I’ve said it before and I’ll surely say it again, but I can hardly remember a time when Derek and Chelsea weren’t a couple. They started dating as teenagers, and with all of us growing up in the same small town area, I felt like I practically knew them as a packaged deal. The thing about young love is that it is often transient, despite the fact that we don’t always have the foresight at that age to comprehend it quite yet – we mature and grow and change so much during these years, and sometimes find ourselves drifting toward new loves and passions and chapters and places.
Derek and Chelsea, however, always felt like an exception to the rule – their love felt steadfast and strong, and they went to different colleges and pursued their individual passions and chased goals, all while maintaining their relationship. Because when you’re two people who just kinda get one another, sure, it can be tough – but you know it’s worth the maintenance because you both can’t imagine it any other way.
On their wedding day, they surrounded themselves with their family and friends – the people who have known them both for all these years, and who had looked on as they both found their ways. Derek’s brother, Drew, spoke of this growth in his toast to them: he described young Derek’s fears and awkward + funny moments, and the way he not only grew into a strong, responsible, admirable adult, but also how he did so with Chelsea’s presence alongside him the entire time. When you date from the time you’re young like Chelsea and Derek have, your families can sometimes have a way of meshing together over time – because of not only the love for each of their kids, but also the respect and admiration they have for the person who loves their child, as well as the people who raised him or her. Derek and Chelsea’s parents and siblings laughed and danced and mingled as one, and I was reminded of how weddings are sometimes a way to celebrate more than just the love between two people; sometimes we’re also celebrating the love that has been poured into them through all those years prior, which is part of what made them the people they each fell in love with in the first place.
Ceremony: Bethany Baptist Church
Reception Venue: Ravina on the Lakes
Dress: Adore Bridal
Florals: Garden of Grace
Reception Signage + Calligraphy Details: Etre Design & Co.
Cake: Becky Yedinak
Videography: Ethan Scholl
DJ: Complete Weddings and Events
Lighting: Prospect Sound and Lighting