Georgia Spring Outdoor Wedding: Cody & Chela
April 18, 2015
Chela and Cody met in 2011 through their roller derby community in Savannah, Georgia. They had a “brief and torrid” affair before Chela moved back to Mississippi, and when she came back a year later, Cody had a girlfriend. It took them a few months to reconnect. Cody realized she had been waiting for Chela since she left. It was clear from the start that their relationship was “less dating, more courting.”
Chela is an artist. She told Cody she was working on a special piece for her. When she presented it on a beautiful spring evening, Cody realized she’d painted her proposal, complete with a note on the back telling Cody to check her front pockets. Chela had a ring in each pocket – a vintage emerald for every day, and a gorgeous white topaz cocktail ring for special occasions. They had a beautiful, quiet moment, agreeing to be wives, by themselves at their home. Cody says “it was a perfect proposal.”
Chela and Cody knew that there is nothing more beautiful than Savannah in spring bloom, and that they absolutely had to be outdoors. The Juliette Low Park had two major selling points: it was a five-minute walk from their house, and since a park-side neighbor sponsored them, the fee was only $50! There was also a playground to entertain the kids. They built much of their wedding around what the park could accommodate.
The brides originally planned to go to New York City in October of 2015. In late 2014, the news broke that the Supreme Court was going to take up the big marriage equality case during their next term, and they realized they would more than likely not have a definitive ruling by summer. They wanted to be fully legal, somewhere, before the decision came down. They made their decision to advance their wedding to spring in late January, and relied on support and help from their community to get everything done in time. They borrowed 24 tables, and received 32 home made lasagnas; a true DIY effort. They felt charmed throughout the planning process. It was a tremendous amount of work, but worth it!
The entire day and experience were absolutely unforgettable. Little details, like having the Savannah College of Art and Design drumline precede them down the aisle, made Cody and Chela feel like they had really created an event that was true to their style. It was important to them that they not create tons of trash with disposable supplies, so they used glass plates and real flatware and donated it all after the wedding. The most common feedback after the wedding was that the whole day felt like a reflection of Cody and Chela, both as individuals and a couple.
Cody shared, “In the bigger picture, I was most struck by how many people came to celebrate with us. We invited far-flung friends and family and were completely wowed by the turnout. We planned for about 100 people, but it quickly became evident that we were going to wind up with about 250. I can’t think of a more profound show of support. We ended up inviting our whole extended community, and they sure did show up. It was an incredible feeling.”
She also shared the following advice for couples planning their own big day: “Invest in an amazing photographer. Take all the help you can get, but only trust the day-of logistics to a paid professional or super neurotic friend. Ignore ‘tradition.’ And remember that the big day might be about you two, but it’s FOR everyone that loves you, so honor their support by giving them a hell of a good time.”