Our Wedding: Before the Ceremony

I haven’t properly shoved my wedding photos down your throat, so I figured this would be the perfect time. Especially since it’s Ultimate Wedding Week. That means that I’ll have four separate posts (before the ceremony, ceremony, reception, and details) for your viewing pleasure.


Brad and I were married in Bloomington, Indiana on June 25, 2011. We met while attending Indiana University, so getting married in Bloomington made perfect sense to us. Now let’s get started with the pre-ceremony photos, shall we?
Here I am getting my make up done. I went with airbrush make up, and if I could afford it, I’d have my makeup professionally done everyday. I’d also wear false eye lashes.

My maid of honor, Natalie, got me a pretty awesome day-of wedding gift– a photo book of pictures from my bachelorette party in Chicago. 

Not to bring down the mood or anything here, but this photo is special to me. As I sat in the makeup chair I got a phone call from my dad. He said something no one expects or wants to hear, especially on their wedding day– “your grandmother just passed away”. After I got the terrible news, Brad came down to the bridal suite to comfort me.
My wedding dress is by… hang on, let me go look at the tag… Impression Bridal. The bridesmaid dresses are from David’s Bridal.
My bridesmaids loved their gifts (like they’re going to tell me they didn’t like them). I got each girl a personalized makeup bag, pearl necklace and earrings to wear for the day, pink pashmina, and green flip flops, with some frilly pink fabric that I hot glued on.

My hair stylist drove down to Bloomington from Indy to do my bridesmaids’ and my hair. I’m
fah-reaking out in this photo because we’re running an hour behind.



My mom zipping me into my dress. I love the scalloped lace on my dress.
Putting on my earrings. I’ll show you a detailed photo of them next week.
OK, so this was slightly awkward for me. My bridesmaids, my mom, and photographers were in the room when I put on my garter, and I was all like, “So what do I do? Just pull it onto my leg all sexy-like?” My photographer was like “Yeah, duh.” I was sexy-like for maybe 3 seconds before I started laughing. Awkwardness aside, I must say that I like how my bubbies look in this photo.
Opening one of the wedding gifts Brad gave me. He got me a heart-shaped jewelry box with “Mrs. Chelsea Brad’slastname” on it, and there was a pearl bracelet inside. I got another present when we got back to our suite after the reception– an engraved ring holder with birds perched on the side.
My mom putting on my pearl bracelets– the one Brad gave me and her pearl bracelet that I used as my something borrowed.


Brad and his groomsmen drank beer and got ready in their suite while us girls got gussied up in the bridal suite.


I gave Brad a pair of IU cufflinks for his gift. He never questioned why I made him buy a French cuff shirt.



We did a “First Look” for multiple reasons. 1. We didn’t want to feel rushed after the ceremony to get all the shots we wanted. 2. Our ceremony was at 5:30 PM, and we would still need to take some family photos during cocktail hour. 3. We wanted to get the nervousness out of the way.

Here is Brad seeing me for the first time. I think he likes what he sees.
We met at the Rose Well House, on IU’s campus, where Brad proposed.
Brad’s dad drove him to the Rose Well House to wait for me. I rode in the limo with my photographer. After dropping me off, the driver headed back to the hotel to pick up our wedding party. We did this so we could have some time to get photos of just us.
This photo was taken in front of the Chemistry building so it was appropriate that we do a
dip-and-kiss shot.
This is my serious face. I tried to channel my inner Tyra and smile with my eyes.
Brad’s youngest brother gave me this parasol. Some chick left it at his house after a party.
Finder’s keepers.
Our wedding party! All the guys bought their own suits. I think tux rentals are a rip-off. The guys paid a little bit more and were able to keep their suits. Part of their groomsmen gifts were their Kelly green ties. The guys also got personalized coolers filled with Yuengling beer– something we don’t have in Indiana. Luckily, my good friend brought us 2 cases from Pittsburgh.Our best man and maid of honor took my suggestion of a “prom pose” very seriously.

My bridesmaids and I had to take a “sorority squat” photo. Three of us were in the same sorority, and Kristin (second to the right) was in the sorority across the street from our beloved Phi Mu.
My maid of honor, Natalie, doing her dutiful job of brushin’ my shoulder off. And to thank her, it appears that I’m touching her behind. I framed this photo and gave it to her as part of her Christmas present.
Drinking some Dom Korbel, on the way to the ceremony and reception site.
All photos by Anya Albonetti


Come back on Monday to see our ceremony photos. Have a splendid weekend! Let’s go Hoosiers!

Did you have your makeup professionally done?
Where were/are your wedding colors?
Did you do a “First Look”?

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  1. What gorgeous pictures!! You were a STUNNING bride! I love the one of you with the parasol, so pretty! And yes I totally agree, if I could have my makeup professionally done every day I would too!

  2. Beautiful! I did my own makeup. It turned out good, despite the fact that I forgot to bring eyeliner. I didn’t have time for the fake eyelashes though darn it. I gave my maid of honor a silly picture of us for Christmas this year.

    I love the pictures with you two in the gazebo like thing. And yes I would say that the garter thing was awkward for me too. And it was uncomfortable. I put it on for picture and then ripped that sucker right off. I didn’t want to do a garter toss anyway-also awkward. And it was our wedding day and I wanted the awkward to a minimum, that’s my right!

  3. Beautiful pictures!!! You looked amazing. And, I love the way you fixed your hair. And, of course, the dress is GORGEOUS!!!


  4. Great pictures! I love the dresses. We got married last summer here in Indy, and my bridesmaids also got their dresses from David’s Bridal. I told them to pick whatever they wanted, as long as they were all the same color and short. Two of them picked the dress your bridesmaids wore, and they LOVED them. They said they were really comfortable, and they looked great!

    I’m a new blogger in general, and a new follower of your blog. I love reading! Keep up the good work!


  5. Beautiful photos! LOVE the first look location – that’s gorgeous! We did a first look too, but the location wasn’t nearly as nice, and the stupid photographer messed up the clear directions I’d given him several times, so I’m not too happy with the photos. LOVE yours though!

  6. I’ve never heard of the “first look” but I really like the concept! I’ll have to keep that in mind, for when I get married 😉

    You looked gorgeous on your wedding day!

  7. These pics are gorgeous! I’m LOVING the kelly green– such a fun accent! And I might have LOL’d a little at my desk at the parasol story and the prom pose– just sayin’ 🙂 Can’t wait to see more!

  8. love the bright green dresses – so fun! you look amazing too – your dress is beautiful – so glad you linked up!

  9. I loved seeing your pictures again! We did a first look and were so happy with it. We refused to really pick colors and had an array of colors. I did have my makeup professionally done and it was amazing even though I didn’t do the fake eyelashes. You look beautiful in all of these pictures. I was laughing in my garter picture. I’ll email it to you.

  10. Beautiful photos! We did a first look and we both still cried when I walked down the aisle. Your photo with your MOH is uh-mazing, you’re making me feel super nostalgic right now!

  11. your photos are amazing…so full of emotion!
    I did get my makeup professionally done, airbrushed too :). Yes, we also did a first look and then were able to join our guests for cocktail hour. our colors were chocolate brown and hydrangea green.

  12. You look absolutely stunning! The campus where you had your photos taken looks exactly like the campus where I had mine taken — though I know it’s not 🙂

  13. Love your dress – I’m actually still surprised I didn’t get something very similar to your dress. haha Also love your Bridesmaids dresses – they’re very similar to mine. Overall, you have great taste!! 😉

  14. Beautiful photos. I love the details of the cufflinks, the gift from your MOH, and the parasol!

  15. So beautiful! Your wedding blog gave me so much inspiration! Can’t wait to see more pics!

  16. Loves!!!! I am getting married in 20 days! Seeing all of these lovely pictures makes me SOOOOO EXCITED!!!! Can’t wait to see the rest!

  17. I just spent the last 30 minutes checking out all your recent wedding photos and I’m so in love with them! the lighting and photography were amazing and you & brad look lovely!

    Congratulations again – love your blog!

  18. I think Brad looks a little like Dave Furst. They’re not like twins or anything, but they could def be related

  19. looks like you had a wonderful day! my daughter got married 4 days after you did and married an IN boy too! here’s wishing you eternal bliss!!!!

  20. You make a beautiful bride Chelsea!

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