Inside Weddings - - Weddings - April 30, 2016 Dal­las, Texas | Pho­tographed by Jen­nefer Wil­son Pho­tog­ra­phy

April 30, 2016 Dal­las, Texas

Pho­tographed by Jen­nefer Wil­son Pho­tog­ra­phy

Not ev­ery cou­ple con­nects im­me­di­ately with one an­other – of­ten, cul­ti­vat­ing a re­la­tion­ship takes some time. “We met through a mu­tual friend and we did not hit it off right away,” re­veals Chelsea Goldston of her first en­counter with Drew O’Con­nell. “Our per­son­al­i­ties com­pletely clashed and I had no in­ten­tion of run­ning into him again, but we kept see­ing each other, and fi­nally – with pres­sure from our friend – I agreed to go on a date with him.” In an ef­fort to scare him away, Chelsea dressed in ca­sual wear for their even­ing out and be­gan talk­ing about her de­sire to “be mar­ried soon and have lots of ba­bies – things a mid-twen­ties girl would never ad­mit out loud,” she adds. To her com­plete sur­prise, Drew ex­pressed the same wishes, caus­ing Chelsea to let her guard down a lit­tle. “It went from 0 to 100 all within a mat­ter of weeks,” she says. “It all sounds cliché, but love finds you when you aren’t even look­ing.”

Drew, know­ing Chelsea was the woman he wanted to spend his life with, took a trip to visit his par­ents. “We had dis­cussed it pre­vi­ously and I had been think­ing about when and how to pro­pose for a long time,” he ex­plains. “My mother asked me when I was plan­ning on pop­ping the ques­tion and it seemed to just come to me right away: I thought of the end of April in­stantly.” Af­ter dis­creetly not­ing her taste in jewelry while shop­ping, de­sign­ing a gor­geous en­gage­ment ring, and ask­ing for the bless­ings of her father, mother, and grand­mother, Drew felt ready. On a va­ca­tion to his home­town of New York City, Drew asked Chelsea to marry him in the ex­act same fash­ion and set­ting as his dad had pro­posed to his mom al­most 35 years prior to the day. As they strolled past the foun­tain in front of the famed Plaza Ho­tel, Drew got on bended knee. Fol­low­ing Chelsea’s heart­felt “yes!” the soon-to-be-groom tossed the ring box into the foun­tain, as his father did, pro­claim­ing, “This is for you, mom and dad.”




Karina Laszlo for Sa­lon Pom­peo - hair Katie Rogers and Erika Gon­za­lez for Stu­dio 1514 - hair

Brittany Kroll for The Luxxe Look makeup

Bri­dal Gown

Eve of Mi­lady

Bri­dal Sa­lon

Star­dust Cel­e­bra­tions

Brides­maid Gowns



Fancy Cakes by Lau­ren Cal­lig­ra­phy

The Lively Lily


Meg­gie Fran­cisco Event De­sign En­ter­tain­ment

LeForce En­ter­tain­ment


Fin­ish­line Prints

Flo­ral De­sign

Bella Flora of Dal­las


Cot­ton Paperie



Light­ing De­sign

LeForce En­ter­tain­ment


La Tavola Fine Linen


Jen­nefer Wil­son Pho­tog­ra­phy Reg­istries

An­thro­polo­gie; Bed Bath & Be­yond Neiman Mar­cus; Wil­liams-Sonoma Rentals

Bella Acento

Ducky-Bob’s Event Spe­cial­ists


Bad­g­ley Mis­chka; Chris­tian Louboutin; Jimmy Choo; Prada


Toni Fed­erici


Four Sea­sons Re­sort and Club Dal­las at Las Coli­nas


Henry Wed­dings

Go­ing into their 10-month en­gage­ment, Chelsea felt fairly con­fi­dent in her level of knowl­edge when it came to or­ga­niz­ing their spe­cial day. “I had been in or at­tended 26 wed­dings, so I thought I knew ev­ery­thing I needed to in or­der to start,” she laughs. Be­fore hir­ing a plan­ner, the bride did ex­ten­sive re­search and as­sem­bled a few ven­dors her­self – a de­ci­sion she be­lieves to be a bit pre­ma­ture. Once she de­cided upon a pro­fes­sional co­or­di­na­tor, “ev­ery­thing ran so much more smoothly,” she as­serts. “No mat­ter how many wed­dings you’ve been to, or how many ven­dors you fol­low on so­cial me­dia, hir­ing a plan­ner re­ally needs to be your first step.”

Elect­ing to marry in their cur­rent city of Dal­las, Texas, the bride and groom com­bined their re­spec­tive vi­sions to bring their cel­e­bra­tion to life. Chelsea wanted to honor her south­ern roots and host their nup­tials in an open-air, se­cluded lo­ca­tion, while Drew, be­ing a true New Yorker, was af­ter a black-tie af­fair with sit-down ser­vice. As a com­pro­mise, the cou­ple se­lected a grand ho­tel venue with a sprawl­ing out­door area, which they wanted to fill with touches of white to cre­ate an idyl­lic cer­e­mony space. Bella Flora of Dal­las went to work cre­at­ing their vi­sion, ad­ding a white wrought-iron gate be­decked with ivory drap­ery and blooms, a sim­ple petal-strewn aisle, and a raised stage hold­ing up a four-post ar­bor. The grand al­tar fea­tured cham­pagne-toned fabrics, a crys­tal chan­de­lier, and an ar­ray of strik­ing blos­soms in light hues, in­clud­ing hy­drangeas, gar­den roses, Ma­jolica roses, Ti­bet roses, long­stemmed Hawai­ian den­dro­bium or­chids, and cas­cad­ing pha­laenop­sis or­chids. Guests found their seats on the lawn in an­tic­i­pa­tion as Drew be­came anx­ious to see his bride. “My most mem­o­rable mo­ment was when they dropped the sheet and I saw Chelsea for the first time,” he smiles. “I had the same feel­ing when I pro­posed, like there was noth­ing around us – but, of course, there were over a hun­dred peo­ple star­ing right at us.”

Though the vow ex­change was made up of mostly Chris­tian tra­di­tions, Chelsea and Drew in­cluded an ad­di­tion to the unity can­dle por­tion in which they col­lected well-wishes from their par­ents and grand­par­ents to be read on their first an­niver­sary. As they were of­fi­cially joined as hus­band and wife, the new­ly­weds moved back up the aisle: Chelsea’s strik­ing flared gown sparkled in the sun as her cus­tom cathe­dral­length veil fell be­hind. At­ten­dees fol­lowed and en­joyed a fun, out­door cock­tail hour be­fore fil­ing into the in­door re­cep­tion space, which was bathed in the same al­abaster shades from the cer­e­mony. “I knew I wanted lots of white, clean el­e­gance with soft light­ing and plenty of flo­rals,” Chelsea re­marks. “It was very whim­si­cal, with touches of glitz and glam­our.”

“I knew I wanted lots of white, clean el­e­gance

with soft light­ing and plenty of flo­rals.”

The ball­room dis­played both round and rec­tan­gu­lar ta­bles adorned with blush linens, clear vases brim­ming with snowy peren­ni­als, glass can­dle­sticks, float­ing can­dles, ta­pered cylin­ders, and glass vo­tives. The fo­cal point was surely the fairy-tale sweet­heart ta­ble, which show­cased a tex­tured flo­ral run­ner and a light, pat­terned linen. Be­hind the fea­tured loveseat were vel­vet fabrics fash­ioned to cre­ate a dou­ble-drape ef­fect. Guests danced the night away un­der­neath a large chan­de­lier, ty­ing in the crisp mo­tif of the even­ing. “The at­ten­tion to de­tail by Chelsea and our plan­ner was ex­cep­tional,” notes Drew.

Rev­el­ers dined on de­li­cious fare and topped off their culi­nary jour­ney with a bit of the new­ly­weds’ six-foot wed­ding cake, com­plete with a petal base, or­chids, lilies, and the ex­act crys­ta­land-pearl bead­ing fea­tured on the gown of the bride. Friends and fam­ily also had the op­por­tu­nity to sip on sig­na­ture drinks from the bar – “Pink Bar­bie” for Chelsea and “The Ken” for Drew.

As the groom was par­tic­u­larly in­volved in the co­or­di­na­tion process, he has a strong view on the role of the hus­band-to-be in a wed­ding. “It is 100% a stress­ful time, but you will get through it by lis­ten­ing and help­ing out where you are needed,” he ad­vises. “The best thing you can do is hire some­one you trust who can make sure you won’t have any­thing to worry about.” With a pic­ture-per­fect wed­ding day be­hind them, Chelsea and Drew jet­ted off on their hon­ey­moon, ready to start on their jour­ney of mar­ried life to­gether.

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