Q&A with Real Life Bride, Kelsey

Hi y’all! I’m back and wanting to showcase a REAL LIFE BRIDE (who also happens to be my Cleveland bestie), Kelsey! Just a couple weeks ago, Kelsey and her husband Joe celebrated their 1 YEAR wedding Anniversary <3 I wanted to ask her a few questions about her big day, the planning process, and of course show some of her gorgeous pictures.

But first, a quick backstory on how we met… Kelsey was actually one of my bride’s at Matina’s, just about two years ago. After a 90 minute appointment, we realized that not only did we have a lot in common, like moving to a brand new city with our “almost husbands”, struggling to make friends as an adult/Target being our only friend, but we just kind of clicked (and thankfully so have our husbands). Kelsey has become my go-to girl in Cleveland with all things clothes, home decor, working out, or just when we need a good ole fashion girls night! I am SO thankful for our friendship.

Back to wedding stuff. Kelsey got married in September 2018 in Indianapolis, AKA planned her wedding long distance from Cleveland. I asked her a few questions to help future brides, but also just give a fun behind-the-scenes look on her day. Enjoy!

Let’s start with the basics!

Wedding Date: September 22, 2018

Venue: Mavris Arts & Event Center (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Photographer: Jessica Strickland Photography

Dress: Bliss by Monique Lhullier

Shoes: Nina (Psss… I wore these too! SO comfortable, I recommend to all my brides!)

Accessories: Untamed Petals, from Matina’s Bridal


Q: How did Joe propose? And how long was your engagement?

We always try to do a siblings trip with Joe’s sisters once a year, and May of 2017 we chose New Orleans. Joe and I had already been one time before and loved the food and liveliness of the city. Joe’s middle sister, the “family captain” as we call her, makes all the plans and we follow along with no questions. With that being said, we spent an entire day exploring the city by foot, eating and drinking our way through. Unbeknownst to me, we were actually scoping out the perfect place for Joe to pop the big question. Fast forward to the following day, before dinner, we wanted to get a family picture in a park that we “stumbled” on. Next thing I know, Joe’s clammy hand takes mine and his siblings disappear. I’m pretty sure I blacked out, but remember him being on one knee asking if I would spend the rest of my life with him. Thankfully our family captain captured pictures of the entire proposal. When I didn’t think I could be any more surprised, he had my sister and brother in law fly in from Arizona to be be there for the entire proposal. It was truly a weekend I will never forget. I always envisioned a Fall-ish wedding so our engagement was 16 months.

Q: Your go-to stress reliever during planning?

We moved to Cleveland about 4 months after our proposal, bought a house, did a complete home renovation, AND planned a wedding in a different state. My two biggest stress relievers were Harness Cycle spin and WINE.

Q: Favorite memory from your wedding day!?

So hard to pick only one favorite from the entire day… I would say my favorite memory was walking down the aisle and seeing Joe for the first time. We chose not to do a first look and our ceremony didn’t start until 4:30. The church we got married in didn’t have a center aisle, so our pastor had Joe move over so we could make eye contact with each other as I walked to him.

Q: Did you give gifts for your bridesmaids?

I got my bridesmaids matching PJ sets to wear while getting ready, a Mark & Graham monogrammed clutch, earrings and I paid for their hair to be done. (Shown above!)

Q: What was your first dance song with Joe?

We danced to Stand By Me (Ben E. King), which was played by our band.

Q: Favorite part of the planning process?

My favorite part of the planning process was probably seeing it all come together. Thank goodness for amazing photographers (shout out to Jessica Strickland if you are getting married in the Indianapolis area) who captured it all, so we could truly take it in. And getting my gown and gaining a CLE bestie while doing so.

Q: Where did you honeymoon?!

We went to Turks and Caicos for our honeymoon. Truly the most beautiful, relaxing place.

Q: If you could do it all over again, is there anything that you would change?

I honestly don’t think I would change a single thing about our day. It was everything, plus more, that I imagined that it would be. If I had to choose one thing, it would be that I didn’t meet Kelly sooner and have her at our wedding 😉

Q: Last piece of advice for future brides, either about planning or for the day-of?

Find vendors that you truly trust. It’s amazing how much less stress you will have if you have people working with you that you can depend on. 

Whenever I have a bride say YES to the dress, I feel truly honored to be just a small part in her special day, beginning the rest of her life. Getting to be a part of Kelsey and Joe’s “rest of life”… that just makes me lucky! I am so grateful you walked into Matina’s that Saturday in November, sweet friend. To many more years of love ahead <3 XOXO,

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meet kelly


I’m Kelly! Born and raised in Ohio, wife to Jake, and boy Mom to Connor and Henry. Blogging about life, motherhood, and helping brides make their dreams come true. 

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