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Chelsea & Taylor – A Hallmark Proposal, And Wedding Surprises

Chelsea & Taylor – A Hallmark Proposal, And Wedding Surprises

Lesbian two brides bright and colorful wedding in Michigan America

After a first date that ended after twelve hours, a Hallmark proposal in Paris on Valentines Day, Chelsea and Taylor brought together an all female and non-binary team to create wedding magic.

Tell us about the proposal.

On our first international trip together, a jump across the pond to Paris, France, and Barcelona, Spain. It just so happened that our time in Paris fell on Valentine’s Day. So Chelsea seized the opportunity and gave me the biggest surprise of my life.

The moment itself was Hallmark-level magical. I don’t know how I didn’t think it was bound to happen on this trip. A trip to Paris on Valentine’s Day – but Chelsea did a fantastic job of throwing me off the weeks leading up to it. I was taken entirely by surprise. 

We were on a food and wine tour with four other people in Montmartre, Paris and had just spent an incredible afternoon tasting and sipping all the city had to offer. As the sun began to set, we crested a hill to our last stop on the tour – Sacré-Cœur Basilica (also known as the “wedding cake church”). Chelsea got down on one knee and asked me to be her wife with as much tradition and chivalry as she could muster through the nerves. I said “yes” (or rather, I nodded enthusiastically through tears and surprise).

We toasted with chocolate macaroons, and we spent the rest of the trip in a dizzying state of bliss. 

Did you undertake any DIY projects for the big day?

We’re both sentimental people, so we wanted our wedding favors to be personalized and serve as relics of the special day. So we spent months leading up to the wedding sourcing colorful second-hand glassware from local thrift stores and consignment shops. We hand-washed every glass and then selected a specific one for each of our guests before carefully boxing them up in individual boxes.

Guests used them as their water glass during dinner and were then able to take them home at the end of the night.

A tangible reminder of the magic felt and memories made on our wedding day.  

Tell us about your perfect wedding outfits.

Chelsea was able to find a designer through Etsy that had great reviews from women and gender non-conforming folks looking for a wedding day suit. The entire process was customized. She could pick everything from the type of fabric used to the color of the elbow patches. And even how many buttons were sewn into the jacket! 

I found my first dress at a fabulous second-hand gown boutique that also serves as a fundraising initiative of the Cancer Support Community. Volunteers staff this unique project, and all purchases help facilitate free programs for families impacted by cancer.

After a while, I realized that that dress wasn’t quite right; it was beautiful but too traditional and difficult to move in for my taste.

So, I took a leap of faith and ordered this stunning long-sleeved number from BHLDN and a fun reception dress. Both of which ended up being absolutely perfect. 

Talk to us about the big day! 

When planning our wedding, we told our coordinator that we wanted the day to feel like one giant hug. Reflecting on the day, it delivered just that. From getting hair and makeup done by Taylor’s sister to sneaking hugs with guests before the ceremony started. The entire day was a giant celebration of togetherness and commitment.

The day before the wedding, Chelsea and I took some time away from family and headed to the beach to put our vows into our vow books. It was a tranquil moment that set the weekend off right. 

The day itself was smooth sailing. We spent some quiet time together that morning before everyone else woke up and then broke off into separate parts of the house to get ready separately. We took our time, sipped a few mimosas, and had an excellent first look by Kalamazoo Lake before heading to the venue. Doing our best to let go of expectation and go with the (carefully organized) flow.

Because we had such rockstar vendors who were on top of their game, we could really live in the moment and soak up the magic of the day. We cut the cake, photobombed the photo booth, danced our faces off, and hugged as many people as physically possible.

The only thing that would have made it better would have been four more hours to keep the celebrations going. 

Tell us about your wedding day first look, and your other favorite moments.

One of our favorite moments from the day was our first look.

Neither of us had ever felt that giddy before. It was so special to connect before the ceremony and ride that wave of anticipation together.

Our ceremony was also exceptional for us. Every element of our ceremony was intentional, and no decision was made lightly. We wrote our own vows, we scoured books for the perfect readings, and we worked closely with our dear friend and officiant to craft a ceremony that reflected us through and through.

To know that everyone was there to celebrate our love, to feel their joy and warmth at that moment. To know that that group of people would likely never be together again was one of those heartbreakingly beautiful life moments. And the cherry on top? Months before the wedding, our officiant reached out to our wedding party and asked them for sweet words about each of us. She read everyone’s affirmations about halfway through our ceremony.

A complete surprise to us – and it felt like being hit with the world’s biggest Care Bear Stare. 

Do you have a stand-out vendor?

Our entire vendor team is the epitome of incredible. We were intentional with every single vendor decision we made, especially working exclusively with female or gender non-conforming folks. The synergy our vendors had with us and with each other was absolutely inspiring. That said, our planner, photographer, and florist deserve an extra colossal shout-out. They brought our vision to life in ways neither one of us imagined possible. And our officiant? Let’s just say we had folks begging us for her contact information immediately following and for weeks after the ceremony. 

What does marriage mean to you?

Marriage means showing up fully. It means putting your whole self on the line and building a life with and alongside someone willing to do the same. It means practicing kindness, patience, and forgiveness when it comes easy and also when it feels the most challenging. Honoring the people you will both become within, because of, and outside of your partnership. And it means celebrating your life together loudly, wildly, and unabashedly. As Detroit poet Marge Piercy so aptly says, marriage “is public saying to all our friends/that we want to stay together. We want/to share our lives. We mean to pledge/ourselves through times of broken stone/and seasons of rose and ripe plum;/we have found out, we know, we want to continue.”

And, lastly, tell us about your audio guest book!

One of the best decisions we made was to have an audio guest book. Friends and family could leave audio messages for us on a retro telephone throughout the night, and those messages were then pressed into a vinyl record. We’re now able to listen to this little audio time capsule any time we like, and we can relive those moments – the joy and giggles and tears and excitement – over and over again.

Photography by Rachel Skye Photography

Cake Amelia’s Cakery
Catering Gilmore Catering
Entertainment L’USA
Florist Kill’s Custom Creations
H&MU Pretty Committee Beauty
Planner Jeannene Lillie Events
Prop | Furniture Hire Events by I. Candy
Venue Saugatuck Center for the Arts
Wedding Rings Malleable Jewellers

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