Saying “I Do:” Anna + Chazz Upton

You’ve found the person with whom you want to spend your time as you live through this life, and you’ve made it official: You’re getting married. Congratulations! Now, it’s time for planning your wedding. 

Here, five couples with ties to Southeast Missouri share the unique details of their journey of saying yes to each other on their wedding day. We hope their stories inspire you in your own wedding planning and life journey as you continue on along the way. Here’s to saying yes.

Photo by Leah Lamberson, Leah Lamberson Photography

Hometowns: Perryville, Mo., and Kalispell, Mont.

Reside in Kalispell

Meaningful moments of the day: Anna’s dad helped make her wedding dress using pieces from her mom’s wedding dress. Her mom sang the song “A Mother’s Prayer” after her dad gave his blessing to Anna and Chazz at the wedding ceremony.

She says: The blueprint for my dress came from trying on several dresses at wedding boutiques in Southeast Missouri. My favorite dress was found at The Bridal Shoppe in Crystal City, Mo. Once I had an idea of what I wanted my dress to look like, my dad and I went to David’s Bridal’s website to begin looking for a plain dress with the same overall shape as the blueprint dress. We found what we thought would work and ordered it. However, when we got to the store to pick it up, the dress was not quite right. We began to look around the store and found the dress that would become “the one.” 

Once my dress came in from ordering, we began to make the alterations. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic had made its way to the United States, and we were placed under quarantine. The dress became the Huskey Family Quarantine Project. The first step I took was to take the lace appliqués off of my mother’s wedding dress for my “something old.” In order for them to help match the appliqués already on the dress, I had to hand sew white seed beads and clear sequences to her appliqués. This process took me about a month and a half. 

My dad’s first step was to work on the bodice of the dress. The original dress was a solid piece of fabric that went to right below my neck. He had to cut out the fabric so it made a V-shape down my chest. This process took a while, as he had to shape the V to the contour of my chest and what the dress skeleton already had in place. 

When it reached everyone’s satisfaction, we began to work on the train of the dress. I ordered ivory buttons from Etsy. These buttons began at the top of the zipper in the middle of my back and went all the way to the end of the train of the dress. On the train of my dress, we sewed my mother’s appliqués. For this step, we placed the dress on a dress form and laid out the appliqués until we felt they were in the best position. My dad pinned the appliqués in place and then hand sewed them to the dress. 

About 40 minutes before the ceremony, my bridesmaids and I played Uno to help pass the time until the ceremony. I did not have a “something blue,” so it was suggested I tuck away a blue Uno card in the back of my dress where it was out of sight but not going to fall out. 

Our first reveal was when I walked down the aisle. While Chazz and I had held hands and prayed around a door, we had not seen each other since the end of the rehearsal dinner. The song I walked down the aisle to was instrumental only, but it had a large build in the instrumentation. At a large swell of French horns, the doors to the sanctuary were opened, and Chazz and I were able to see each other for the first time. It was how I had imagined it being and so much more. 

He says: The whole day was fun, but the best part was the anticipation of waiting for Anna to come down the aisle and seeing her in her dress. We had decided to let our first reveal be when she walked down the aisle. There is no true way to describe how I felt when the doors to the sanctuary were opened except a rush of joy, excitement and relief. All of our planning and hard work had finally come to fruition. I was finally able to marry the girl I loved.

Photo by Leah Lamberson, Leah Lamberson Photography
Photo by Leah Lamberson, Leah Lamberson Photography

From the Photographer:

“I always tell my couples to expect something not to go perfectly smoothly, because every wedding has a hiccup during the day, and we just roll with it; there are no rules to how a wedding day ‘should’ run. The photos of your wedding day will last a lifetime, even when you start to forget the little details of the day over the years.”  

Leah Lamberson, Leah Lamberson Photography