Chelsie Hill always wanted to walk down the aisle at her wedding. But when a tragic car accident in 2010 left her paralyzed from the waist down, she wasn’t so sure if she’d be able to do that.
Chelsie was a high school student and went to a party with a friend who had had too much to drink. The vehicle collided with a tree head on, paralyzing her from the waist.
Chelsie started dancing at age three and was already competing when she was five. But at 17, after hearing doctors tell her she would never walk again, Chelsie thought right away that she didn’t just walk; she danced, too.
So, in 2012, she founded Rollettes—a wheelchair dance group in Los Angeles—to show everyone that “dance is dance, whether you’re walking or rolling.”
11 years after the accident, Chelsie, 29, donned her wedding dress and prepared to walk down the aisle—just as she had dreamed years before—to surprise her then-husband-to-be, Jay Bloomfield, 34, on their big day.
Chelsie used leg braces, a walker covered with white fabric, to surprise the guests. Galia Lahav designed her custom-made bridal gown. The skirt was removable, making it easier to move from standing to sitting.
Jay met Chelsie in 2014 and they were married at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, September 24, 2021. However, the groom didn’t know that his bride had prepared something extra special for their wedding day.
“I want to stress that there’s nothing wrong with sitting down in your chair,” Chelsie told Insider. “But for me growing up, I always imagined myself walking down the aisle.”
“And I just wanted to feel that — not that my disability has taken anything away from me — but I just wanted to feel that heart to heart and stand up there eye to eye with him,” she added. “That was just really something really important to me personally.”
Jay was to have his back turned to the aisle by Chelsie before Jay entered the ceremony. He was stunned when he saw her walk to the altar with her father.
“I lost it. It was exhausting to hold on. I’m an emotional guy, and when I saw her, I was just blown away,” Jay recalled of the moment.
Chelsie shared with the outlet that walking down the aisle was her favorite moment from her wedding day. She said she felt like their “souls were locked in on each other” the whole time.
“After my accident, I wasn’t sure if I would ever find someone who truly loved all of me. You have accepted me fully, honored me, and adored all the parts of me,” Chelsie told Jay in her vows, as she shared on Instagram.
“For this moment today, I wanted to do something I had always dreamed of. Stand eye to eye with you as we promise our lives to each other.”
The bride’s surprise didn’t stop at the altar. Later, at the reception she and her father delighted guests with a father-daughter dance.
The pair started with a slow dance filled with twirls and hugs, before revving it up by dancing to a medley of upbeat hits, including Soulja Boy’s “Crank That,” MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”
Chelsie shared a video of their incredible dance on her YouTube channel. You can see it here.
Later in the evening, Chelsie used her leg braces for her first dance with her husband, which she said was very “special” to them.
Watch Chelsie and Jay’s special day in the video below.
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