When your girlfriend describes y’all’s first date as a “fairy tale,” figuring out how to propose must be quite a tall order! After reading Chelsea and Will’s sweet story, I am positive that Will couldn’t have planned it better (be sure to read their interview below!). After the proposal, it was Chelsea’s turn to plan, and they created a wedding that they both loved. It included amazing pink blooms, a very emotional first look, and meeting in the middle of their respective home states for an outdoor wedding at the gorgeous Castleton Farms!
Big SW hugs to Katherine Birkbeck for sharing this wedding with us!
My something borrowed was my sister’s hair barrette from her wedding! My something old was my grandmother’s hand-knit hankie–my aunt gave it to me with a letter that she wrote and signed “Aunt Sherry and Grandma Wanda.” It was like a little gift from heaven. My something blue was my garter and my something new was my jewelry.
My flowers were gorgeous. I wish I could have kept them forever! My groom vetoed pink for wedding colors, so I had to have my pink flowers instead! The bouquets were filled with pin roses, calla lilies, and hydrangeas. We had two enormous flower pots filled with gorgeous, fresh hydrangeas on either side of the altar, and flowers hanging from chairs down the center aisle.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, we did! I loved all the first look pictures that I had seen and really wanted to capture this reaction. Since we had our ceremony and reception at the same venue, we also wanted to get all of our pictures done ahead of time so our guests wouldn’t have to wait. Lastly, our first look definitely helped with the nerves. I was nervous before I walked down the aisle (in the best of excited ways), and I can’t imagine how much more nervous I would have been without the first look. It helped a lot, and I am so glad that we did it.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I wanted to get married in Saint Louis, and Will wanted to get married in South Carolina. We couldn’t choose, so we decided to meet in the middle–Tennessee! I love the outdoors and flowers, so I knew I wanted to get married surrounded by nature’s beauty. When I found Castleton Farms, I knew that it was the perfect place. Everything was Southern, sweet, and elegant. It was perfect for us.
Our first dance was to “Forever Like That” by Ben Rector, who is one of our favorite singers. We saw him in concert twice while we were dating. Will actually picked this song out for us, which made it that much more special.
I am a four-year alumni of the Carolina Girls Dance team at USC. As part of a wedding gift to me, my coach choreographed a dance with all of my teammates and Will. The dance started with the girls dancing to some of our favorite songs, and then they formed two straight lines. All of a sudden, Will starting dancing down the aisle and it became a whole production. It was absolutely amazing.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. My friend, Taylor, lived in the same hall as me during out freshman year at the University of South Carolina. Taylor and Will were old family friends, and she introduced us at church. Will asked me out, and on our first date, he took me to a cute restaurant in an old train station. Then he took me to the Horseshoe on campus, which is a huge lawn (in a U shape, of course) with giant old oak trees. When we got there, there was a blanket with candles on each corner, where we sat and talked. It was the sweetest first date ever, like a fairy tale!
Tell us all about the proposal! It was March 15, just two days after my 21st birthday. We were supposedly going out for my birthday when Will took me back to the Horseshoe (where we had had our first date). We walked up the brick pathway, and I saw candles and rose petals on the ground. He stood me in the middle of them, got down on one knee, and asked for my hand in marriage. I said yes, of course, and he gave me a gorgeous diamond ring. I called my parents (who were supposed to be in Saint Louis, where I’m from) to tell them the news. All of the sudden, I saw both them and Will’s parents come out from behind one of the buildings. I was so surprised to see my family there. It was all just so wonderful!
When did y’all get married? June 14, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we did! My favorite phrase was, “We will strive to put God first in or marriage, before all else.” God is the most important part of our lives, and we really wanted to show that through our wedding.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? One thing that I thought was particularly sweet was that Will’s dad was his best man. In Missouri, I hadn’t seen anyone do that, but I found out that it is quite a Southern tradition. I loved having my father-in-law standing on the altar with us to celebrate our special day!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We didn’t serve alcohol. We decided to cut it because: 1. It saved a ton of money. 2. We wanted everyone to remember this special day. 3. To get to the venue, you have to take very windy backroads that are dangerous even without the slightest bit of alcohol. 4. My husband is studying to be a pastor, so it seemed appropriate. Those who wanted to drink just went out after the wedding because our reception ended at 11.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We lived in different states for a year, so we are just enjoying being together right now. We love cooking together, going to the beach, and dancing!
Photographer: Katherine Birkbeck / Videographer: Orange Leaf / Planner: Darla Walker / Venue: Castleton Farms / Florist: Sam Franklin / Cake Baker: Mag Pies / Ice Cream: Buttermilk Sky / Caterer: All Occasions Catering / Rentals: All Occasions Party Rentals / Bridal Salon: Simply Elegant Bridal / Paper Products: Pickle Prints / Bride’s Jewelry: MEG Jewelry / Hair and Makeup: Bang and Blush / Bride’s Shoes and Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal / Men’s Attire: Jos. A Bank