MEMORABLE WEDDINGS – Chelsey and Christian
Text by Melanie Saxton / Engagement photos by Taren Fabre
Photography / Wedding photos by Gernelle Nelson Photography
and Eivans Photography & Video Productions
They met and fell in love on a cruise, and years later became engaged on a cruise. True to a theme of “romance on the water,” Chelsey Hill and Christian Bradshaw exchanged vows at Paradise Cove at Lake Grapevine on Oct. 8, 2016.
Chelsey graduated from Olive Branch High School and Delta State University, both in Mississippi. She earned a degree in elementary education and is a teacher at Cypress Fairbanks ISD.
Christian graduated from Cy-Fair High School and earned a degree in petroleum geology at Texas A&M. He is employed in the oil and gas industry and pursuing a master’s degree in petroleum geology at the University of Houston.
In August 2012, Christian and his family took a cruise to celebrate his brother Spencer’s birthday, and embarked from New Orleans rather than Galveston, their usual location. In a twist of fate, Chelsey’s family had booked the same cruise to celebrate her senior year in college and her sister McKenzie’s high school graduation. No one was aware that the adventure was about to change their lives forever.
When Chelsey and Christian met onboard, it was love at first sight. They spent two days together on the ship, then assumed they would go their separate ways to spend time with their families in Cozumel, Mexico. But they ended up at the same beach resort and enjoyed the entire trip together.
On the last day of the cruise, the couple realized there was one tiny problem. Chelsey was heading back to Mississippi to finish her senior year, and Christian was returning to Texas A&M. They exchanged phone numbers and planned Chelsey’s trip to Texas the very next week.
After that first trip to Texas, they committed to dating long distance and saw each other about every two weeks in between countless FaceTime dates. It was extremely difficult not being able to do the everyday things together, despite the distractions of college and coursework.
Since they met on a cruise, it only made sense to get engaged on a cruise. Chelsey joined Christian on another family voyage and stopped on a private island in Haiti for the day. Christian asked if Chelsey wanted rent a private cabana with a little cove that connected them to the rest of the family. From there they got in the ocean, with Chelsey having no clue that he was about to propose. When his family pulled out their cameras, she suggested, “Oh yes, let’s take a picture.” Then she realized that Christian was proposing, and said, “Oh my gosh” so many times that he finally had to ask, “Is that a yes or a no?” Once she calmed down, she asked incredulously, “You had that ring in the ocean?” Thankfully, the ring, Christian, and Chelsey all made it out of the water together, engaged.
The engagement spanned one year and four months, with a lot of time spent planning the wedding. Christian was offered an internship in Denver, so they persevered through another three months of long-distance romance. Thankfully, Chelsey, now a teacher, had the summer months off and could visit Christian several times. They enjoyed an amusement park, a Colorado Rockies baseball game and a few camping trips.
The bride envisioned a rustic yet glamorous wedding and merged burlap and mason jars with touches of rose gold sequins, blush pink and navy blue.
Floral and Décor: The beautiful outdoor view of Lake Grapevine provided a backdrop against the beautiful stone gazebo. Lanterns lined the aisle, and two tall hanging lanterns filled with white roses, daisies, baby’s breath, and eucalyptus stood by the altar.
The Bridal Party: Tom Rosemann officiated as parents of the bride, Bradley and Emily Hill, and mother of the groom, Sherah Canamar, witnessed the joining of their children in marriage.
Maid of honor McKenzie Hill stood with bridesmaids Kelsey Bobo, Kayla Adair, Latham Stevens, Chelsea Hall, Lindsey Bradshaw and Jade Kruger. Best man Adrien Kruger stood with groomsmen Spencer Brown, Peyton Juarez, Garrett Trethewey, Jacob Koch, Josh Payne and Matthew Cardamone. Colestin Canamar and Canton Canamar, the groom’s young brothers, served as ring bearers.
Attire: The bride wore a ivory David Tutera for Mon Cheri strapless lace trumpet wedding gown with a deep sweetheart neckline and hand-beaded illusion modesty piece. The delicately beaded and embroidered lace bodice had a dropped waistline and matching beaded lace appliqués spilling down the gathered tulle skirt and chapel length train. The gown and Betsy Johnson peep toe shoes with rhinestone bow were her “something new.” Her “something old” was a handkerchief her great-great-grandmother Katie hand-embroidered for the special day. Her “something borrowed” were her earrings, and the monogrammed initials on her garter were her “something blue.”
The maid of honor wore an Adrianna Papell taupe sequined gown. Bridesmaids wore Bill Levkoff chiffon petal pink dresses in different styles.
The groom wore a navy blue tuxedo and a blush pink tie and lapel. Groomsmen wore navy blue tuxedos with blush pink bow ties.
Top Wedding Moments: The father of the bride reminded her to walk slowly and hold her bouquet down, and also helped keep her hair in place as they proceeded down the aisle. Seeing her groom was the happiest moment of her life — both she and the groom were too happy to cry. They enjoyed an amazingly sweet first kiss and ignited the unity candle from individual candles that miraculously stayed lit.
The couple’s dog, Lucy, was the “dog of honor” and wore a banner around the hotel. Although Lucy didn’t appear in the ceremony, she did make the trip from Houston to be present during the wedding weekend!
The venue was beautifully decorated with white linens and alternating rose gold sequin table runners. Centerpiece arrangements included driftwood with candles, lanterns and tall flower arrangements with baby’s breath and blush pink hydrangeas.
Special Touches: The couple’s guestbook was a photo mat, on which guests left one copy of their photo booth photos and signed a their “wishes” for for the newlyweds, which were hilarious to look at the next day. The bride’s mother provided a personalized bible in which family and friends could highlight a favorite bible verse and sign their names. Guests were treated to koozies as a wedding favor.
The Cake: The vanilla cake rose four tiers and was topped with a rose gold “B” for Bradshaw.
Top Moments: The bride and groom’s first dance was to Thomas Rhett’s Die a Happy Man. Father and daughter danced to Tim McGraw’s My Little Girl. Mother and son danced to Lady Antebellum’s Never Alone.
Then all the Aggies hit the dance floor when the Aggie War Hymn played. The bride is a huge Tennessee Volunteer fan, and the groom is a diehard Aggie, and the first time the teams ever played against each other was, of course, on the couple’s wedding day. Smack talk and score texting ensued during reception, and the Aggies won.
The young ring bearers loved the disco lights and nearly overheated before taking off their dress shirts and dancing in their pants and suspenders. The bride recalls that it was so funny.
While everyone prepared for the exit, the couple enjoyed an intimate reflection dance to New Favorite Memory. The song played privately just for them so that they could slow down and let the day sink in.
The Exit: It was a blizzard of happiness as guests threw white confetti at the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. Bradshaw.
The couple went horseback riding, white water rafting, zip lining and deep sea fishing in Papagayo, Costa Rica. They visited a natural hot spring heated by a volcano and enjoyed a volcanic mud bath. They loved the Costa Rica so much that they decided they will retire there one day.