Bridal Bliss: Hello Palm Trees and Ocean Views — See Chelsea And Emerson’s Intimate SoCal Wedding
Jami Johnson Fresh Frame Foto

Even though Chelsea and Emerson have been together as a couple for three and a half years, the very beginning of their story is hard to pinpoint because they’ve known each other for so long. The Sacramento natives grew up around each other and their families knew each other. As adults, they kept in touch lightly, in the way many people do, via social media. However, they didn’t make the connection that would change everything until they crossed paths again while back in Sacramento during the holidays in December 2017. Chelsea, 28, had moved to New York while Emerson, 34, lived in LA. During that time home, they decided to hang out. The two had their first date (a fun time at Punch Bowl Social), and from there, they worked to maintain that spark while living on two separate coasts.

“We would try to see each other every three to five weeks during that first year but after his first trip I knew that I didn’t want to spend extended time apart,” Chelsea tells ESSENCE. “After the first six months I was already making plans to return to the West Coast and decrease the distance in our relationship.”

Two years after they first connected, Emerson proposed during a holiday gumbo party at Chelsea’s mother’s home. He got down on one knee after he finished leading grace, a ball of nerves. After she stopped being speechless, a rarity for Chelsea, she said yes.

The couple, like most looking to say “I do” while navigating an unexpected and life-changing pandemic, had their wedding plans altered. Their initial venue closed and the long list of guests they would have invited at any other time wouldn’t be possible. But on April 3, 2021, everything finally came together for them to enter into their union. Chelsea and Emerson jumped the broom, literally, at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, doing so in front of just a dozen family members (oh, and 200 or so guests on Zoom). It wasn’t the overly extravagant production weddings can be, which was just fine for the couple.

“Our love took center stage that day,” the bride says.

Check out all the stunning images from Chelsea and Emerson’s intimate ceremony and celebration in SoCal.


Photographer: Jami Johnson Fresh Frame Foto

Flowers: Shine Floral

Wedding Cake: Dan’ee Doty

Makeup: Vanessa Keri

Videography: 4KLove Films

Want your wedding to be considered for feature in Bridal Bliss? Email us a few wedding photos and the story of your big day at


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