This Couple Invited 10 Guests to Their Romantic Garden Wedding in Georgia
Chelsea Cobb and Jordaan Houston met as Oakwood University students back in 2014, while also serving as officers for their campus' United Student Movement organization. Their romance truly took off after their college days—it was a good thing they stayed connected on social media. "During the 2016 Christmas holiday, we engaged in a five-hour conversation, catching up, laughing, cracking jokes, and discussing the ebbs and flows of life," Chelsea shares. "I immediately recognized that Jordaan was quite smitten and truth be told, I was, too." After spending the next months having FaceTime dates, binge-watching their favorite shows from afar, and traveling between Atlanta, Georgia, and Rochester, New York, to be together, they made things relationship official. On July 10, 2019, Jordaan got down on one knee. "[He] proposed at one of our favorite date spots (Ponce City Market in Atlanta, Georgia), surrounded by some of our closest family and friends," says the bride.
As they prepped for their big day on August 2, 2020, the novel coronavirus continued to surge around the world—causing the couple to pivot towards a small southern ceremony on their original date (a larger celebration is in the works for next year). Despite the change in plans, their goal remained the same: To celebrate their love in the most intimate way possible. "Our love has been extremely organic and we wanted to be in a space that reminded us of that," Chelsea says. "Our venue, Meadowlark 1939, was out in nature with gardens and trees. It was so romantic."
The duo welcomed just 10 guests for their Griffin, Georgia, nuptials; more loved ones watched their ceremony unfold via Zoom. As the couple reflects on their big day, they say they wouldn't change it for the world. With the help of their vendors, including their planner, Shayla-René of Sonju Weddings + Events, their small big day was everything they wanted and more.
To personalize their elopement, Chelsea and Jordaan chose Meadowlark 1939 as their venue. The natural setting embodied the couple's organic love, says the bride.
Fit for the Bride
While Chelsea always envisioned herself wearing white on her wedding day, she couldn't find anything that felt quite right—and then something entirely unexpected caught her eye while she was shopping with her mom. "I went into a dressing room trying on some different options when I saw this Alex Marie dress hanging on the wall," Chelsea recalls. "It looked interesting, so I tried it on, and immediately I knew it was the dress for the August 2, 2020, wedding."
She also held a pastel-colored bouquet by Something Borrowed Blooms, which included peonies, lavender scabiosa, roses, silver dollar eucalyptus, and lambs ear greenery.
Just 10 guests joined the pair for their in-person elopement ceremony; they were welcomed by a personalized sign.
Since the duo decided to share an official first look during their bigger ceremony next year, they planned to meet each other at the altar, marked by a massive, age-old tree.
Chelsea and Jordaan gave each guest a mask, fan, and hand sanitizer upon their arrival.
Love at Last
The bride and groom wrote and recited their vows during the ceremony, which Chelsea says was "absolutely beautiful."
With This Ring
About four years after becoming a couple, the pair was pronounced husband and wife by their officiant, Dr. Charles Wesley Knight.
The pair posed alongside their parents, godparents, and immediate family members—their only in-person guests—for a portrait after the service.
Loved ones tuned in via Zoom to celebrate the happy couple.
Time for Two
"The entire time, we were filled with joy and happiness," Chelsea says of taking portraits after the ceremony. "Our photographer, Rose Bowman, was really good at selecting various spaces on the grounds. The experience was absolutely amazing."
A Lifetime Love
To other couples navigating big-day changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chelsea suggests veering away from the standard wedding model to make your own day special—no matter the circumstance. "It's okay to shy away from what's 'normal' or 'tradition' and create something new," she says. "Jordaan and I will never forget our elopement. It was private and intimate."
As a sweet ending, the newlyweds cut into their confetti cake by The Posh Cakery in the pool house behind the venue.
Photography, Rose Bowman
Ceremony Venue, Meadowlark 1939
Wedding Planning, Shayla-René of Sonju Weddings + Events
Flowers, Something Borrowed Blooms
Officiant, Dr. Charles Wesley Knight
Bride's Gown, Alex Marie
Groom's Attire, Moss Bros; Suitsupply (shirt); J. Crew (loafers)
Cake, The Posh Cakery
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