Every love story is beautifully unique: from chance meetings to online dating to sweet childhood connections and everything in between. We are in the business of celebrating these lovely unions, and it is the tenderest blessing to be entrusted with each and every love story we feature! Today’s soulmates, Austin & Chelsea, met in a phase of life when most of us were just trying (and failing) to adjust to life after elementary school. In it, they unknowingly started a journey down a path that would lead them to a flower-covered altar one blissfully sunlit afternoon!
A word from White Wren Collaborative photographer, Mallory Haren of Mallory Dawn Photography:
“Chelsea and Austin were meant for one another. It is so clear to everyone around them that they are best friends and care for each other immensely. I was so very honored to be the one to capture their special day! Chelsea had a very beautiful vision for her wedding day. She incorporated lots of loose greenery with soft pastel colors to create a fairytale setting. Lake Oak Meadows was the perfect location for these two to get married. The venue itself was overflowing with lush greens which produced a beautiful backdrop for the two of them to say ‘I do.’ Also, Chelsea’s bridesmaids wore a stunning, unique two-piece outfit. The skirts were a light mauve color and the tops were ivory lace. The tulle against the lace really is such a perfect pair! Overall, it was a beautiful day filled with tears, joy and lots of laughter!”
Love notes from the couple, Austin & Chelsea:
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
Chelsea: “We met when I was in a community theater production and Austin’s younger brother was in the cast with me. Austin would come help out with set building and I was smitten from the moment I saw him. I was in the 6th grade and he was in the 8th. I would giggle with my friends and try to sneak pictures of him on my Razr flip phone. I clearly thought he was the cutest boy I had ever seen the first time I saw him. Austin said that he thought I was outgoing, kind, and very beautiful. He was painfully shy and says that he mustered up a lot of courage to start talking to me.”
What is your favorite thing about each other?
Chelsea: “We love each other’s sense of humor! It is so fun to laugh with together about the silliest things. We often make the same joke at the same time, but enjoy playing off a witty comment the other person says. I will also say that Austin has some of the most beautiful teeth I have ever seen and love to see him smile. ”
Austin: “Chelsea has the cutest freckles I have ever seen. I like when I can see them on her nose and cheeks. I love them so much that I put them in my vows to her.”
Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day or relationship!
Chelsea: “One of the most memorable stories in our relationship is also one of the silliest. This took place years ago when Austin had just asked me to be his girlfriend.
We were both together at the theater where we met and I had just finished with the show for that evening. After the show, we would receive notes from our director. Austin stuck around after the performance and came and sat by me. He discreetly asked me if he could hold my hand and I agreed. I was extremely nervous because I had never held a hand before. We clumsily laced our fingers together and 30 slow seconds passed by. I decided I had to get out of the awkward situation, so I acted like I was going to get sick and dramatically ran out of the theater. Sweet Austin asked if I was okay afterwards and I carried on the act. I have never told him that I made that all up until now. Sorry!”
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning.
Chelsea: “Austin and I started dating back in 2009 and we both lived in the same city. When I chose a college in Fullerton he had to stay in San Diego because that’s where he was earning his degree. This decision meant we had to navigate an intimidating long distance relationship (which brought us closer than we expected it to in the end). Being a few hours apart, rather than a few minutes, made it difficult to attend wedding meetings together and it requited us to cram multiple plans into one or two days before we had to part again due to school and work.”
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
Chelsea: “Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed picking out the details in the decor and adding personal touches to the ceremony/reception. From the wedding programs to the sweetheart table, I took full advantage of being a bride. I couldn’t pin fast enough in Pinterest.
Austin and I both definitely agree that we had a blast when it came time for taste testing our dinner options and all our delicious desserts! This was something we both had equal say in and made mini-dates out of these planning meetings. It was a lot of fun!”
Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day?
Chelsea: “We both love our families dearly and tried to make each moment with them special, while still keeping to the important traditions. My dad lovingly walked me down the isle and he danced a sweet dance with his mom. We really wanted all of our parents to be involved in the ceremony so we found an Irish blessing called ‘The Blessing of the Hands’ and incorporated all of them into it. We asked each of our parents to hold a rope or chord to wrap around our hands to symbolize our unity and two becoming one. This was very special to us and hopefully this tradition can be passed down to our future children.”
What part of your wedding day was most important to you?
“Our vows were by far the most important part of the day for us. If you take away the fancy cake, beautiful dress, and the adorning florals, our relationship and love for one another was at the center of it all. Being able to commit our hearts to each other and make eternal promises of loyalty and love was an unforgettable moment. I don’t think anything could top that for us and we are glad that we stayed grounded through it all and recognized that is what a wedding is really all about.”
What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another?
Austin: “Chelsea has taught me to stay on my toes and never assume I know everything. She always surprises me with something new that I never knew about her. It is fascinating. Most recently, she has shown me how well she can cook! She is also very intelligent and I am always excited when she shares a fact with me that I wasn’t expecting.”
Chelsea: “Austin impresses me and teaches me new things each day. I would have to say he has shown me how to forgive quickly whenever something needs to be worked through. I love this about him because, I admit, it takes me a little longer to put things out of my mind whenever we disagree, but he never skips a beat in making sure I know how much he loves me.”
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
“We want to encourage other couples, older and younger than us, to say “yes” to fun. We know how stressful it is when you are newlyweds with finances and time together pulling you in different directions. We think it is important to not be afraid to experience fun things together even if they seem scary at first. For example, we recently drove up to Las Vegas on a whim to attend a country concert together. This was a big time and financial commitment for us at the time, but we were so happy that we made those memories together. One other important thing we want to share is to say “I love you” whenever and however many times a day you want. It’s okay to be in love and it’s sweet to let your spouse know just how much.”
What is the most honest thing you can say about love?
“Love has no capacity. Love doesn’t have a quota to fill. It knows no bounds and continues to expand everyday for the people we care about, especially our spouses. Love will never run out of supply and it is a gift we can give whole-heartedly every single day.”
photographer: Mallory Dawn Photography / venue: Lake Oak Meadows / floral designer: Hartworks Floral Design / dress boutique: Brides by Demetrios San Diego & custom sleeves designed by bride / cake designer: Bo Cakes / makeup artist: Makeup By Kandice / hair stylist: Ashley Iverson / calligraphy: Rosy Avenue Calligraphy / entertainment: Good Time Entertainment / videography: Theater 10 / photo booth: Captured Photo Booths / film lab: Goodman Film Lab