April 16, 2016
Caroline Burgess and Brandon Chelette started off as neighbors during their time as students at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Brandon was thrilled when he found common ground with Caroline, through conversations about Disney movies and cooking shows. As each of their leases wrapped up, Brandon realized he wanted to stay close to Caroline, but not just as a friend. After that semester, he drove out to visit Caroline in her hometown of Palm City. While he was there, Brandon finally shared his feelings, only to be surprised by Caroline’s saying she just wanted to be friends—she was moving in a few months. So with a head full of thoughts and heart full of feelings, Brandon said okay and kept in touch. Like any love story, though, the “just friends” agreement didn’t last for long. The pair’s communication became constant and eventually they decided to be an official long-distance couple. The distance turned into commitment, and after a few suspected proposal dates—a hot air ballon ride and horseback riding on the beach—Brandon was the one with the surprises, slipping a ring on Caroline’s finger early one morning.
Caroline said of all the personal touches, her favorite was the teepee of branches from Brandon’s family home. “My amazing mother-in-law helped me bring my vision to life by cutting down trees from her property for the teepee poles, seeing the lace teepee covering, and making pillows,” she says. • The teepee wasn’t the only thing handmade, Caroline had a friend paint each wedding invite with wild flowers, after another friend did the calligraphy. • After spilling water on his shirt, Brandon panicked. Quick on his feet, the groom’s brother grabbed the shirt and threw it into the dryer, and everybody made it to the ceremony on time.
For the send-off, Caroline and Brandon passed out Chinese wish lanterns to all the guests. The couple says while it was a little bit of a challenge getting it going, everyone had fun. One lost lantern got stuck in a nearby tree, but the wind helped it along after a few seconds. • When the pair started their first dance, Brandon proceeded to do the chicken dance for a few beats. Caroline said she laughed and played along, only to eventually grab her new husband and slow down for their first dance to “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding. • The cake was made by Brandon’s aunt.
Credits: Photographer: Flora & Fauna Ceremony & Reception: The Glen Venue Mathis House Hair: Sarajane Maples from Blush & Mane Makeup: Stephanie Bolen from Simple Aristry Wedding Gown: Daniel Thompson Bridals Shoes: Free People Bridesmaid Dresses: Free People Groom’s Attire: Nordstrom Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse Rings: Etsy & Tallahassee Diamond Center Flowers: The Wilding Collective Decor: True Love Décor and St. John’s Illuminations Caterer: Taco Republik Invitations: Megan Ruthman Music: Generation Y Entertainment