Chelsea and Clay wanted their Madison wedding to feel like a family-oriented dance party and love fest. It definitely was all that and more with unforgettable stories and moments to share with their family and friends.
I began my day at Chelsea and Clay’s house where the girls were giddy with excitement and Chelsea was keeping her cool. She held back the tears as long as possible, but things started to become real when she read Clay’s letter. Moments later she stepped into her gown with the help of her Maid of Honor, Lauren, and her mom, Sue. Chelsea looked amazing and started to prepare for her three first looks. The first happened with her father, Brad, when he walked around the corner to see his baby girl all dressed. The second happened the moment she walked down the stairs to see her bridesmaids. The third was about to happen very shortly, but first she spent a few minutes cuddling their pup, Oliver.
Meanwhile, Jeremiah began his morning with the guys at the hotel. The groomsmen joked around as Clay took a few moments to read the letter from Chelsea. It was almost time! The guys loaded on the bus and headed to the UW-Arboretum. Clay took his position and excitedly waited to see Chelsea. Chelsea slowly approached with the biggest smile on her face and tapped him on the shoulder. It was an amazing moment to capture as Clay’s eyes grew big and all he could say was WOW and kiss Chelsea.
We spent the next hour having fun with the bridal party while trying to keep cool. Late June was feeling more like mid-August and the temperature kept rising. Chelsea and Clay created memories together speaking Spanish and laughing at moments from their morning. We left the park and took a scenic route to Camp Randall. We were getting crunched on time and quickly unloaded the bus to get one last group photo and a few romantics of the soon to be Mr. and Mrs.
We arrived for the ceremony at the gorgeous First Unitarian Society. The architecture is stunning and provided the perfect backdrop for photos. I had witnessed several friends speak or perform ceremonies, but Griff might have topped them all. I watched as the couple, their bridal party, their family and friends, reacted to his speech. He made them laugh, he made them cry, and he practically received a standing ovation. It was absolutely amazing and I’m so thankful they hired a cinematographer to capture that.
We captured all of the family photos and headed for the Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery. While Jeremiah photographed the stunning venue, I snuck up on the roof with Chelsea and Clay. They cuddled close and laughed as Clay wiped away lipstick and saved her veil from falling off the roof. We also walked around the upper levels of the venue, so these two could view their reception and guests from a unique perspective.
Everything was perfect at the reception, from the gorgeous details, to the delicious desserts and vegan/gluten-free options, to their grand entrance filled with twirls and laughter. The toasts were exquisite and prompted laughter, tears, smiles, covered faces and great reactions from all. The evening ended (or just began) with a dance party like no other. It was the love fest that the couple wanted and everyone was on the dance floor.
I cannot wait to see what the future holds for these two. They are both passionate, driven and extremely caring individuals. They also have a house full of empty bedrooms!!
I always ask my brides a few questions before the wedding, so here’s what Chelsea had to say.
How did you know that he was THE ONE for you? After several years, we ran into one another and essentially, we clicked. He put up with me, I put up with him… and in the end we were still, inevitably, in love.
What’s the most memorable moment of your wedding planning process? The Engagement. Unbelievable.
Any tips for other brides about the planning process? Take a breath and take a moment alone. Stress is bound to happen, but do it together and take a moment to pause when needed.
What do you feel is the most important thing about your wedding day? That we get married…. and that we have some time to celebrate with one another independently, as well as with our friends/family.
Reception: Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
Bridal Prep: Couple’s Home
Groom Prep: Best Western Plus Inntowner Madison
Hair Stylist: Taylor at Aniu Salon
Make-up Artist: Zach at Aniu Salon
Bride’s Dress: Allure Bridals from Brandi’s Bridal Galleria
Dessert: Greenbush Bakery and Bloom Bake Shop
Florist: Daffodil Parker
DJ: DJ Goose
Transportation: Wayne Ace Bus & Limo
Stationary: Kallie Johnson Design
Videography: Ryan Curtin
Leave some love for Chelsea and Clay. If they receive 40 comments on this blog posts they will receive a complimentary 11×14 print of their favorite image! [Comments are reviewed before posting below.]