From Fourth Grade to Forever

From Fourth Grade to Forever

“Once upon a time” is a familiar story to children, but for two fourth graders in Mr. Maxwell’s homeroom, it was the start of their very own love story. Brett and Kelly went all through school together but never made a match of it until they reconnected. 

“We’ve known each other almost our whole lives, but we never really hung out. We were both so introverted and shy!” says Kelly. 

Their very modern love story started in 2016 when Kelly saw that Brett had liked a post on Instagram that she was tagged in. They followed each other on social media, and after a while, Kelly reached out to chat with him. 

There is some dispute about exactly when that first date happened. Brett maintains that the first date was when he asked Kelly to Carrabba’s. But Kelly says she knew she was interested the very first time they met up. “I could see myself liking him. He was always so kind and considerate. 

“I think we both knew early on that we were meant to be together. 

It was so natural and comfortable. We just knew,” Kelly says. The two got engaged on a family trip to Petoskey, Michigan, on July 3, 2020. 

When it came to the wedding, Kelly couldn’t wait to get started. “I had so much fun planning it. I was a little sad when it was all over. My favorite game growing up was that ‘Perfect Wedding’ board game!”

The wedding was held at the Monastery Event Center in Mt. Adams. This unique and gorgeous location was preserved and re- stored in 2016 and now features 750-pound chandeliers, exposed brick walls, and stunning historical windows and murals. 

“The whole staff there was incredible,” Kelly says. “They were so ready and responsive and so great to work with.” 

Their wedding cake was from The BonBonerie, and it included the baker’s signature flavor, opera cream, and white chocolate romance. The bride ordered a unique cake topper from Etsy to spell out the couple’s new last name ... only to realize when looking at photos that it was misspelled. 

“Brett’s brothers tease me now that I’m not really one of them,” Kelly says. “I didn’t even notice! But with so many things that could go wrong, I didn’t care. I was just so happy!” 

The day was all about family and friends. Brett’s Uncle Greg officiated the ceremony, which meant so much to the couple. The wedding party included sisters, brothers, and friends from every stage in the couple’s life. Their nieces and nephews filled out the wedding party as ring bearers and flower girls. 

One of the most memorable parts of their day was the Chinese tea ceremony, a tradition important to Kelly, who wore a beautiful cheongsam from East Meets Dress. The new couple knelt and served tea to their family members. In return, the older members of the family gave their blessing to the new couple. 

“It’s something I have always looked forward to doing. In Chinese culture, showing respect to our elders is so important,” Kelly says. “Since it can include any older family members, my brother and sister got to be included, too.”

Another important family member to make an appearance was the couple’s Golden Doodle puppy, Beamer. “I was so worried that he was going to jump on me and ruin my dress,” Kelly says. “But he was the best dog. I loved having him with us.” 

What’s next for the couple? They plan to move out west to Arizona someday, but for now, they’re happy just to be together. 


Venue: Monastery Event Center

Photographer: Valley Ridge Photography

Videographer: Chasing Mozart Wedding Films

Band: The Chuck Taylors

Florist: Two Little Buds Florist

Cake: The BonBonerie

Makeup: Makeup by Elizabeth Newitt

Hair: Christina from Anthony’s Salon

Earrings: olive + piper

Wedding Dress: Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Bridal

Cheongsam: East Meets Dress

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