: Oregon State University-shaped hanging birdseed feeders made by bride

Catering: University of Oregon

Drinks: Variety of Oregon microbrews and wine, water, and lemonade

Cakes: Sweet Life Patisserie

Rings: Kay Jewelers (engagement ring), Blue Ridge Notions (wedding bands for bride and groom)

Dress: Madison James from Blush Bridal Boutique

Headpiece & belt: Anna Campbell

Hair/makeup: Makeup by Katie Dix from Mirage Hair Systems

Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka

Groom’s outfit: Ralph Lauren

Bridesmaid dresses: Made by the bride and a family friend

Florist: Good Seed Floral Design

Wedding planner: Brianna Crowe (blissfulweddingsbybrianna@gmail.com)

Decorations & setup: Stepping Stone Wedding Rentals and Events

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

Save-the-dates: Wedding Paper Divas. Photography by Katherine Wright (katherinebarros.com)

Rental equipment: University of Oregon

Honeymoon: Disney World