CHELSEA + CHARLES
Georgia State Railroad Museum
April 10, 2015
Tell us how you met: Chaz and I first met during my junior year at Florida State University. I was living in my sorority house and Chaz was one of the new kitchen boys. Our first year knowing each other was just our casual attempts to make sure to run into each other at dinner. I would rush to get out of work in hopes that he would still be around the kitchen. It was a strict rule in the house for the guys to not hang around with the girls but by the second year we broke the rules and he asked me out on our first date. Who would have thought we would turn those butterfly filled glances across the dining room into a lifetime of happiness and marriage.
Proposal Details: Our proposal was the biggest surprise that I will never forget. Our first year dating, Chaz gave me a ring pop and joked around that I would have to keep that one forever. Two years later, on my 23rd birthday, Chaz left work a little early to get a birthday surprise ready for me. I came home from work and was sitting on the couch, when Chaz came in acting a little strange. He gave me my birthday present right away; and it was a bag full of my favorite candy. He was adamant that I open the ring pop. When I did, I was given the surprise of a lifetime and inside was an engagement ring. It was a special moment we got to share together and we couldn’t wait to share the news with our families!
The Invitations + Paper Details: We got our Invitations through Elli and choose the Painted Blossom theme, which highlighted our wedding color palette. We kept it simple and had my sister/matron of honor address them and send them out a couple of months before the wedding.
The Gown & Accessories: My Maid of Honor came into town and we took a day trip to Valdosta, GA. They have a quaint little dress shop, White Weddings, which not only had the charming personal experience we were looking but also a gorgeous collection of dresses. I wanted a simple lace dress that would fit the theme of the wedding. I chose a Stella York lace gown; it was the first one I tried on and after a few other options we both knew it was the one! I also found my accessories at White Weddings and wore items from family members. My sister gave me a pearl hair pin she wore on her wedding day, my best friend gave me a pin that had the most special moments from our friendship captured on it, and my grandmother passed down a bracelet that was her mothers and had been worn by each of her granddaughters on their special day. I also had to add in our favorite football team and university, Florida State University, by getting a lace garnet and gold garter on Etsy.
The Hair + Makeup: Beyond Beautiful by Heather did my trial hair and makeup and I just knew after meeting her that she would be absolutely amazing. I was very nervous on my wedding day and she was so sweet and made us all feel calm and relaxed. Heather did my makeup and hair, as well as six bridesmaids and our moms. I wore my hair up with a few braids to capture the southern/romantic feeling. Heather came up with a beautiful up-do for the bridesmaids as well. With such a large wedding party, we had Royal Makeup and Hair come out and do all of the bridesmaid and mothers makeup for the big day!
Bridesmaids Attire: The bridesmaid wore a strapless Bill Levkof dress in Petal Pink. I wanted them to be comfortable and choose their accessories to show off each of there personalities.
Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Chaz chose a Vera Wang Charcoal Grey Tuxedo with a grey paisley print tie for himself. His groomsmen and our dads both wore the same Tuxedo with petal pink paisley ties.
How did you select your venue: We both wanted to get married in a location that would be a unique experience for all of our guests. Most would be traveling from out of state and we wanted a destination that they could enjoy and make a vacation out of it. I have always admired the southern charm that Savannah presents and love every chance we have at staying downtown and walking the river walk. So, we decided Savannah would be our dream-wedding destination! My family lives nearby in Richmond Hill and they were so excited to be a big part of the planning since we live 4 hours away. My sister and matron of honor found the Georgia State Railroad Museum and knew it would be the perfect fit for us. We took a weekend trip up there and fell in love with the venue; it had the rustic charm I was looking for and fit Chaz’s laid back style!
Ceremony Site + Personal Details: We tied the knot at the historic Georgia State Railroad Museum. We decided to have both the ceremony and reception in the blacksmith shop (our wedding planners pulled off an amazing flip during cocktail hour!) We loved all of the unique details of the venue and didn’t want to take away from the vintage/southern feel. For the ceremony, we lined bench seats and had a backdrop of lights in the front. Chaz and I chose to have a guitarist, Terry Thrift, play during the ceremony. We started with some Jack Johnson followed by the traditional Bridal Chorus (My dad and I just knew it was just one of those songs that would bring the true wedding feeling to life!).
Aesthetic + Color Palette: We really wanted the whimsical/rustic/vintage feel for the wedding. We chose to do a mix of flowers that would look gorgeous with the soft glow of café lights and candles at the reception. We chose very subtle colors with a soft array of gray, pink, and white.
The Décor: The reception location already had the rustic/vintage feel so we chose to accent the room with café lights strung across the ceiling giving the room a soft glow. We used wooden picnic tables lined up family style with lace and burlap runners. Center pieces included lanterns, as well as a mix of mason jars, vases, and tea lights. The couple’s table had wooden Mr. and Mrs. letters that were covered in vintage style paper, as well as a wooden wine memory box made by family friends at Rogue Engineers. It has our wedding date embossed and on our wedding night we both placed a bottle of wine along with notes we wrote to each other. On our one-year anniversary we plan to open it and celebrate our first year as husband and wife. The entrance to the reception featured a wagon table, which we placed our wooden guest book on, as well as our place cards which we made out of wine corks. Outside the reception, my dad made a set of corn hole boards for family and friends to enjoy!
The Food + Beverage: For dinner, Creative Catering served us up a delicious buffet. Carved roast beef was a fan favorite, along with the turkey, potatoes, Mac n cheese, salad, and bread rolls. We added peach cobbler with ice cream to our wedding cake dessert table. Two bars were set-up at the reception and cocktail hour with premium liquors and we can’t forget the amazing milk and cookie shooter we had to toast the big event.
What were the most important elements about your wedding day to you and your husband? The most important element for Chaz and I was the atmosphere of the wedding. I remember our first dance under the glow of the café lights when I finally got the chance to look out at all our family and friends gathered in one place and at that moment I realized I had never been happier. We were in the middle of our dream wedding and the lights and venue created the relaxed whimsical feel we both wanted to capture.
The Flowers: Ivory and Beau designed our flowers! We decided on a theme and they put together a gorgeous array of flowers within our budget.
The bridal bouquet was a mix of daisies, tulips, baby’s breath, white anemones, and a few succulents. The bridal party had a beautiful bouquet of daises wrapped in pink ribbon.
The guys were a little hesitant on the whole flower idea but they rocked some white daisies that worked great with the charcoal tuxedos.
Our two adorable flower girls were given white and pink petals to go in their handmade flower girl baskets.
For the tables, we chose to stick with a whimsical southern look and had an array of lanterns/cases filled with daisies, bocus, hydrangeas, greenery, seeded eucalyptus and lemon leaf. Against the glow of the candles they looked absolutely amazing!
Guest Count: 75 guests
The Favors: We chose to go with Koozies from Custom Ink that would show the journey of how we became Mr. and Mrs. It highlighted our Journey beginning in the Delta Zeta kitchen all the way to our first addition to our family, our chocolate lab puppy, Pickles, who has added to some of the greatest stories of our relationship.
Personal Touches: For Chaz and I, the wedding was all about adding in the personal touches. Our family made a number of homemade decorations: Corn hole, cake stand, greenery, and place cards. Family friends added special additions to the ceremony with the flower girls basket and our wine memory box. I also surprised Chaz and his groomsmen with personalized shot glasses and a mini bottle of Patron to toast the groom before he said “I Do”.
The Cake and Sweets: To end the night, we had peach cobbler from Creative Catering and the most delicious cake I have ever tasted from Lulu’s Chocolate Bar. I’m a chocoholic and Chaz loves cream cheese and anything sweet, so we chose vanilla bean simple syrup infused cake with Jameson gnache, cream cheese icing, and raspberry preserves layered between. Lulu’s finished it off with a simple rustic icing. The cake was on top of a romantic wooden cake stand (my dad’s special handmade gift for us!) and topped with fresh flowers and Mr. and Mrs. Elephants in petal pink. It was a toss up between my favorite animal (polar bears) and Chaz’s favorite (elephants) but when we found the elephants on Etsy we knew they were perfect.
What Lowcountry elements did you incorporate into your big day? We incorporated the southern vintage feel of Lowcountry into our wedding day. Chaz and I could not have pieced together the image we had of our dream wedding without all of the features and vendor lists I was able to look through.
Late night snacks/special treats: To toast the new Mr. and Mrs., we decided to have Chaz’s mom add in her special touch and love for cooking by baking us some homemade cranberry/lemon & chocolate chip cookies. We paired these with White Russian shooters and milk (for the kiddos).
The Send-off/Getaway Vehicle: Savannah Pedi Cab awaited our departure from the Georgia State Railroad museum after guests lined up to send us off with a sparkler lit walkway. The pedicab took us on a peaceful rid around town and really gave us a chance to take in the night and spend some time alone before meeting back up with our wedding party!
Best Piece of Advice for Brides-to-be: Enjoy all of the planning. It really is the absolute most special time to bring family and friends together. Take time to enjoy yourself and take in all the details, the night will fly by! Lastly, cherish the butterflies you get each time you look at your new husband and the rings that tie you together. Your wedding day will be the absolute best night of your life.
Is there anything else our readers would love to know about your wedding day? Our wedding day was made possible by the amazing group of vendors. It truly is the most important factor in planning a wedding to find people who fit your personalities. We had Jamie, our DJ, who kept the celebration going and connected with so many of our guests. Our photographer, Rach Lea, made us feel so comfortable and we knew we had the best person to capture all of the special moments. We also couldn’t have made it official without Rev. Schulte. He really made the ceremony feel so special and connected with both Chaz and I at the rehearsal and our wedding day.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Georgia State Railroad Museum l Photographer: Rach Loves Troy Photo + Cinema l Planning & Floral Design: Ivory + Beau l Cake & Sweets: Lulu’s Chocolate Bar l Catering: Creative Catering l Gown: Stella York l Dress Boutique: White Weddings (Valdosta, GA) l Bridesmaids Dress Designer: Bill Levkoff l Hair Stylist: Beyond Beautiful by Heather l Makeup Artist: Beyond Beautiful by Heather (Bride) Michelle Royal (Bridesmaids and Mom's) l Men's Attire: Men’s Wearhouse l Rentals & Lighting: Amazing Events Rentals l Invitations: Elli l Linens: Ultra Pom l Transportation: Savannah Pedicab l Ceremony Music: Terry Thrift l Reception Music: All About You Entertainment l Favors: Custom Ink l Rehearsal Dinner: The Distillery l Rings: Kay’s l Officiant: Rev. Steven Schulte l Wooden Creations: Rogue Engineers