Bobby and Chelsea were mere acquaintances before he deployed in the Spring of 2011 to the Middle East. The Winslow High School alumni caught up with each other over Facebook and started writing emails back and forth. They were able to learn a great deal about each other, even though they were separated by 5,000 miles and a great big ocean.
After six months of daily emails, Chelsea and Bobby were finally able to talk in person when Chelsea drove from Augusta, Maine, to Boston, Massachusetts, to pick him up from the airport. It was an exciting reunion to say the least!
Bobby, a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, was stationed in England throughout the couple’s entire relationship. “We had accepted that our time spent together would be only on occasion when I could vacation in England to visit,” Chelsea says. On one cold January weekend in 2012, when Chelsea was visiting her parents in Winslow, she got a huge surprise.
“I had my laptop bag and laundry in my arms, with the plan to have a Skype date with Bobby that afternoon. Upon walking into the house and being greeted by the dog, I noticed red slivers of something in a path leading from the front door down the main hallway of the house,” Chelsea says. “I assumed they were scraps from something the dog chewed through, and I scolded him for having destroyed something.”
It wasn’t until she made her way into the living room that she realized those red things on the floor were rose petals. Bobby was standing in the living room all dressed up, and holding a rose. He had flown in to Portland the night before, picked up the ring he had ordered from our local jeweler, and stayed in a nearby hotel all to surprise Chelsea and their families with a proposal.
“Once I saw him standing in the living room I couldn’t stop squealing and asking for explanations of the white lies he had told me to keep this surprise,” Chelsea says. “I didn’t really let him get a word in, but somewhere amidst the hugs and my shrieks and tears he got down on one knee and proposed.” Only later did Chelsea find out that he had stopped by her parents’ house earlier that day to ask their permission to propose. Chelsea’s mom and step-dad fled the scene so Bobby could have the house to himself to pop the question.
Wedding planning went into high gear once Bobby returned to England. All of the little details that made their wedding so memorable helped Chelsea while away the time before she could see Bobby again.
"Being an outdoorsy person, I always dreamt of an outdoor wedding, either on the coast or in the mountains or lake region of northern Maine," Chelsea says. "Once it came time to plan my own wedding, it became more important for our families to be able to attend without having to travel far or find accommodations away from home. Holding our ceremony in a church that I already felt at “home” in, by a pastor that we felt knew us well, we important to us, too."
Something the couple felt strongly for was adopting two nonprofit organizations to raise money for during a “dollar dance.” Bobby chose the Sunshine Club in Waterville, which is a support group for the visually impaired, and Chelsea chose the Eagle Canes for Veterans Project, run by a group in Windsor.
Another project Chelsea worked on included her mother! Instead of a father-daughter dance, Chelsea and her mother, Peggy, choreographed a number to Love Shack and performed it at the reception. The groom even made an appearance.
Chelsea and Bobby created personalized “message in a bottle” wedding favors for each guest, and hand wrote messages to everyone in attendance. “We knew that we would not be able to have meaningful conversations with each of our guests at our wedding day, so we wanted to write them each a message to read during the reception so that they knew why it was so important to us that they were there,” Chelsea says. “Since I was moving to England after the wedding, it was also an opportunity for me to express how much I would miss each of my friends and family members.”
Bride’s Eye View
We asked Chelsea more about her wedding day. Here’s what she said…
I wish...the day hadn’t gone by so quickly! The best day of our lives was also the fastest day of our lives.
I didn’t realize…how important wedding photography is. After the day has come and gone, two things remain—memories and photographs. We chose Kate Crabtree as our photographer, and are so thankful that she truly captured every moment and emotion of the day because someday when our memory fails us, the photos will speak for themselves!
I’m glad that…we wrote our own vows and spoke them aloud to each other in front of all our family and friends.
I really liked…the end of the night, going back to our hotel room and reading all of our wedding cards while eating left over candy, sandwiches, and snacks that one of my bridesmaids had left in our room for us.
My advice to other brides is…to do all the planning yourself, but not to be afraid to ask for help or opinions from your friends and family members. Personalize as many of the details as you can—your guests will love it. Dance your butt off and don’t take this too seriously.
Photography by Kate Crabtree Photography
Ceremony venue: Pleasant Street United Methodist Church
Reception venue: T&B’s Celebration Center, Waterville
Catering: T&B’s Celebration Center, Waterville
Dress: Hussey’s General Store
Wedding rings: Day’s Jewelers
Cake: “I Do” Cakes
Entertainment: DJ Mike Violette