The most splendid and beautiful love stories are always about two gorgeous souls whose mutual vision of the world is in perfect harmony. That's exactly what describes the lovely bride and groom, Madisyn and Chase, whose bridal experience fully reflected their creative personalities and unique perception of beauty. From a touching surprise engagement story to a heartwarming and family-oriented wedding, everything went according to the ideal plan for the couple. Read the interview with the bride and enjoy the love story captured by our wonderful member — wedding photographer Stefanie Keeler.
Tell us a little about yourselves. How did you meet? What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies?
My husband and I are both creatives, we both do freelance media for a living. I do social media and Chase is a photographer and videographer. We both love fashion and thrifting, which makes for an overflowing joint closet and a uniquely curated first home. My husband and I met through my brother actually. They had met each other briefly in 2020 and ended up growing closer over social media because of my brother's clothing brand, Circle Author. My brother flew my now husband, Chase, from California (where he was living) out to Florida for a pop up they were doing for their clothing brand in the summer of 2021, which is when we met. We were around each other that whole weekend but didn't talk much until a couple days later when we all took a trip to St. Pete Beach (where we would later get engaged). My brother and sister in law secretly arranged for Chase and I to ride in the backseat of their car together for the whole two hour ride without us knowing prior. It was definitely a little awkward at first and I thought he definitely wasn't interested because he didn't seem to want to keep up the conversation but came to find out later he was just nervous to talk to me.
Can you share your engagement story?
We had discussed the timeline of our engagement in the coming months before the engagement and I had a suspicion he had the ring so I knew it was coming soon but somehow he ended up taking me by surprise, despite how usually intuitive I am. I was in Florida visiting with my family after Christmas and Chase was in Georgia visiting with his. My mom, sister and some girl friends convinced me to take a day trip to St Pete, my favorite place to day trip to. For some reason I was resistant thinking that Chase and I would probably go next week when he was scheduled to come down to Florida but they convinced me anyway. The girls and I spent the whole day doing my favorite things. Eating lunch at Sweetgreen, going to one of my favorite coffee shops, thrifting and then we were planning to end the day watching sunset at my favorite spot on the beach. Meanwhile, I thought Chase was back in Georgia at a "dentist appointment" he told me he had that day, little did I know, "dentist appointment" was code for flying to Florida.
The girls and I got to the beach about 20 minutes before sunset and for some reason everyone seemed in a rush to make it to a certain spot on the beach, meanwhile I was dragging my feet and didn't see why we couldn't watch the sunset right where we were. I still had no suspicion. We made it to the spot they were insistent upon and I went to sit on a bench nearby when I noticed they're all acting a little weird and my mom said "Madisyn!" and motions for me to look up and there Chase is in the distance. The first words out of my mouth are "Babe, what are you doing here?!" I was so confused how he was here in St. Pete without me knowing. Then the reality started to set in and it was so surreal, both of us can hardly even remember what was said in the moment besides "Will you marry me?," but it was such a special moment. In the distance, the rest of my family was waiting along with one of our friends he had hired to video and photograph the moment. Our engagement was one of the first times I've ever fully been surprised which was so special.
Where was your wedding? Why did you choose this venue?
Our wedding was on the property that my parents live & I grew up at in Orlando, Florida! We chose this as our venue mainly because we wanted the creative freedom to do what we wanted and bring our wedding day vision to life!
What was the concept behind your wedding and how did you find your inspiration?
My husband and I are both creatives so it was very important to us that our wedding day reflected who we are and our love for art and creativity. We also wanted the vibe to be timeless and classic. Our reception space was inspired by a set design I came across on Pinterest. A fully enclosed fabric “room" that was backlit with only candle light inside the "room." We shopped around for vendors who could accomplish this fabric room vision but ultimately found none who could do it the way we wanted and/or were way out of budget. So we decided to do it ourselves and by ourselves I mean mainly my husband, with the help of my brother and dad too. We sourced fabric from a local wholesaler, mapped out the measurements and bought the fabric accordingly. The installment took about three days to accomplish. In addition, the backdrop wall we used at the altar was custom made by Chase and some friends. We also went to town thrifting some other tableware and decorations that were used as well, I think we thrifted around 60 candle stick holders total.
How long did it take to plan your wedding? Did you encounter any challenges during the planning process?
We had a super quick engagement, a little over four months. I would say the biggest challenge was how quick of a turnaround it was, especially with all of the DIYing we did.
How many guests did you have? And what was the seating arrangement at the wedding like?
We had around 65 guests. We did open seating with a long U-shaped table arrangement with the bridal party in the middle!
Tell us about your outfits. How many different styles have you tried?
I found my dress fairly quickly considering how picky I am. I tried on about 10 dresses total I would say. The dress I picked took me by surprise, I was only trying it on to see how I liked the neckline to consider for other dresses and I ended up falling in love with it as soon as I saw it on. I’ve always known I wanted to wear one look for the whole day because when else can you wear your wedding dress?
What was your first dance song? Did you choreograph or improvise?
Our first dance song was ‘All I Need to Hear’ by the 1975. We briefly practiced but mainly improvised the whole thing.
Did you have any special performances or entertainment?
We had my sister and sister-in-law lead us in worship during the communion moment at our ceremony, it was sweet.
What was the most memorable moment from your wedding day?
Exchanging vows was such a sweet moment and seeing our vision come to life was so, so special.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
I had a very specific vision for florals, but we were on a pretty tight budget so I reached out to a family friend, Destiny Sirok, who had done the florals for my brother and sister in law's wedding and asked her thoughts on bringing my vision to life. She was more than willing to do it and made the whole process a breeze for me. She executed my vision perfectly. I wanted a full stem rose lined altar and aisle and she made it happen. She also did all of our table floral arrangements and bouquets, everything came out perfect. Thank you, Destiny!
What advice would you give to couples who are currently planning their wedding?
Take your time and enjoy the process, make your day what YOU want it to be no matter what anyone else thinks or says. Time flies so enjoy the process, though it's stressful in the moment you'll look back and wish you could've enjoyed it more.
Were there religious traditions at your wedding and how did you implement them?
We took communion together after we exchanged our vows and then had a prayer moment with both of our parents while my sister and sister in law were singing worship, it was a sweet moment. One of my favorite photos from the day is from this moment.
What did you give each other as a gift?
I gave Chase a vintage Super 8 camera and he gave me a pair of real gold hoop earrings.
Dress store: @oneandonlybridal_
Dress alterations & Custom Veil: @111sage.1
Hair: Iris Mejia, Beauty Bar Orlando