A Lovely, Rainy WeddingWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Switzerfilm
Chelsea and Chris are a Midwest couple who knew they wanted to get married away from home, but wanted to ensure all their family and friends would still be able to attend the wedding. So, they opted for Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri and even their elderly grandparents were able to attend and make the drive. This destination wedding isn’t necessarily unique in that 100% of the couple’s guests had to travel to attend the wedding, but it is unique in that the couple had a whopping 245 guests come W-day!
Before hiring wedding planner Lacy Branch three months into the planning process, Chelsea and Chris chose The Lodge of Four Seasons as their destination wedding venue. “We chose our venue space due to the fact that every need/want was available on site i.e. multiple sites for the rehearsal, ceremony and reception, a spa, golfing etc. and additional travel wouldn’t be required once our guests arrived,” says the couple.
When it comes to planning a destination wedding, Chelsea and Chris have a really strong opinion about one thing in particular: hire a wedding planner. “Aside from choosing to get married, using a wedding planner was the second best decision of our life together thus far,” says Chelsea. “Being naïve to the wedding planning process, we thought we could do it alone. We hired our wedding planner about three months after we became engaged. We had already booked our venue and a few vendors, [but] an issue we ran into was we were limited in our vendor selections. There were no local chair rental, linen etc. companies to go through. We ended up going through companies in St. Louis and paying for their travel time and mileage – an expense we had not originally accounted for.
“Our advice would be to set your budget early and if at all possible, hire a planner. His/her service is invaluable. Aside from the amount of time, effort and energy he/she will put into your day, the amount of stress you as a bride will experience is almost nonexistent.”
One thing the couple and their wedding planner couldn’t control was the weather – and sure enough, it rained during Chris and Chelsea’s outdoor ceremony. However, the couple stayed optimistic and had a positive outlook on misbehaving Mother Nature. “…the rain made for beautiful pictures and so many wonderful stories and memories.”
The couple has some final words of advice for other lovebirds planning a wedding away: “Everyone said to us ‘Your engagement goes by fast, enjoy the planning process!’ It’s true, it goes by so fast – enjoy it. Hire a wedding planner that can help you navigate the waters and bring your vision to life and this will really allow you to enjoy every moment instead of working. At the end of the day, when the cake is eaten and the last guest leaves, all you two will have is your memories, pictures and wedding video. Do not skimp on your videographer and photographer – their wedding services will last you a lifetime.” Congratulations to Chelsea and Chris and to view their wedding video, see below.
Vendors: Photographer/Videographer: Switzerfilm, Wedding Planner: Lacy Branch Events, Ceremony/Reception Site: The Lodge of Four Seasons, Florist: Belli Fiori, Stationery: Two Blue Doors, Inc., Cake: Fancy That Cake, Hair & Makeup: Amy Wollenberg & Sammy Tackaberry, Gown Designer: Enzoani Blue, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Jim’s Formal Wear, Bridesmaids/Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: Belsoie/Jim’s Formal Wear, Photo Booth: Ashle Photography, DJ: Elite Lighting & Sound, Ceremony Music: Joel Sprenger & John Mueth, Linens: Nuage Designs, Lighting: Millennium Productions, Chairs: The Aries Company, Aisle Runner: Original Runner Company
Chris and Chelsea's Wedding Video:
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