I had been probing Chelsi for a long time to see if she was ready for engagement and finally I got, “I don’t know… maybe,” on a Tuesday evening while I was out of town and I took it and ran with it. I had asked for permission months before and started to design her ring prior as well. Two days later, I pick up the final ring and we go through a walk in a park prior to our monthly date night. I see a violinist in the corner of the park and ask her to play a song which she complies. Then I ask for one more… all the sudden she plays our song. I ask Chelsi if she wants to dance. She emphatically says, “No,” as she knows what’s about to happen. I say something sweet and get on a knee. As an individual who has grand plans, but not the smoothest, everything was going swimmingly at this point. I ask her to marry me and she replies with, “The box is upside down.” After I flip it she says yes and we have a picnic in the park arranged with a personal violinist concert. There was also a photographer hiding in the bushes to capture all of this. I was then able to explain how the ring I designed was a Canadian diamond and the inside of the band had her favorite line from the Canadian National Anthem engraved on it so she could always feel a little more at home here in America. The reason I did it two days after she said, “I don’t know, maybe,” was because I was ready and also her grandpa was in the hospital and we were visiting that weekend. I wanted her to be able to share that moment with him.
I (Chelsi) was scrolling through Instagram and happened to see a large Chicago marquee sign, I followed link after link to get to the Salvage One site. I saw a couple pictures and knew it was incredibly unique so we had to visit. Once Reid and I got there we knew right away. It was the perfect mixture of industrial and bohemian/eclectic – the personification of Reid and I respectively. We knew we wanted a non-traditional space where we could throw one heck of a party and this was it. It lived up to our hopes easily.
So many, but one especially was when my Aunt and Uncle got my grandparents on the phone mid dance party and the DJ played it over the speaker system (there are a few photos of this when I’m crying on the dance floor with Reid behind me ha). My grandfather has terminal cancer and couldn’t travel so they both couldn’t make it – news that broke both our hearts – but when I heard both of my grandparent’s heavy Newfie (they’re from Newfoundland, a province in Canada) accents over the loud speaker telling us to have a fun night and a joyful marriage, goodness, I’ll remember that forever. I’m getting emotional just writing about it now!!
Besides the call from the grandparents and my two best man speeches I would say the final song. It was Piano Man and the whole wedding surrounded Chelsi dancing like the wacky woman she is and I got to join her in her moment. It again was just a very “Chelsi” type of moment and a great way to end the whole evening.
The call from the grandparents for sure! But another surprise was that Reid and I hadn’t planned (or budgeted) for a videographer but upon learning of my grandparents absence Reid found and booked one within a month of the wedding so that we could fly to their home in Canada a week after the wedding, show it to them, and relive the day with them.
Chelsi… I mean, are you reading what Reid did! Gosh, I’m kinda crying now, no shame.Both speeches by my best men got my eyes a little damp which was not expected.Chelsi, what was your favorite photo from your wedding day?
Oddly enough the one where Reid is holding my bouquet and arm and we’re walking down the stairs – it’s the first one in black and white of that sequence. Something about the photos just makes me gush, plus it’s non-traditional, caught in the moment, which is totally my jam.
Reid, what was your favorite photo from your wedding day?
A ton of Chelsi and I and lots of candid ones with stories behind it, but if one sticks out it might be the colored one of the groomsmen in I bunched in a semicircle looking up and smiling at the camera. Those have been very important guys in my life and very rarely are we all smiling at one time because someone is usually the brunt of the joke so it is nice to see a group shot like that.
Looking back, was there anything you would’ve done differently?
I’m torn on this one! On the one hand I LOVED doing all our florals myself – there was something very meditative about collecting all those recycled cans/bottles, spray painting and cleaning them, and then cutting/filling them with plants and making bouquets. On the other hand it did cost me nearly 5 days and the destruction of our guest washroom. Not to mention all these flowers come in 3 days before the wedding so I was up at 6AM wedding day crouching on the bathroom floor arranging ha . People wanted to help but I couldn’t really verbalize how I was doing the centrepieces so I ended up doing it all alone; I think if I could do it differently I would had a laid out plan for people to follow so I could have had helpers to make it go by faster. To any brides planning on doing their own florals, 100% do it, but dear lord don’t do it alone – that was craziness!
I would have ordered more whiskey… the guests drank a lot which we were hoping would happen!
Do you have any advice for newly engaged couples?
Sit down and prioritize – Reid and I almost immediately after getting engaged shared our one or two must haves for the wedding with each other. We knew that is where we would put more money, time, and care into comparative to other things. There’s so much to planning a wedding and it can stress and make people crazy, but Reid and I worked hard on what we really wanted and let the rest wash over us. Different components are important to each person so as long as you communicate and are mindful then planning should be relatively smooth!
Why stress out? Things won’t always work out perfectly and every day of marriage won’t either. It is a very expensive day so instead of focusing on the small problems that no one else will ever remember or even notice just enjoy the grand event and the fact so many people are there to celebrate you two.
Anything else you’d like to share about your day?
People say it’s the most important day of your life and I think that puts a lot of pressure on the couple and potentially has them forget why they’re really there. Reid and I both knew it was an important day but we in no way thought or think it will be the most important – that not only allowed us to relax and actually have a blast the ENTIRE day (fire drills be damned) but it allows us to look forward and love what is coming instead of lamenting of what has passed.
Do what you want to do. We discussed the things that mattered to us prior and made sure that those happened like a private first look, a quick ceremony, lots of dancing, and a good party. It’s honestly just a day. Make sure after the wedding and honeymoon you have something to look forward to in your relationship as well so you can keep the good momentum of life going!
Huge thank you to Chelsi + Reid for taking the time to fill out these questions and sharing about their day! I also need to give a major shoutout to Eric Floberg for lead shooting this wedding for us. Enjoy, friends!