Emma Novak and Kevin Wilks

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Emma Novak and Kevin Wilks are engaged to be married October 28, 2017.
Emma Novak and Kevin Wilks are engaged to be married October 28, 2017.

Emma Novak and Kevin Wilks are to be married Oct. 28, 2017, at The Vintager Inn in New Kent.

Emma Novak, 23, is a graduate student and special education teacher. She graduated from Tabb High School 2011, Longwood University in 2015, and plans to graduate from the College of William & Mary this year.

She is a daughter of Sarah Williams and Roger Novak.

Kevin Wilks is employed with Huntington Ingles, Newport News Shipyard. He graduated from Tabb High School in 2011 and the Newport News Shipyard Apprenticeship Program in 2015.

He is a son of Debra and Lon Wilks.

Kevin and Emma met in high school. They only had one class together their senior year, and did not hang out with one another or talk much. Although she didn’t know it at the time, Kevin had crush on her, but kept it quiet since she was dating someone else at the time.

It wasn’t until the summer of 2012 after high school that Kevin reached out to her through Facebook and the two started dating in August. “I couldn’t believe how easy it was to fall in love with the boy who sat behind me in math class,” said Emma.

Throughout the next three years, Kevin was always at her side. He visited her at college in Farmville as much as he could, and the couple grew closer. The year she graduated from undergrad, Kevin bought his first home and asked Emma to move in with him. As they prepared to celebrate four years together in 2016 she thought it was time that they took a trip across country together.

They flew to Colorado, where her grandparents and brother live. They spent several days on her grandparents ranch in Calhan before going to her brother’s house in Boulder. Her brother and his girlfriend had planned a weekend hike up to the Continental Divide. They hiked for a day and made camp just as it started to rain. After a while, it cleared up and her brother said it was only about a mile to the top and they could easily make it by sunset. “It was chilly, so my brother lent me his coat and I made jokes about how silly I looked in my Capri leggings, Christmas socks, hiking boots and an oversized, puffy coat,” said Emma.

As the couple hiked to the peak, they had to stop as Emma had an asthma attack due to the elevation and thin air. This later became a running joke. They reached the peak at sunset, and it was beautiful. Emma began snapping pictures and Kevin suggested Emma’s brother’s girlfriend take some of the couple. They took a few photographs and Kevin said, “Just one more,” as he got down on one knee and pulled a ring box out of his pocket. He said “Emma, will you marry me?” She responded, “Aww, of course I will Kevin!”

He put the gorgeous rose gold solitaire on her finger and they kissed. Emma began to cry. She looked up and her brother and his girlfriend were crying too. Her brother pulled a mini bottle of champagne from inside his jacket and they all laughed as he popped it open. “Getting engaged to my best friend on the Continental Divide was better than I could have imagined,” said Emma. It was such an amazing and perfect moment, and she would not change a single thing about it.