Chelsea Ingland and Steven Smiley have always loved the beach. In fact, Steven was living in Hawaii when Chelsea’s sisters helped him choose a ring. After several months on the island while Chelsea finished school, he was ready to move home and pop the question. The couple still weren't living in the same city, but a trip to visit in Wilmington gave Steven the chance to propose. A secluded area in Airlie Gardens offered the perfect spot to set up music and two easels for a painting date. While their friends hid behind the bushes with cameras, Steven painted his proposal on canvas. "It was such a joyous celebration with friends and I'm thankful that it was captured," says Chelsea. Since the bride has a large family in Charlotte, the couple decided to plan their wedding in her hometown and bring the relaxing life of the coast with them. "We wanted our wedding to feel like coastal living from the front porch," she says. "It's what we see as home." Steven and Chelsea chose The Arbors for their wedding and rented the venue for the entire weekend. Celebrating with family and friends for three full days, as well as spending their wedding night there, helped in creating a feeling of home. "It felt like we had the wedding in our backyard," Chelsea adds. To bring in the coastal elements, the couple used a gold and white color palette alongside simple decor, like gold chargers and candles, white fabrics, nautical rope, and driftwood accents. Nautical rope on the bottom tier helped tie the cake into their coastal look, while dunes were the inspiration behind the green and white floral arrangements used throughout the day. As a final tribute to their coastal vision, Steven, Chelsea, and their bridal party went barefoot. Amidst all the relaxation, there was one moment Steven and Chelsea highly anticipated. "We knew we wanted to marry each other early on, so we decided to wait until our wedding to share our first kiss," she says. "It was so worth the wait." The Wilmington-based couple's love of the beach led them to the Bahamas for their honeymoon. "A warm and serene island was pretty much the only option for us," Chelsea says. "We both value that atmosphere and loved every minute of it."
Look familiar? Chelsea and Steven graced our April/June 2013 cover. To see their rock'n'roll styled shoot, click here.
Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Classic Bridal, bridal gown, headpiece, and veil
The Ransom House, bridesmaid luncheon
Heather Gatch Cakes, cake
Family Catering Service, caterers
The Arbors, ceremony, reception, and wedding night
Daniel Joyner, clergy
Diamonds by Angie, bride's engagement ring and wedding band
Bella Grace Floral, flowers
Snowden's Jewelers, groom's wedding band
Belk, groom's and groomsmen's attire
Emily Wrench from Modern Salon, hairstylist for wedding
BK Entertainment, music
Zoe's Kitchen, rehearsal dinner