Real Columbus Wedding: Sarah Music and Chelsea VanAssche

Celebrating Family, Friends and LGBTQ Rights with Their Wedding

Emma Frankart Henterly
Columbus Monthly
Sarah Music (right) and Chelsea VanAssche (left) married on Sept. 10, 2022, at the Peak at Edison.

Sept. 10, 2022 | In same-sex relationships, the question of “who will propose?” can be a little less straightforward without traditional gender roles. Sarah Music and Chelsea VanAssche, who met as students at Bowling Green State University, each decided to take matters into their own hands. 

In Sept. 2021, nine years to the month after they first met, the couple were heading home to Columbus after spending their weekends with family in Detroit and Cleveland. “Chelsea got back home first and began setting up the basement with lights, flowers and a picture slideshow,” Sarah recalls. “I was picking up special donuts from our favorite donut shop in Cleveland.” When Sarah got home, she wasn’t sure if Chelsea had returned—“The basement was suspiciously quiet for a football Sunday,” she says—but found said basement to be beautifully decorated.  

Chelsea played the slideshow, which was set to one of their favorite songs and ended with a question: “Will you marry me?” 

“Of course I said yes,” Sarah says. She then ran back upstairs to get her sweet treat. “I came back to the basement, and Chelsea was excited to see there were doughnuts … and got a big surprise when she opened the box to see ‘Marry Me’ in doughnut letters.” Chelsea, too, said yes. 

It certainly seems like the dual proposals point toward this like-minded couple’s compatibility. 

For their wedding day—also in September, one year after the engagement—Sarah and Chelsea wanted to put a focus on family. “We decided to forgo the traditional bridesmaids and asked our siblings to make up our wedding party,” Sarah says. “We kept the traditional father/daughter dances, but wanted to make sure to include our moms in a meaningful way as well: We took pieces from each of our mom's veils, added their wedding dates, and wrapped them around each of our bouquets.” Other touches included signature drinks named for their mothers’ interests in Prince and the Outlander franchise, and added charms honoring their grandparents to their bouquets. 

A close friend from college officiated the ceremony, and BGSU alumni were invited to the dance floor for a group picture and playing of the fight song. 

“As a couple that is part of the LGBTQ community, we felt it was necessary to acknowledge that same-sex marriage has only recently been legalized,” Sarah says. “We displayed a Pride flag and language from Justice Kennedy's closing statement on our welcome table.” 

Sarah adds that the most memorable moment of the day was walking down the aisle and seeing all of their loved ones gathered to celebrate them. “This moment was so special—many of our friends from college were there, and family we hadn't seen in a few years,” she says. “Realizing that we would never have all our family, friends and loved ones together, all in the same place, again made all the planning and stress so worth it!” 


Photographer:Emily Mollineaux Photography 

Planner:Fantastic Event Direction 

Ceremony and reception:The Peak at Edison 

Caterer:Chef’s Table Columbus 

Dessert:Three Little Greenwoods 

Florist:Blooms by Amanda 

Rentals:A Vision of Elegance Event Rentals 

Music: Turn Up Columbus 

Stationery:Paper Culture 

Transportation:Baron's Bus  

Accommodations:Fairfield Inn & Suites Columbus Airport 

Rehearsal dinner:High Bank Distillery - Gahanna 

Brides’ attire:Stella York gown and a veil (Sarah) and Maggie Sottero gown (Chelsea), all from Wendy’s Bridal; shoes and accessories from Amazon 

Brides’ hair and makeup:Le Rêve Makeup & Hair 

Rings:Worthington Jewelers 

Bridesmaid’s attire:Azazie gowns 

Bridesmen’s attire: Suits from Men’s Wearhouse