Real Columbus Wedding: Chesley and Nick Woodburn
A fairy tale wedding more than a decade in the making
Sept. 4, 2022 | Many couples might describe their wedding day as a fairy tale, but Chesley (Talissé) and Nick Woodburn took a few extra steps to make sure their big day perfectly fit the bill.
Their story began in high school, when they developed a close friendship but didn’t seriously date ... though they did share a very public first kiss—on stage during a production of “Oklahoma!”—and were even crowned king and queen at Nick’s band formal before parting ways for college.
They reconnected while sledding during winter break of Chesley’s senior year in 2010. When Nick approached Chesley’s car to give her directions to the next spot, he realized he wanted to ride with her instead. Chesley agreed, and, as their wedding website proclaims, off they went, side by side—and they’ve been that way ever since.
To propose, Nick orchestrated a flash mob at Easton Town Center in December 2021. (Catch a video of that proposal here.) After serenading her while dancing to Michael Bublé’s “L.O.V.E.,” Nick dropped to one knee and produced a tiny trinket box shaped like a carriage; inside was the ring. After Chesley said yes, they celebrated with—what else?—a carriage ride around the shopping district.
Carriages played a big role in the wedding day nine months later, too. The newlyweds departed the ceremony for photos in a horse-drawn carriage that had been used as a prop in a BalletMet production of “Cinderella,” and a friend gifted the couple a Disney crystal carriage that served as a décor element. The event’s fairy tale garden theme meant that other décor pieces evoked Disney, too, as did Chesley's gown, which was from the Allure Bridals Disney Fairy Tale Weddings collection.
Nick and Chesley were equally intentional in the vendors they selected for the day. “Every vendor we chose to hire had passion,” Nick says. “The first priority after quality product/service was passion. We're intentional and passionate people so it was important to us to find vendors that were as excited about our day as we were.”
Their venue—Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield—is a site they’d been visiting for over a decade, he says, calling the property “our home away from home.” To entertain guests during cocktail hour, he and Chesley orchestrated a scavenger hunt that encouraged the people they love to experience the things they love during the day.
To bring things full circle at the reception, the couple entered to Michael Bublé's “L.O.V.E.,” and Chesley even sang it to Nick while he played sax with the live band composed of friends, colleagues and students of Chesley (who teaches music). Nick returned the favor by serenading Chesley while dancing to Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon.” For their first dance, they selected “Reflecting Light” by Sam Phillips, a nod to one of their favorite shows, Gilmore Girls.
When asked about the most memorable moment of the day, though, both Chesley and Nick point to the ceremony. For Nick, it was Chesley's walk down the aisle—a dramatic journey of about 100 to 150 yards, he says. He was so overcome by joy, he says, that he “began laughing and crying, and needed a few moments to get myself together after she finished her walk and before I could take her hand.”
What Chesley remembers most is exchanging vows as rain began to gently fall. “We were both laughing and crying the whole time,” she says. “Looking back at the photos, it's funny to see how much we were smiling and laughing, but it makes sense. We were extremely happy, and the day was perfect.”
Photographer: Nicole Dixon Photographic
Ceremony and reception: Kingwood Center Gardens
Caterer: The Berwick
Cake: Cake and Icing (Galion)
Florist:Floral Garden Florist (Mansfield)
Rentals: China from All Events Rental (Wooster), linens from The Berwick
Music: Turn Up Columbus and a 13-piece combo of the bride’s friends, colleagues and students
Stationery: Shutterfly and DIY
Transportation: Horse-drawn carriage from Colonial Acres Carriage Service (Vermilion)
Rehearsal dinner: Deer Ridge Golf Club (Bellville)
Bride’s attire: Disney Fairy Tale Weddings by Allure Bridals gown from Lace Bridal Couture (Reading), shoes and accessories from David’s Bridal
Bride’s hair and makeup: Studio 19 Salon & Spa (Mansfield)
Groom’s attire: Mantoni tuxedo from Ticknors Men’s Clothier
Rings: Ashcroft and Oak
Bridesmaids’ attire: David’s Bridal gowns
Groomsmen’s attire: Suits from Ticknors
Editor's note: An earlier version of this article misspelled Chesley's first name; it has since been corrected.