This originally ran as a Local Love in the 2021 issue.
WEDDING DATE November 30, 2019
Ryan McGonigle and Chelsea Dorsey attended the same church for years, but while he almost immediately noticed her beautiful smile and kind demeanor, she was blissfully oblivious. Chelsea eventually caught sight of Ryan, “not during a service, but on a particularly much holier platform . . . Bumble,” she cracks. She hesitated before swiping right because she was exhausted from online dating just like every other 20-something, but she did it anyway. The two matched, but Chelsea let 24 hours pass and the match expired. A few weeks later, Chelsea observed a man checking children into the kids’ ministry at church. She wasn’t sure why he looked familiar, but after seeing him again the following week, she asked a friend who he was. “Bumble,” came the one-word answer. Chelsea found Ryan on Facebook that evening and sent him a message that simply asked, “Why haven’t you introduced yourself to me in person?” He responded by asking her on a date. A year later, on their one-year anniversary, Ryan—always the romantic—set-up an elaborate celebration. Chelsea was convinced the evening would end with a proposal, especially when he took her blindfolded to the rooftop deck on her Riverside apartment building. It did not. Two weeks later—on Good Friday—their night once again ended on Chelsea’s rooftop. This time, Ryan was standing in the pouring rain with winds so strong that the GoPro fell over and failed to record any of the actual proposal. He asked, and she said yes. “It made complete and total sense,” says Chelsea. “An imperfectly perfect proposal.” And one that mirrored the wedding day, too. Romantic, but nothing flawless nor precious. “I naturally gravitate towards moody, raw, bohemian elegance,” says Chelsea. “During planning I only knew what I liked and what I disliked, but I didn’t know how to make all of the intricate details come together.” Chelsea’s mom stepped in as the planner, making sure the greenery and fairy lights, farmhouse head tables, velvet serviettes, grapevine balls, and antique furniture all worked together. “She was not only a visionary, but completely transformed my vision and dream into reality,” says Chelsea. She wasn’t the only family member who played a significant role. One brother, Andrew, acted as officiant, and another, Braedon, sang and played guitar while she walked down the aisle. “To this day, our guests still comment on how raw, intentional, and special the ceremonial message was, regardless of their own faith background or lack thereof,” says Chelsea. The entire day felt significant and so meaningful. “Weddings in and of themselves are very sacred, so while the details perpetuate its splendor and holiness, choosing each other for the days to follow is what you are committing to,” says Chelsea. “The wedding is simply a representation of the beautiful life you promise to build together.”
Beauty Gypsy Sol Makeup Artistry (makeup); Inspired Beauty (hair) Bridesmaids Azazie Cake Michele Nelson, grandmother of the bride Caterer Rouge Catering Floral Design Victoria Clausen Floral Events Groom and Groomsmen Jos. A. Bank Honeymoon Nassau, Bahamas Invitations Minted Leather Jacket CopperStone Co. Location Main Street Ballroom Music Dami Soh Schlobohm with Braedon Dorsey, brother of the bride (ceremony); Baltimore’s Premier Event Solutions (reception) Officiant Andrew Dorsey, brother of the bride Photographer Kayce Shoffner Photography Videographer Ohouse Films Wedding Dress Allure Bridal gown at Love It At Stella’s Wedding Planner Terri Dorsey, mother of the bride