An Emerald Bay Elopement For The Storybooks

Life has a funny way of working itself out. Just ask Chelsea and Melissa. 

Chelsea moved back home to North Carolina for a few months while figuring out her next move. On the other hand, Melissa had moved across the country from California on a fixed-term job contract. “We believe everything happens for a reason and that fate purposely crossed our paths during the short time we were both in the same place at the same time,” Melissa gushed. After talking all day until 4 am for a week straight, they finally decided to go on their first date.

They say when you know, you know. And both Chelsea and Melissa knew. Even on that first date, they decided that the connection they had was something they didn’t want to ever give up. Chelsea moved in with Melissa the night after, and they immediately started shopping for engagement rings. After meeting in March, Melissa proposed to Chelsea in August with a custom-made ring and journal. In the journal, she shared why she loved her and wanted to spend all her days with her.

The duo moved to California shortly after their romantic North Carolina engagement. Chelsea wanted Melissa to have the opportunity to experience a proposal and have the chance to say “yes.” So she got down on one knee during a photoshoot they were having in Laguna Beach.

This effortlessly beautiful elopement didn’t come without a hiccup or two. After planning a large wedding and having to postpone twice due to Covid, Chelsea and Melissa decided they didn’t want to wait any longer and started looking for places to elope. Seeing that the mountains have always called them, they looked for a place in nature with beautiful views and large trees. Enters Lake Tahoe. And did we mention Melissa’s parents, who have been married for 30+ years, got married here as well? Like, how cool is that? “We knew our union was definitely one for the storybooks as a bald eagle began flying directly over us as we exchanged ‘I do’s’ and shared our first kiss as wife and wife,” Melissa said.

Melissa and Chelsea spent their first day as a married couple on an adrenaline-filled snowmobile tour in the mountains of Tahoe with their best friends and family. And judging from their fun-filled wedding photos, it looks like they wouldn’t have wanted to kick off their forever in any other way!


Photographer Casey Simon Photography / Planner Simply Eloped / Videographer Logan Lisle Productions / Wedding Officiant Meghan Ruiz Ceremonies / Hair + Makeup Jenna Peterson