Brayden and Ryan marry at the Chandelier Ballroom in Hartford

Ryanne & Brayden’s Chandelier Ballroom Wedding

November 30, 2020

From Bumble to Bride

Brayden and Ryanne crossed paths throughout college, first at a Delta Sigma Phi formal and then through mutual friends over the course of the years. “We even lived one street apart!” The two didn’t really connect until January of 2018 when they matched on Bumble. “We went on five dates, five days in a row.” Brayden popped the question late one Wednesday night after only having the ring in hand for two days. He just couldn’t wait a second longer!

A Pandemic Pivot

Ryanne and Brayden had planned a March 2020 wedding and learned just 10 days before that they’d have to postpone. Their venue, Chandelier Ballroom, was able to accommodate a new date in late June. “Michele and the staff at Chandelier Ballroom deserve all the praise I can give,” says Ryanne. “Michele offered to hold several dates after we postponed, to allow us time to decide. She also effortlessly pulled our ceremony together in under two weeks. Our guests reached out several times about the kindness of the staff.”

Brayden and Ryanne also had to pivot their photography plans. Originally they had booked Devon Rose Photography for their March wedding. “Devon did an incredible job on our engagement photos, and we loved the moments we had with her. Unfortunately, she was booked in June and we had to find a new photographer.” Friends recommended photographer Jenna Parr of Indie Fern Photo, who was luckily available on Ryanne and Brayden’s June date. “She has a beautiful, kind heart and a clear passion for photography. Jenna really focused on what our wants were—not her own.”

For most every couple, choosing the right vendors has been critical to pandemic wedding success. “I loved picking out vendors who really care about their craft and their brides,” Ryanne says. “I enjoyed building relationships with them and sharing my journey with them. They made our dreams come true!”

From Fashion to Family

Ryanne found her Maggie Sottero gown at Amelishan Bridal. “Amelishan is a place for a true bridal experience,” she says. “They didn’t rush or pressure me, but allowed me the space to find what I wanted.” For their wedding’s overall theme, the vibe was classic and romantic. “I love sparkle and classic black and white weddings,” says Ryanne.

While their June wedding maintained Ryanne’s vision for style and beauty, there was a newfound emphasis on those near and dear. “We have a deep love for our family and friends. We couldn’t have handled a postponed wedding during a pandemic without them. Love and family was the center focus of our entire day.”

The Ceremony

Brayden and Ryanne were supposed to be married at their home church, but COVID19 at other plans. Faced with switching their ceremony location just two weeks before the big day, Chandelier Ballroom stepped in to accommodate. Guests were seated at their dinner tables, and a long aisle was created down the center. According to Ryanne: “The aisle was epic. I was able to see everyone’s faces as I walked down the aisle, and I felt so close and connected to my guests. Brayden sobbed. It was better than I ever dreamed.”

The couple stood on a stage to exchange their vows. Ryanne’s dad built a set of stairs two weeks before the wedding so that she could gracefully walk up the center of the stage, rather than taking the side steps. “The ceremony was centered on ‘love is patient,’ since we had to wait an extra three months for our special day. Our pastor spoke about love being a patient and intentional choice you make each day as a married couple.”

Dinner & Dessert

All of the food at Chandelier Ballroom is made from scratch. “The tasting was so amazing, we booked a second! You can really taste the difference in the food. Our guests couldn’t stop complimenting the beef tips, mashed potatoes, and mac ‘n’ cheese.” Dinner was served buffet style with masked employees and six feet between each food station. Wine, beer, and soda were available for guests all night, plus a cash bar.

For dessert, Ryanne and Brayden went all out with fun favorites. “We had a Game of Thrones cake with two iron thrones up top—because a pandemic was better than a Red Wedding! We had Harry Potter cupcakes because we made ‘The Unbreakable Vow.’ We also had Hamilton-themed cookies and cheesecake.”

DIY Projects

Beyond making their own centerpieces and paper goods, commissioning signage, and Ryanne’s mom making a gorgeous entryway out of crates, frames, and silk flowers, there were a couple pandemic-inspired DIYs as well: “We created green, yellow, and red ribbons with safety pins for guests to wear to show their comfort level with COVID19. Green represented comfort with hugs, handshakes, and high-fives. Yellow represented comfort with talking but not touching. Red represented comfort with keeping their distance.” The planned pub snacks during cocktail hour also had to change. “We prepackaged 600 serving sizes of pub mix, M&Ms, pretzels, and popcorn for guests to snack on during cocktail hour.”

2020 Wedding Takeaway

Ryanne admits that before March, she was most stressed about decor and organization. “But today, I cannot reiterate enough that focusing on love is the most important thing. Prior to postponing, I spent so much time stressing over superficial things. Now I know what is most important: preparing for marriage and keeping close relationships with friends and family. When our June wedding finally arrived, I had zero stress. I was focused on being a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a daughter-in-law. I felt absolute bliss throughout the whole day.”

Make-up JP Makeup Services
Hair Stylist Belle Salon – Chevelle Smith
Ceremony, Reception, Catering, Bartending, Linens, Chairs Chandelier Ballroom
Cake Designer/Dessert Sweet Ginger’s Sugar Shoppe
Cards/Gifts Sign, Custom Hangers, Cornhole Game Electric Ink
Entrance Way Sign SignWorks
Flowers All That Blooms Floral
Music/Entertainment Midwest Sound DJ Entertainment
Officiant Jon Mahlstedt – Northbrook Church
Transportation Wittenberger Bus Services
Photographer Indie Fern Photo
Videographer Jonah Jahns Visuals
Gown Maggie Sottero from Amelishan Bridal
Bridesmaid Gowns Birdy Grey
Formalwear Amelishan Bridal
Rings Jewelry By Diana’s Daughter
Wedding Party Nails Nail Essentials