March 18th, 2017
Chelsea is a middle school science teacher and Justine works for a nonprofit doing environmental and community work. They have been together for 3 years and live in a suburb of Atlanta, GA with their dogs, cat, and chickens. They love camping, hiking, DIY projects, and beer. Chelsea is a crafty woodworker and homebrewer—she brewed all the beers for engagement party and wedding showers—and Justine has a vegetable garden and loves to can and pickle.
The couple met online in 2014 and after texting and talking on the phone, agreed to meet in person. Says Justine, “I had planned to make dinner for Chelsea, but didn’t know if the date would go well, so I didn’t make any other plans. We were enjoying each other so much, that we went to my friends’ house for a game night. Our friends were surprised it was our first date because–they still swear to this day–it seemed like we’d known each other for years; we had great chemistry and were immediately comfortable with each other.” They stayed up all night talking; a 21 hr. first date, and moved in together four months later.
Chelsea and Justine both proposed to each other during a weekend away in February 2016. They planned a wedding they jokingly refer to as “brewery formal.” The couple say that they wanted their wedding to feel like a party at their house or a backyard BBQ; “Relaxed, happy, great food and beer, the best people, and just an overall feeling of fun and happiness. We both feel like we achieved that.” The venue, Eventide Brewery in Atlanta, had décor and tables built by the owners, so Chelsea and Justine chose to keep decoration minimal.
Both brides were escorted down the aisle, Chelsea by her grandparents and Justine by her parents. They chose to go in alphabetical order by last name.
Justine’s family is Jewish and she wanted to be married under a chuppah, so she and her mom cut out squares of muslin and had loved ones write well-wishes on the fabric. “My mom then sewed them together into a quilt, and we had our attendants hold the chuppah above us.” Because most Jewish ceremonies involve drinking wine, Chelsea suggest they share a beer. “So,” says Chelsea, “Our officiant cracked a can, took a sip, and then handed it to us.”
Wedding Song: “Wherever is your Heart” by Brandi Carlile.
Say the brides, “We’ve seen Brandi Carlile in concert a lot and the lyrics mean a lot to us. Plus, it’s not a common wedding song so we didn’t think it would feel overdone or too popular.”
The brides had their first dance to this song, then invited their guests to join them while Justine’s sister Lizzy sang “To Make You Feel My Love.”
Justine’s Favorite Moment: “Watching Chelsea’s grandfather surprise her and swing dance with her. The dance floor cleared and everyone was cheering them on. It was just so cool, and I loved seeing her have so much fun.”
Chelsea’s Favorite Moment: “Our first dance. It was nice to have a moment to ourselves on the dance floor, and then have everyone surround us and show us love during the second song. It was perfect.”
The brides say they had so many people helping them, from wedding planning to cleaning up. “We felt a lot of love.” Asked if they would change anything, they say they only wish they could do it over because everything happened so fast.