The Bride That Let Her Inner Fashionista Guide Her Wedding Day Fashions

In a current bridal landscape that seems to be insistent upon brides matching the set “bridal aesthetic” that includes a heavily beaded gown, an ultra glam makeup look and white shoes, I can’t help but wonder if there are any brides left unafraid to adhere to their own bridal style constructs instead of those bestowed upon them?

The wedding of Chelsea & Chris was one out of a fashion-forward 2005 hit HBO show. Filled with intention and style at every turn, these two newlyweds managed to bridge their love of fashion with their love for one another, letting their individual stylistic perspectives meet at the altar to be seen by their respective worlds and publicly joined together in holy matrimony for as long as they both should live. 

Chelsea and Chris’ fashionable love story begins on November 19th, 2016 when they first met with Chelsea wearing a navy blue, mini velvet dress and thigh high suede boots that caught his eye at a bar in her hometown of New York. 

“I think he saw me circling the place looking lost and he thought ‘Why does this girl look lost?’ and he came over, bought me a drink and I basically talked to him for two hours as I waited for my other friend. They came, we exchanged numbers and went on our first date two days later.” 

But amidst their relationship, the two lovebirds’ constant other than their ever-growing love for each other has been their mutual love for fashion. Chelsea, who works in the fashion industry credits her husband Chris as consistently “putting her on” to all things. From Sex & The City to emerging Black-Owned fashion brands, she describes Chris as, “very informed about fashion.” She continues, “I feel like he studies it. He knows when the new drops are happening–he just knows things. He reads a lot about it and I think that, along with his personal taste really informs his purchasing decisions. He’s also really supportive of Black designers and Black creative directors. He’s hip, in the know and always stays fresh.” 

And this intention of supporting Black designers carried with him in designing her engagement ring. Partnering with her best friend and rising Black fine jeweler Bernard James to design her rock, Chelsea shares the story of how her dream ring came to fruition. 

Image by @jaycohen13.

“Bernard James, a Black fine jewelry designer and one of my best friends, worked with Chris on my engagement ring, so I wasn’t involved in the design process but I absolutely love it. It’s a round solitaire diamond set in gold because I only wear gold. And for my band, I wanted something I could wear on its own and that didn’t take away from my solitaire. It’s these pavè diamonds with gold on the top-it’s really simple and I designed it a week before the wedding.”

For Chelsea, her ring and her bridal style, she stressed to us the importance of her following the beat of her own style drum. To brides uninterested in following “the rules” for their wedding day looks, Chelsea advocates, “You don’t have to get a diamond. If you want an emerald, ruby or whatever. If you like yellow bridesmaid dresses, if that’s your favorite color, it’s gonna age perfectly. If you like it, it will. Get what you want.” This belief system of doing what it is you truly desire for your special day is one she thoroughly followed for her own wedding. Instead of having traditional bridal and groom parties filled with groomsmen and bridesmaids, her bridal party consisted of the mere 9 attendees of family members from both of their families that attended their special, micro ceremony.

Chelsea shares, “His mom asked me, ‘Is there a certain color you want us to wear?’ And I was like, ‘No, wear whatever you want!’ But my mom said I needed to make sure everyone looked coordinated. So, I said to myself, ‘Okay. It’s fall. The leaves are falling. We’re gonna be out in the country. Pick a color from the tree. Wear a color that’s going to be in nature and it turned out to be really pretty. It was burgundies, golds; it was just fall colors and it worked perfect.” 

Image by @jaycohen13.

This thread of spontaneity and ease met with intention is a through-line Chelsea continued throughout her wedding day style planning. 

Image by @jaycohen13.

Chelsea, a bona fide fashion lover and style aficionado herself claims that her style has “two extremes”. “I’m a tomboy– I literally borrow clothes from my husband; I wear his sweatshirts, I have a huge sneaker collection. But I’m also very feminine. I love mini dresses, heels, and bejeweled pieces. For me, it’s either super girly or super masculine. I love both.”

Images by @chelspinky on Instagram.

Chelsea masterfully executed this dichotomy on her wedding day. Beginning with her ceremony gown, her story of saying “yes” to the dress is one that could inspire even the most unbelieving of wanna-be spontaneous brides.

“I feel like a lot of times, when I look at things, it’s always promoted as “designer, designer, designer”, but for us, it’s not necessarily about the designer. I went to Kleinfeld, I did the whole thing and I actually ended up liking a dress from Anthropologie. I liked it way more, I felt comfortable and it had pockets! I knew I wanted a veil. It was cathedral length, and they were going for minimum $1,000 but my mom was like, ‘we’re in the fashion district’ and we saw they made the exact lace so my aunt ended up making my veil.” She shared. “My mom was visiting us and I wanted her there and my father has passed so I thought it was important that it was just her and I.”

“The Anthropologie at Central City Mall in Los Angeles has the bridal section of Anthropolohie. I think I tried on 16 dresses. The woman was very patient because I wanted to try on everything because I had no idea what I wanted. I ended up buying the first one I tried on. But I didn’t cry and everyone was asking me, ‘Did you cry?’ and I was like ‘Should I?’ I should, so, I said, ‘Let me go make an appointment at Kleinfeld. Maybe there’s a dress out there that’s going to make me cry but I still didn’t.’ But in that dress I felt like myself and that felt special.” Chelsea recalled.

Image by @jaycohen13.

“I think that’s a big piece that I experienced. At Kleinfeld, I had my sister and mother here with me. But even in terms of the fact that we did a micro, micro wedding, there were moments where I was like, ‘Is it weird we’re not having this big, 200-person wedding? But then I was like, I don’t want that.’ I didn’t want it. My thing is, no judgment; whatever you want, do that. But don’t get pressured into doing something just because everyone else is doing it.”

And so the bride wore a dress by Anthropologie.

Image by @jaycohen13.

As for the groom, his Tod Snyder jacketed look was one that he had intentioned for quite some time. “He knew he wanted to wear white and for me, I actually trust his fashion sense a lot.” Chelsea noted. 

But the fashions didn’t stop there, for her reception, Chelsea chose the day of to rock an Alexander McQueen jumpsuit she had gotten “heavily tailored” where she and Chris celebrated their fresh matrimony at Slainte, the bar they first met at in 2016. 

“I love fashion but it’s really just about how I’m feeling. I basically had a bunch of stuff picked out and on the day of, I decided what I wanted to wear. Which I feel like isn’t really bridal. But for the day of, I had two veils both that my aunt made and I chose the day of. I ordered some clip-ins, and my sister figured out how to put them in on the day of. I had two pairs of shoes; I had the white pair and then those blue pair and the day of, I woke up and said, ‘I feel like the blue.’ There was just no real plan. It was all about how I was feeling in the moment.”

Image by Chelsea Pinky.

And as for the star of her wedding day look, Chelsea details her process in deciding to rock her “something blue” on her feet. 

Image by @jaycohen13.

“I’m obsessed with Sex & The City after being late to the party. I love that show. And when I saw those shoes, they’re just iconic. Those are Badgley Mischkas. Being a New Yorker and Sex & The City stan, I just think that weddings can be so serious and I just wanted it to be fun and the shoes were fun, they brought me joy and they made me happy. So, I wore the shoes. Fashion is about having fun with it. I will always respect people that have fun with it. It shouldn’t be so serious.”

Image by @jaycohen13.

So, at Hutton Brickyards in Hudson Valley, the bride Chelsea married the love of her life with the sole intention of having fun with her bridal looks. From her bombshell curled hair to her satin gloved arms, and blue Badgley Mischkas, her and her groom Chris successfully reminded brides and grooms everywhere that the only fashion love story they should be abiding by is their own.

And just like that… Chelsea became the bride that got carried away following the beat of her own bridal style drum.

Image by @jaycohen13.

Written by Fashion Writer, Kennedi LéShea.

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