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Now + Forever

Chelsea Udell And Michael Lodato Anchored Their Love With A Nautical Wedding At Sailor's Return

WHAT THEY DO: Michael, 42, is a manager at Manatee Island Bar and Grill, and Chelsea, 28, is a stay-at-home mom. 

HOW THEY MET: Chelsea was applying to work at the Prawnbroker Grill where Michael was manager at the time. She forgot to put her name on the application, so Michael called her back, without even knowing who to ask for. Chelsea was hired, and the two became close friends. 

HOW THEY KNEW THEY’D MET “THE ONE”: Chelsea attended college in Hawaii and reconnected with Michael after returning home. She ended up moving back to Hawaii, which is when Michael came out to visit. During that period of spending time together, they realized how much they loved each other, and Chelsea flew back to Florida with Michael at the end of his trip. 

ON THE PROPOSAL: Michael proposed on Dec. 12, 2012 at 12:12 a.m. because Michael believes 12s are lucky, Chelsea says. It became the perfect moment for him to drop down on his knee and propose. 

ON SELECTING THE CEREMONY AND RECEPTION SITE: “We wanted somewhere outside and on the water with a very relaxed feel with amazing food,” Chelsea says. “Sailor’s Return was the perfect place. It also allowed us to arrive to the reception on the boat where the ceremony was held.” 

ON THE THEME: The couple planned a blush pink and navy blue nautical theme to go along with getting married on the water. Candle centerpieces were draped in nautical rope with anchors, and a message in the bottle acted as the guest book for family and friends to sign.  

SPECIAL DETAILS: Chelsea and Michael have two kids and wanted both to be involved in the wedding. So their son, Koa, 3, was the best man and ring bearer. Their daughter, Rylan, 2, played the role of flower girl and maid of honor. Also special to the couple were the wedding rings, made out of Koa wood, which they named their son after. The couple chose the wood since Koa trees are found in Hawaii where their love story began. 

Wedding Date: Sept. 26, 2016

Ceremony Location: “I’m On” boat by Capt. Nippy Pauels 

Reception Location: Sailor’s Return 

Gown Designer: 4 Love & Liberty, purchased at April Daze Boutique 

Event Planner: Jennifer Hannon and Denise Buffington of Hannington Party Productions

Photographer Name: Danielle Love Photography