Chelsea & John :: Married :: Zukas Hilltop Barn, Spencer MA
Tell us your story!
We’ve been together 5.5 years. It all started when a lovely mutual friend decided to play match maker and set us up. We had both had our hearts broken in the past and were wary of love, yet we decided to give it a chance.
We met at a Hibachi grill on an extremely cold night in January. There would be other people around the grill which we thought was a safe option in case things didn't work out.
Unfortunately those people just made things extremely awkward, which we still laugh about now. They kept asking us drunkenly, "How's your date going?!" and "Are you going to make out after this?". I think that I turned every shade of red!
After dinner, I had decided that I wanted to get to know John better and I asked if he wanted to get ice cream, which he thought was funny because it was below freezing out! I teased that it was a New England girl thing. I was happy he agreed because then I knew that he was feeling like he didn't want our date to end yet either.
After ice cream, I was thinking that it would be time for us to part ways, but to my surprise he asked if I wanted to go see a movie! It was the never ending date and we were both loving every second of each other's company.
The movie was quite boring and the man in front of us even fell asleep and was snoring! But, all I remember is laughing the whole time with John as we made our own commentary for the movie. I remember how he nervously reached over to hold my hand and I hoped he'd never let go.
We have been inseparable ever since. I'm so glad we had the courage to give love a chance again because we have built a beautiful life together. After about 3 years of dating, John decided that he wanted to ask me to marry him. He secretly asked my parents for their blessing and picked out a beautiful ring. He laughs that the ring came with us on a few trips but he was just waiting for the right moment. As we watched the sunset over the ocean at the Stonington Light House, John got down on one knee and asked me to spend forever with him.
What was wedding day style?
Wedding day color scheme and theme?
Royal Blue and Sunflowers
What was your biggest wedding planning challenge, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was time management. There are so many things to coordinate between vendors, family, friends, etc. Making to Do Lists with deadlines helped keep me on track. I would also recommend planning everything early to reduce stress and ensure you get the dates and vendors you want.
What was the most memorable part of your wedding planning?
The venue was definitely a big surprise. We had been shopping around at many venues and found many pleasant ones, but not quite the one. After a day of visiting two other venues, Chelsea's mom had been repeatedly telling us about Zukas Hilltop Barn that was nice. We were both hesitant, but since we were out and about we decided lets check it out, honestly mostly since Chelsea's mom had been extremely persistent with the topic. We showed up with no appointment and just marveled at the grounds. We knew then and there, that Zukas was our place. We made an appointment immediately to find out more.The funny thing was, years earlier, Chelsea's parents had been to a wedding there, and Chelsea's dad said, I could image Chelsea getting married here someday, and low and behold, it happened.
You had a really special ceremony. Tell us about that:
Nature has always been spiritual to us and we decided getting married outside was perfect for us. We were given a book of readings to pick from for our ceremony. We decided to each choose our favorite readings separately and see if any matched up. We were so excited when we compared our ideas and found that almost every reading matched up with each other!
During the ceremony we couldn't take our eyes of of each other. The first look was incredible. It felt like we were in our own little bubble and nothing else mattered except our love. All my nervousness melted away as soon as I saw his smile. Everything I needed was right in front of me and it felt incredible. After the ceremony, our friends and family excitedly told us that there were butterflies flying around us and a dragonfly even landed on the train of my dress! We took it as a sign from our loved ones in heaven.
What was most memorable about your reception?
Food: chicken, prime rib, vegetable ravioli (everyone was obsessed with the food!)
During our first dance the DJ invited our guests to join us. When I looked around, I was surrounded by all the people I love most and it was an amazing feeling!
There was so much love in the room! There were so many people on the dance floor having a great time. John and I barely left the dance floor! There was also a fire pit going outside where guests gathered to unwind and enjoy the beautiful summer night.
What were you most anxious, nervous or concerned about regarding your wedding photography, and what was the outcome?
No worries because we were in Kara’s hands. Honestly though I was nervous I'd look dorky or stiff in the photos but Kara Emily Krantz did such a beautiful job of catching precious moments that were so real and filled with happiness.
What advice would you like to impart to other brides?
No matter what happens with the weather, or the decor, or some other unforeseen obstacle, at the end of it all you will be married to your favorite person in the whole world and that's all that matters. Give up all the control that day and live in the moment.
What do you love most about your partner?
Bride: Loving him is easy. He holds me on my worst days and laughs with me on the greatest. His love is unconditional and unwavering. He is so patient and kind. He is a goofball and always has something silly to say about any situation. He is a hard worker and always strives to do his best. He knows a myriad of facts and is like my own walking game of trivial pursuit. Our values are the same and he is always supportive of my goals. I had this vision of my dream guy and he doesn't even come close to how amazing John is to me.
Groom: Chelsea is a lot of fun to be with. She is always loving, supportive, and is unconditional in her love for me. She is a dog lover, loves the outdoors, and knows how to relax. I love her smile and the way that she looks at me. It brightens my days, even on the busiest and toughest. Chelsea is passionate about art, music, and teaching, and is an extremely hard worker. These are all things I have always dreamed of in a partner, but a bonus is they were wrapped up in this cute little package called Chelsea.
Ceremony, Reception & Portraits:
Brighteyes Beauty Bar - Angella (makeup) and Esme (hair)
Cake / Dessert & Catering:
Wedding Planner / Coordinator:
Alyson - Zukas Hilltop Barn
What is the best part about being married?
Bride: After being together for so long, we didn't really think it would feel any different to have a piece of paper that says we're married, but it kind of does! I sound super cheesy but I really just love being able to call him my husband.
Groom: Getting to see her smile every day and knowing she is happy.