After knowing each other for years, Emily (nee Scheible) and Rick Tobben found themselves alone in a booth at Applebee’s.
“It was a half-day at school and we were supposed to go with a group of friends to Applebee’s for lunch. We get there and everyone else suddenly had to cancel their plans, so it was just the two of us for lunch,” said Emily, who said she first met her now-husband as a kindergarten student at Campbellton Elementary. She later transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes Grade School, but their paths crossed again at Washington High School.
“That lunch is how it all started,” Emily said. She and Rick were married in a double-ring ceremony officiated by Rev. Mike Boehm at Our Lady of Lourdes in Washington on June 5, 2021. Emily is the daughter of David and Kay Scheible, while Rick is the son of James and Jennifer Tobben.
The couple, who are both members of the Washington High School Class of 2015, said they’ve never asked if their friends intentionally set them up.
“Neither one of us are really the type of people to talk to someone if we haven’t known them for a long time, but at that lunch we just talked. There was no awkward silence. We just talked and connected,” said Emily, who after graduating with an associate degree from East Central College and a bachelor’s degree from Missouri Baptist College is now employed by Missourian Publishing Co.’s commercial print division.
A few days after that lunch, Rick delivered a handwritten note wrapped around a full-size Hershey’s milk chocolate candy bar to Emily during lunch at WHS.
“I knew chocolate was the way to a girl’s heart,” Rick said of the letter, which asked Emily to be his girlfriend. He had included his phone number in case she decided to text him her response.
Nearly a decade after receiving that letter, Emily could recall Rick’s words almost vividly.
“He told me that I was different than anyone he’d ever met before,” Emily said. “I was really impressed by this old-school note. I felt incredibly special.”
Emily waited until later that night to respond to the letter.
“As time went on that day, I thought maybe she didn’t like me like that, but after I got her text, I just smiled. It was super sweet,” said Rick, who after WHS, graduated from ECC with an associate degree and now works at Wahle’s Wood Works in Union. The Tobbens said they have been inseparable ever since that day. With a ring from Altemueller Jewelry, Rick proposed to Emily in July 2019 at a scenic overlook at the Lake of the Ozarks.
After a planned lengthy engagement, the pair exchanged vows in June 2021. The Tobbens said their wedding was a “traditional Washington wedding” with a Catholic Mass and a reception at the KC Hall afterwards.
However, the couple said they found ways to make their “traditional” wedding unique.
For example, within her bouquet of silk flowers, Emily carried a pendant containing a picture of her late grandparents, Elmer and Linda Scheible.
“I loved that picture of them and it meant so much to me to know that, in some small way, they were with me on my wedding day,” Emily said. Another special feature was the distribution of 300 four-ounce jars of homemade blueberry, strawberry and peach jams at the reception. The jams were made by Emily, her mother, her sister and her grandmother, Carol Mergelmeyer.
The couple also arranged for a hayride for their wedding party in between the wedding service and the wedding reception. While there are no photos from that hayride, they said being surrounded by the love and laughter of their wedding party during that hayride is a “wonderful memory.”
The Tobbens said they would encourage other prospective brides and grooms to find little and big ways to make their weddings unique to them. They also said they would advise would-be brides and grooms to find time during the wedding day to soak up the bliss of the wedding.
“You think you have the whole day, but you’re left wondering, ‘Where does it all go?,’” Rick said. “You need to take the time to enjoy it. It’s a day you won’t want to forget.”
The Wedding In Detail
Wearing an ivory-colored, lace dress with a halter-top, Emily married Rick on June 5, 2021. The wedding ceremony was officiated by Rev. Mike Boehm, who had been a pastor to the bride when she was a student at Our Lady of Lourdes and who was familiar with the bridegroom as he had attended services led by Boehm as a child.
The bride’s gown, which featured a full, princess skirt, and floor-length veil were from Wedding Creations of Washington. The groom wore a traditional gray suit, with a white tie. His boutonniere featured a large purple rose and sprigs of other flowers to match the bride’s bouquet.
The bride carried a bouquet of silk flowers, including a number of blush-white, purple and pink roses, as she was walked down the aisle with her father. The floral arrangements were designed by Seitter’s Market of New Haven.
Preceding her walk down the aisle were the five bridesmaids, dressed in lilac-colored floor-length dresses, carrying bouquets of similar flowers that matched the colors of their dresses. Escorting the bridesmaids were five groomsmen, each attired in gray suits and matching lavender neckties.
Following the ceremony, the newlyweds joined their bridal party and other guests for a reception, which featured a traditional wedding cake and 300 assorted cookies, at the KC Hall in Washington. The couple celebrated their nuptials with the traditional first dance. The couple chose, Dan + Shay’s “From The Ground Up,” which they felt encapsulated their one-of-a-kind love story.