Chandler Wearing Custom Ari Dress
So tell us, how did you meet the love of your life?
It was a little over 8 years ago. I was 18, fresh off the plane from Texas, and was hired part-time to work in the marketing department of a gaming company. He was 21 and working there as a game developer while he wrapped up college. Our paths crossed while working on a project together and we have been staring longingly at each other ever since.
When did you know they were the one?
There wasn't one particular moment. It was thousands of passing thoughts and feelings of "what a great day, I could do this forever." I had found a person that loves, respects, and values the person I am. He grows with me instead of apart from. He brings out a better person in me than I could ever be on my own. No matter what I had planned for any given day, I knew it would be more fun with him there with me.
Tell us the story of the proposal!
I am not going to lie and say I didn't see it coming. After 8 years, I can't say I was particularly shocked but that didn't stop the crocodile tears from making an appearance. We were in Hanalei Bay enjoying a gloomy afternoon playing games at the beach. He abruptly stopped playing and started making his way back to the sand. Terrified I did something wrong, I of course chase after him only to catch up the exact moment he had turned and was on one knee. I will never forget those eyes looking up at me.
How long was your engagement? What went into deciding your wedding's date and location?
COVID kind of threw a wrench in our original plans. I think before we finally got married I had planned about six versions of the wedding. We always knew Wayfarers Chapel was the spot for the ceremony. It blended his love of the ocean with my fondness of redwood trees. It's entirely glass, the chapel. Sitting on top of a cliff in Palos Verdes, CA, it's supported by heavy curved wood beams and nordic stonework. It truly is something out of a fairytale. The reception was held at our new house. We bought in March and last minute changed our plans to host a small intimate reception in the backyard. We lined our grass with one long table covered in candles and greenery. Then threw a dance party that ended in bare feet and hangovers that not even Tylenol would cure.
How would you describe your personal style? What was most important to you when you were planning your bridal look?
Less is more. I wanted airy-elegance in the form of simplicity. I took the last name Roosevelt so roses were an obvious focal point. I was looking for a dress that moved as I moved without restriction, that highlighted my waist, and that made me look on the outside exactly how I felt on the inside. Let's face it, I was going for Disney princess.
How did you find Wear Your Love?
I saw Wear Your Love initially on Pinterest. At first glance, I thought I would never be able to afford it so I don't think I actually clicked on it. It wasn't until much later when I saw it on Instagram that I finally looked into it. It was exactly what I wanted and way less than I thought it was going to be. Simple, romantic, enthralling, and.. wait for it... custom!
When did you know you had found your perfect dress?
Immediately. I was scrolling and came to a full stop at the Ari dress. At that point, I hadn't tried on any dresses physically in a store so I forced myself to go to BHLDN and a few other places in Newport Beach. Not one dress came close to how I felt when I saw the Ari.
Which dress did you choose, and did you request any custom aspects?
I chose the Ari for a number of reasons - rose lace, lining, boat neck cut, and that stunning deep V in the back. I had a few customizations that the WYL team was happy to accommodate. I requested that the neck be brought in just an inch so it didn't sit too far on my shoulders; I have a large bust so needed a little extra support. I also requested a rather large slit up the side which typically isn't me but hot dang did it look good.
What went through your mind when the Wear Your Love box arrived at your doorstep and you tried on your dress for the first time?
I set up a lawn chair outside, made myself some tea, and read a book while I waited for the postman to arrive. I actually made him take a photo with me and the box. That afternoon I took my dress to my maid-of-honor's house and tried it on. Much to the skepticism of some friends and family members; my WYL dress fit absolutely perfectly. Not one alteration was needed.
Did your wedding have a theme or style?
I was really going for a storybook setting. Lots of greenery, flowers, and warm colors.
How involved was your partner in the wedding planning? Did your families help? Did you hire a coordinator, planner, or event stylist?
I would give my partner a general direction and he would take the ball and run with it. His biggest contribution to the planning was how he kept the house running while I was working through wedding logistics. He took over my share of the chores which was so incredibly helpful. While he cooked dinner, I addressed the invitations. While he did laundry, I was sorting through vendor quotes. Our families were both incredibly supportive in their own ways. In terms of planning, I am an accountant so I was able to handle the budget and majority of planning on my own. I did; however, hire a day-of coordinator to implement the vision we had for the day to make sure everything ran according to schedule with little to no hiccups.
Tell us about your wedding playlist! What song did you walk down the aisle to? Did you have a first dance song that was meaningful to you?
One of my partner's greatest strengths is putting together the perfect playlist for any party. He incorporated my tastes with his in a perfect balance of jazz, funk, pop, and old-school jamz that ebb and flowed with the course of the evening. I walked down the aisle to an eclectic song called "Forbidden Friendship" from the "How to Train Your Dragon" movie soundtrack. It's one of my favorite movies and has a crescendo that concluded right as I put my hand in his. Our first dance was a jazz song but I don't really remember it. At that point my emotions were so raw, I think I just laid my head on his chest, held his hand, and swayed with the music.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
Our first look. It was our time to have a minute to truly feel our feelings without having a bunch of eyes on us. I have a photo from that moment of my partner that I don't think I will ever share with anyone. The smile he gave me when he first saw me was something unlike any other. It's nice on such a public day to have that one smile all to myself.
Who was involved in your special day? We would love to shout out your photographer, favorite vendors, and anyone else who made your day magical.
Do you have any advice or helpful tips for others planning a wedding?
Take suggestions with a grain of salt, delegate when you can, and laugh at imperfection. Above all, remember it's about the marriage, not the wedding.
What has been the best part so far about being married?
Joking about how half of everything of his is now mine; like his sandwich and his comfy t-shirts.Chandler is wearing The Ari with natural lining, a custom skirt slit, and a 12 inch sweep train.