Natalie at age 21
Chris & Natalie's Elopement Day!
Chris & Natalie wishing they were still 21!
When my husband Chris and I wanted to get married in 2012 we were in a bad place financially. He had just moved here from New York and was having difficulty finding a job. I had gotten divorced after a nearly 20 year marriage and during that marriage I didn't work - I had been homeschooling my children all the way from preschool to highschool. Nobody seemed to want to hire a 48 year old brilliant and charming woman who had been out of the workforce for 18 years which stunned me! Anyway, there we were poor and in love and looking for a place to get married. Being a romantic I most definitely did NOT want to do a courthouse wedding so I looked at every option in the greater Kansas City area and I couldn't find ANYTHING. I had a vision in my head about what I wanted - it had a beautiful white floral backdrop with me in my gorgeous wedding dress looking like a princess and it wouldn't cost very much to do it either. Well, this venue didn't exist. We couldn't find anyplace even remotely affordable, not to mention pretty. We went away for a weekend and found a place where we could get married that day. It was most definitely not my dream - far from it. It looked like a basement - dark and dreary and we were in our t-shirts. Right then and there I made up my mind to start my walk in wedding business so other people could have what I didn't. I found a school online and started their program to get ordained. I was able to clep out of a few classes and about a year later I earned my diploma of Ministry. Once I had that I started Your Magical Day, the first and only Walk In Wedding Chapel in Kansas City! I named it Your Magical Day because what could be more magical than your wedding day? I trademarked the name and I keep hoping that Disney will infringe on my trademark so I can sue them for millions and millions of dollars but so far that hasn't happened!! I created the chapel I had dreamed of, which today is the White Wedding Room. I also added two additional styles - the Sunflower Chapel for a rustic look, and the Rose Garden entrance for an outdoorsy feel. I priced all of our marriage packages as low as possible so I could get our rent paid and everyone could afford to have a nice wedding. The business has grown a lot since 2014 and I think back to when I first started - I was TERRIFIED of speaking in public and I had to muster up a lot of courage to do even very small ceremonies. In fact, I wondered if there was some way I could stand in the back and hide and somehow use a microphone to say the ceremony because "then the focus would just be on the couple"! My family told me NO! lol So now I have thousands of ceremonies under my belt and guess what? I still feel shy if there are a lot of guests, so I don't do the big formal weddings and I never will! I guess that's what makes the couples feel comfortable with me - my ceremonies are short, I'm told they are sweet (I hope they are!) and because the weddings are small and intimate they are fun and if things go wrong it's no big deal! The best part, though, is seeing the look on the couples' faces as they say "I do" and the honor I feel that they chose me to share their magical day. Now it has turned into a family business with my husband and kids helping me in lots of different roles, from doing the ceremonies, signing the marriage licenses, cleaning the chapels, taking photos, running social media, advertising and all the other little behind-the-scenes work that is required in running a business full time. We have been so very blessed and we thank every one of our couples for making it happen.
Chris at age 21
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