{SBB Bride of the Week} Kelsey

K E L S E Y  +  E R I K

{June 17th, 2018}

{Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

{Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

Meet the beautiful Kelsey!

When Kelsey came to us searching for the perfect dress, we took to her right away. She is SO sweet!

After trying on different styles, Kelsey chose a stunning, rose gold WToo by Watters gown for her Sunday afternoon wedding.

Y'all, this dress!

It has some of the most interesting lace we have ever seen in a wedding gown. It's truly unique and we absolutely LOVE it!

Kelsey made it all her own by adding a gorgeous rose gold belt and champagne and rose gold veil, both by Bel Aire Bridal Accessories!

{Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

For her beautiful flowers, Kelsey turned to Ocie Florals out of Naperville to create the perfect bouquet!

{Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

{Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

Before her walk down the aisle, Kelsey wanted to share a moment with her main man: dad.

His reaction to seeing his daughter in her wedding dress is everything!

{Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

Kelsey married her husband in a charming garden at Morton Arboretum.

With 16 guests in attendance, the whole thing was truly a family affair.

Both parents walked Kelsey down the aisle while her brother sang and played the guitar.

Her brother also officiated the wedding!

{Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

After the ceremony, guests took a tram ride around the Arboretum before heading to a brunch reception.

{Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

See? Even if your guest list is smaller it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice having a beautiful reception!

Let's get to know the newlyweds! How did they meet?

"Our story is unique. Erik was actually my cross country coach in college, and over the years we realized we were bonding over more than just running. We decided to think seriously about the relationship after I graduated and our love grew from there. It's an odd way to meet your husband, but it's our story and I wouldn't change a thing!"

How did Erik pop the question?

"I'm a planner. So, when Erik first mentioned "our wedding," I got so excited that he was even considering marriage that I started thinking about how I might want our day to look. I had only been to the Morton Arboretum once before to run a 10K and I wasn't really paying attention to the scenery. So when I found out they had a small garden "perfect for small wedding ceremonies," my interest was sparked. I casually mentioned that we should go look at the garden sometime since neither of us had really toured the Arboretum before. We went to the Arboretum on a Sunday afternoon to wander around. After quite a bit of walking, we finally found the garden. But there was a wedding taking place inside so we couldn't go in. His Plan A was foiled. We decided to turn down the "Plants of Europe" trail. We came up on a bench and Erik said he was going to sit down for a minute. Anybody that knows Erik knows that the man does not sit down. He's constantly moving. So I became a little skeptical at this point. When I sat down next time him, he put his arm around me and said "I figured since we were here looking at a spot to get married, you should probably have this." And he pulled a ring box out of his pocket. I immediately started to laugh/cry. It wasn't the most romantic proposal in the world, but it was perfect for us! We sat on the bench and called and Facetimed our families for quite a while! The weird thing is that nobody else ever came down the trail! It was like our own private celebration, which was awesome!"

Was she surprised?

"I knew a proposal was coming soon, but I didn't think it would happen that day. I was with my mom, aunts and cousins the day before at a wine tasting though and they all were saying he was going to do it then!"

After the proposal comes our fave part of planning - dress shopping!

"Dress shopping was so fun! I went to a sample store first, just to get an idea of what silhouette I wanted. My best friend and cousin had both bought their dresses at Something Blue within the last year, so I knew that had to be my second stop. I brought my mom and Aunt Sue and we had such a fun time clipping dresses to try. I had in my mind that I wanted an A-Line dress or something flowy. I did not want something tight fitting. However, Celine (our consultant) knew best. She pulled a gorgeous lace fit and flare with a rose gold under layer. It was the first dress I tried on and I was ready to stop shopping! It fit me beautifully, the color was perfect, and once it was accented with a rose gold belt and beaded veil, I was sold! I still tried on the A-Line dresses just for the heck of it, but I knew they didn't stand a chance."

How did Kelsey know her dress was "the one"?

"I wanted something really unique and I loved the idea of wearing some kind of color. The unique lace and the rose gold under layer is what completely sold me! Also, I was extremely self-conscious about my hips and butt going into dress shopping. I think that's why I wanted an A-Line dress, so I could hide it. But as soon as I realized that the fit and flare style actually made me look good, there was no turning back! I never, in a million years, would have chosen that dress on the hanger! So, I am eternally grateful to Celine for realizing what would actually suit me."

When it was time to start planning her big day, Kelsey was up to the task.

"I loved the entire process! I've told numerous people that I think I entered the wrong profession. I should have been an event planner! I was excited about every little detail. I made my own centerpieces and decorations and my vendors were so fun to work with. I also think it helped that my wedding only had 20 invited guests...I feel like if I had a larger guest list things may not have gone so smoothly."

Come on, there has to be SOMETHING she didn't enjoy about it...

"There was one part that stressed me out and that was the itinerary for the wedding day. As I mentioned before, I'm a planner. We had a brunch wedding so everything was starting very early in the day. Making sure we stuck to a strict time schedule made me a little anxious. But I totally shouldn't have been nervous at all! Everything went so smoothly!"

What was Kelsey's favorite moment from her wedding?

Tram ride through the Arboretum {Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

Tram ride through the Arboretum {Photos by: Melanie Principe Photography}

"I had a few! I loved the first look with my Dad. I just felt like that was so special for both of us. I also loved seeing Erik tear up as I walked down the aisle. I caught a few glimpses of him from the window of the bridal room before the ceremony, but seeing him under the arbor with my brother was emotional and amazing! My third favorite moment was definitely our tram tour! Instead of a normal cocktail hour, we piled everyone onto a tram (with cocktails, of course) and took a tour of the Arboretum. It was so interesting and beautiful! I highly recommend completely embracing everything your venue has to offer. The driver even stopped for a photo op!"


Now that it's all said and done, what is Kelsey's biggest takeaway from the whole wedding process?

"Start planning early, especially if anything about your wedding is DIY. Also, organization is key! I had spreadsheets, budgets, and binders. If you aren't the organized type, find someone who is to help you. All the various bits of information can get jumbled if they aren't kept track of."

I asked Kelsey what her best piece of advice would be for future brides...

"I would encourage couples to plan the wedding they want! Erik and I knew we wanted a very personal, intimate wedding. We had very little, if any, push back from our family when it came to planning the guest list, itinerary, etc... I feel that not all couples are as lucky. But, what people need to remember is that a wedding is a day to celebrate the bride and the groom. And if the bride and the groom want to eat waffles in a garden with their immediate family and two best friends, then so be it!"

We loved working with you Kelsey and wish you and Erik nothing but happiness in your future together! Check out more of their beautiful wedding pictures by Melanie Principe Photography in the gallery below!