Real Engagements {Virginia}: Chalis & Braxton! –

Chalis and Braxton met on January 18, 2013 in Washington, D.C. during an inauguration event. Chalis was standing outside with some of her friends when she noticed Braxton walking by. When she went in the club, she noticed Braxton and they exchanged a few glances. Later that night, the friend that Chalis was staying with said they needed to go because his friends needed a ride to their car. Little did she know, the friends who needed a ride was Braxton and some of his friends. She quickly introduced herself to Braxton and they spent the next day together at brunch. After Chalis left D.C. to return to Michigan where she was attending grad school, Braxton and Chalis continued to communicate and met up again in February and March, which was when they officially became a couple. Chalis and Braxton who have been together for two years, will celebrate their union this week in Pittsburgh, PA. Check out their fun outdoor engagement session captured by Casha Dees Photography!

Bride: Chalis Sledge, 26, Philanthropist

Groom: Braxton Henderson, 27, Dental Student

Place of residence: Pittsburgh, PA

Engagement Shoot Location: Hampton, VA

Wedding date: 5/15/15

Wedding location: Pittsburgh, PA

Wedding theme: Classic beauty

Engagement story from the bride-to-be :

Braxton proposed to me on January 18, 2015 while we were out ice skating at PPG Place in Pittsburgh. It was funny because we went to church that morning and the entire message was about love and making the decision to commit to someone. Braxton knew all along that he was going to propose that evening but I had no idea so I was making slick comments to him during the message and after church. After church, we came back to his house and cooked breakfast. Braxton left and told me that he had to drop something off to one of his classmates. While he was gone I was calling my family because we talk ALL the time and no one answered! Later that night we went to my house and continued working on a puzzle that we had started a few weeks ago. We listened to music and then prepared to go ice skating with two of his friends. On the way to the rink we had to stop back at Braxton’s house because he said he left his wallet there. When we finally got to the ice skating rink everything was normal! I had no idea what was going on. His friend had a nice camera but I still didn’t think of anything. So while we are skating I stop to take a picture of his friend and his wife, Braxton skates around the rink and then “falls” in front of us. I bursts out laughing because he was the first to fall! People are asking him if he’s okay and I’m still laughing. Braxton reaches for my hand and I thought he was trying to make me fall so I’m pushing him away laughing and he finally pulls out the ring! He asks if I know what’s going on and I’m just overtaken with shock! He says, “Chalis Diahann Sledge, will you marry me?” Of course I said yes and asked him if he had asked my parents (that’s where he was earlier in the day when he went missing). We skated some more then went to get dinner with our friends.

From the Groom: Walk us through the behind the scenes of creating this special day:

I had no intentions of proposing to Chalis until after I graduated on May 16 but God told me otherwise. I began looking at rings in December and originally purchased a marquise shaped ring and asked Chalis what she thought about that particular style. She didn’t know that I had actually brought a ring. She said she really wanted a pear shaped ring. I returned the original ring and designed a pear shaped ring for her. I told her that we would go looking at rings when we came back from the holidays. I had the ring shipped to my friend’s house and picked it up when I came back to Pittsburgh from visiting family for the holidays. I planned to go ice skating on January 18th because that was the day that we met two years ago in DC. That weekend I took Chalis to a music festival and brought tickets to see Kevin Hart on January 19th. On that Sunday morning (January 18th) I prayed that God would give me a sign that this was indeed the right thing to do. We typically go to the 8:00 a.m. service but that morning we decided to go to the 10:00 service and there was a guest Pastor. His message was entitled “Teach Me to Love” and was really a message to guys encouraging them to step up and commit to one woman. I was like “Wow! What a sign from God!” I already knew I was going to propose that day but that was the confirmation that I needed. After church, Chalis and I cooked breakfast for each other. I asked my roommate to keep her busy while I went to call her parents and ask their permission. When I called, her mom answered the phone and I asked to speak to her dad. He put me on speakerphone when I told him I had a question to ask. Both of her sisters and nephew were in the room, along with her mom, when I asked if I could marry Chalis. Her dad said yes and everyone began screaming and celebrating in the background. I told them not to mention anything to Chalis! I didn’t even tell them it was happening that day. I went back to my house where Chalis was and we later went to her apartment to work on a puzzle. I had planned to go ice skating at 6:00 p.m with one of my friends and his wife. They knew that I had planned to propose and I asked them to bring their camera to capture the moment. When we left for the skating, I stopped at my house to pick up the ring. When we got to the ice skating arena I took a few laps to prepare and then saw the perfect opportunity to propose. I knew I was going to fall and said to myself “if she doesn’t help me up I’m not going to do it”. Well when I fell, she laughed so hard! She never asked if I needed help or anything! I still proposed though. I grabbed her hand and pulled out the ring and asked her to marry me.

What was the theme of your Engagement session?

We really didn’t have a specific theme. We just wanted to be comfortable while capturing our love and happiness in our photos. We took our pictures in Hampton, Virginia.

What makes your love special?

Our love is special because we are truly answers from God for each other. We both had been praying that God would send us our mates. Braxton said he had a very long list of things
he was looking for in a woman and I had specifically been praying for a husband who loves God and loves me and treats me like a queen. When we met in DC, we knew that our prayers had been answered. Even though we were long distance for 1.5 years, we never gave up on our love or relationship and prayed that God would open doors for us to be in the same location and grow together.

What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?

We are having a very intimate wedding with immediate family and very special friends. We are looking forward to sharing in this special occasion with people who love, support and value us and our love the most. Chalis is really looking forward to having her dad perform some of the ceremony in addition to giving her away.

Wedding Details:

We are getting married at the Omni in Pittsburgh in the Urban room. Our ceremony starts at 11:00 a.m. and will include Braxton’s brother singing as I walk down the aisle, my father giving me away and performing the vows, Braxton’s pastor leading us through communion and a feet-washing ceremony, and my dad pronouncing us as husband and wife.

Congrats to Chalis and Braxton! We wish you a wonderful wedding and marriage.


Photographer:  Casha Dees Photography

Make-Up/ Stylist: Chandra Sledge

Curated by our Wedding Features Editor, C.K. Alexander. C.K. is the owner and founder of  Love Ink and Brownstone Bridal. Keep up with C.K. on Twitter here: @Love_Ink

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