East Coast Wedding Along the Coast: Ryan & Kelsey

Couple Story: Ryan & Kelsey

What do you do?

I’m a registered nurse. Ryan is a human geographer

How did you meet?

In short, we met at a party our senior year of college at James Madison University. There were some serendipitous happenings but that’s a much longer story!

Proposal story

After a wonderful night of dinner and ice skating on the premise of celebrating getting a new apartment, we came back to our apartment. Ryan made me wait so he could head in first. When he let me in, it was filled with candles and Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” played. We slow danced in the candlelight. Afterwards Ryan had me get a bottle of champagne out of the fridge. I was convinced we didn’t have any, somehow I hadn’t noticed a bottle in the back of the fridge for the past week. A little need to know fact is we collect corks when we celebrate something and write on the cork what it was and when. So when I pulled it out and took off the cage, Ryan had written “Our Engagement” around the edge. When I turned around he was on one knee in the middle of our tiny apartment kitchen. He said some cute things, I cried and of course said yes. “What a Wonderful World” ended up being our first dance.

Story of the day

It had been cloudy, windy and little drizzly all morning. Our coordinator tried to bring the ceremony inside, I wouldn’t let that happen. I always wanted an outside wedding and I’m stubborn. I had tons of nervous energy but it all disappeared once I saw Ryan down the aisle. You can see it in most of the pictures. We had a single cellist who played beautifully. Both of our mothers did readings. We read our vows without crying. Then we got married which is just the best! The rain held off for the ceremony, it was just a little windy! The rain started right after the ceremony, then stopped again just in time for pictures. The reception had plenty of love, music, food, the nicest wedding crashers, and dancing. The photo booth and donuts were a big hit with everyone. We still cut a cake to keep the tradition but it was just a dressed up grocery store cake! We ended the night with a sparkler exit, riding away into the night on our razor scooters!

Favorite moment

Ryan- My favorite moment was definitely when I got to see my wife in her wedding dress for the first time. Seeing her walk down the aisle in all white smiling from ear to ear was one of the highlights of my life.

Kelsey- While planning our get away from the reception, we joked about “what if we just took off on razor scooters?” The idea ended up becoming the plan. It was the silliest thing but one of the most “us” parts of the wedding. (Mine had light up wheels)

The Celebration

Details (theme, color, etc)

Ryan and I talked a lot about what we wanted (a photo booth, cellist) and didn’t want (a garter toss), what we were willing to forgo (a tiered cake) and what we needed (donuts). Our budget was around $35,000-40,000. We wanted a smaller wedding around 100 guests. I didn’t have a planner. We ended up doing a lot by ourselves or with our moms. I tried to do some DIY to save costs, like bubble for the ceremony, the guest signing board, and place cards. Some things ended up being easier to get off Etsy. We didn’t really have a “theme”. I just worked off the colors of blush pink, ivory and foliage greens. I wanted our flowers to be full and natural with plenty of greenery and larger flowers. Our place cards were corks. We wanted to add them in somewhere to tie in our engagement story. My dad was my DJ which was a huge stress reliever. We didn’t need much decoration for the actual wedding site, it was beautiful all by itself!

Best advice received

I worried so much about what everyone would think of the wedding. My mom told me, as long as there’s enough to eat, enough to drink and music to dance to, people won’t remember the small details.

Advice to give

Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture! At the end of the night, you’re married to your love. It’s not going to matter who sat next to who at table six or if one pink matches another pink.

Newlywed excitement

Being in that happy glowing newlywed phase for as long as we can! So far so good! We can’t wait to see where it takes us

Honeymoon plans

We went to an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana Dominican Republic for a week!



Photographer:  George Street Photo & Video//Reception Venue: Chesapeake Bay Beach Club//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights