True love is shelter in a raging storm. No couple knows this better than Matthew and Chelsea Branham. Together, this incredible pair have weathered their fair share of clouds, both literally and figuratively, and have come out stronger even through the darkest of days.
With strong ties to the Bluegrass, it seemed a natural choice for Chelsea to attend Morehead State University. She explains, “I was born and raised in Georgetown, KY and have family in Lexington and Western, KY. In fact, my parents still live in the house I grew up in!” For Matthew, who grew up in Circleville, OH, perhaps fate had a hand in bringing him to the very same college where both were active participants in Greek life. The two crossed paths often but those who know their bond now would be surprised to learn that they did not hit if off right away. Fortunately, after a few months spent going separate ways, Matthew and Chelsea reconnected and have happily been together ever since.
Fast forward to a romantic Myrtle Beach getaway in 2016 where Hurricane Matthew tried but did not succeed in putting a damper on a very special moment. “Matthew proposed to me on the beach right before we were evacuated,” Chelsea recounts. Then, as wedding planning was in full effect, the couple again had to retreat into their own strength and rely on one another for refuge. “Matthew and I had a rough start to the beginning of 2018,” shares Chelsea. “Before our wedding in July, he lost his grandfather and his grandmother, and I lost my grandfather.” In a very touching tribute at their reception site, a table was lovingly set up with their pictures, a lantern with a lit candle and a sign reading, “We know you’d be here if heaven weren’t so far away.” Another sentimental touch Chelsea included were personalized hankies for her parents. They returned the thoughtfulness gifting her a sweet, personalized necklace with their family’s saying, “I love you more than my arms can reach.”
Setting the stage for their picturesque wedding ceremony, reception and rehearsal dinner was The Groves on Silas. The couple booked The Groves for the entire wedding weekend to enjoy all of their festivities in one idyllic location. “I loved the venue from the first time I looked at it,” Chelsea remembers. “The owners were so sweet and everything you saw you got without any extra fees. We also felt as though the venue fit our personalities, a definite plus!” While their venue came with an inherently rustic yet elegant backdrop, special florals and hand-crafted touches took their wedding to the next level. “Jessica Jones at Blooms-n-Blossoms was amazing to work with and helped turn my dream wedding into a reality. I wanted something simple, rustic but still elegant, nothing over the top. She was able to provide just that for all the bouquets, bouts, arch, and centerpieces,” says Chelsea fondly. All of the signs created for the wedding weekend were lovingly hand-crafted by the bride with the help of family and friends. She adds, “We wanted to keep the rustic look since we were getting married in a barn, so we also incorporated old windows into the decor and featured an amazing donut board built by my dad!”
Though nothing could sink the spirits of the bride and groom and everyone in attendance, the night before their wedding, there was a huge storm looming that brought with it a tornado warning, forcing everyone on site to evacuate the venue. In another testimony to the bright and beautiful future in store for this couple, once the rain had cleared, Chelsea remarks, “We heard that rain on your wedding day is good luck, well, Matthew and I should have all the good luck in the world then!” she laughs.
Chelsea was angelic in her Bridal and Formal wedding gown as she descended the aisle towards her beaming groom. During the ring ceremony, Chelsea started to put Matthew’s ring on the wrong hand, which brought a chuckle from the crowd. When the time came for the traditional father-daughter dance, Chelsea and her father brought down the house when halfway through, the DJ cut the music and their wedding officiant, (and also the bride’s uncle), began rapping Ice-Ice Baby to which the bride had choreographed a remix of their father-daughter dance.
“For us, having everyone we love and cherish under one roof to help us celebrate one of the biggest days in our lives was all we ever wanted”, Chelsea says. She continues, “Having our bridal party/closest friends with us to get ready all day, our parents to help us make everything perfect and finally getting to say, “I do” and kiss to seal the deal. It was so special. And even though we wish we could have had better weather, we made the most of it and our wedding was still perfect to us.”
PHOTOS & VIDEO | Kata Welsh, KM Creatives
VENUE | The Groves on Silas
FLOWERS | Blooms & Blossoms
BRIDAL GOWN | Bridal and Formal
BRIDAL PARTY | Lulus.com
GROOM/GROOMSMEN | Sharffs
HAIR + MAKEUP | Katelyn Scarbrough
RENTALS/DECOR | Goff Tents