Chelsie Hill had always dreamed of walking down the aisle on her wedding day. 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.
When she was a high school student, Chelsie went to a party and got into a car with a friend who had too much to drink. The vehicle hit a tree head-on, and it instantly paralyzed her from the waist down.
Chelsie started dancing when she was three years old and was competing by the time 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.
To pull off the surprise, Chelsie used leg braces and a walker covered in white fabric. Her custom bridal gown made by Galia Lahav had a removable skirt to make transitioning from standing to sitting easier.
Chelsie met Jay in 2014, and the pair wed at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach on 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.”
Chelsie had arranged it so that Jay had his back turned to the aisle before she entered the ceremony. His jaw dropped when he turned around as he saw her walking to the altar with her father.
“I lost it. It took everything in me just to keep standing. I’m an emotional guy, and when I saw her, I was just blown away,” Jay recalled of the moment.
Chelsie told the outlet that walking down the aisle was one of her favorite moments 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 on, at the reception, she and her dad delighted guests with a fun-filled 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 posted a video of their epic dance on her YouTube channel. You can watch 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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