Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Groom’s Jaw Drops Upon Seeing Paralyzed Bride Walk Down the Aisle

Published: February 14, 2022
Chelsie Hill's wedding
(Image: Chelsie Hill via Facebook )

Every girl dreams of having a fairy tale wedding where she walks down the aisle, with her Prince Charming waiting for her at the altar. And 29-year-old LA-based Chelsie Hill was no different. 

However, her dream was in serious jeopardy after she was left paralyzed from the waist down in a nasty car accident when she was just a high school senior. Having been dependent on a wheelchair ever since,  Chelsie refused to give up on her dream and crucially, in life. Staying true to any fairy tale ever narrated, Chelsie chose to turn around her fortunes and summoned the strength to practice walking.

(Image: Chelsie Hill)

Her efforts eventually paid off in spades as Jay, who was waiting at the altar, got so overwhelmed upon seeing the miracle on the biggest day of their lives – Chelsie walking down the aisle on her own two feet.

“Jay had absolutely no idea that I was planning to walk down the aisle,” Chelsie told The Epoch Times. “It’s something that I had to hide from him for a very long time, I had to train for it.”

Chelsie was left paralyzed at the age of 17, after leaving a senior high school party with a driver who had been drinking. The car Chelsie was riding in hit a tree, head-on, at 35 miles per hour. As a result, her spinal cord was severely injured, causing her to become paralyzed from her waist down. 

From competing nationally in dance competitions at the age of 5 to then hearing the words: “You’re never going to walk again” when she was 17, Chelsie’s world was completely shaken. It took some time for Chelsie to accept the reality of her devastating injury but she eventually came to terms with it.

(Image: Chelsie Hill)

Chelsie refused to let this incident disrupt her life and since then became a community leader, content creator, and Founder/CEO of Rollettes, a Los Angeles-based wheelchair dance team. She has more than 167,000 followers on her Instagram. 

Thanks to her determination and self-confidence, everything fell into place; yet she wondered if she would fall in love again. Then she met Jay seven years ago, and over time their love blossomed. 

Jay then proposed on Chelsie’s 10-year “life day,” a celebration of 10 years since her injury. Chelsie said yes to Jay’s proposal, and over a year later, the couple got married in September.

Chelsie originally told Jay that she was going to go down the aisle in her wheelchair. In fact, that’s what she did during the wedding rehearsal – but she’d been working for 6 months on a surprise for the big day. However, on her wedding day, Chelsie couldn’t help but feel terrified. It rained before the ceremony, so she was worried the carpet she had to walk down was wet and would feel different than she was used to. 

Despite the nerves, Chelsie was still determined to fulfill her lifelong dream. She used leg braces and a walker to walk down the aisle. Jay, who had no idea about the surprise, was visibly emotional seeing his bride walk toward him.

(Image: Chelsie Hill)

“As soon as I saw Jay, his jaw dropped. He was just in shock that I was walking because he had no idea” Chelsie told Insider. 

While she was excited while walking down the aisle, Chelsie said it was very difficult and she almost gave up. 

“I remember looking at him and he was like, ‘You got this.’ He gave me so much energy,” she said. 

Jay wasn’t the only one who was surprised with Chelsie’s plan but almost all the attendees, even their extended family had no idea. As Chelsie walked down the aisle with her eyes fully focused on Jay, she didn’t know what went on around her at that time – until a wedding guest told her afterward.  It seemed the other hotel guests came over to the hotel balconies to witness the beautiful moment and were left impressed with Chelsie’s act.

But the surprise did not end there. Later on in the evening, Chelsie, who was still wearing the leg braces, was standing while she had her first dance with her husband. 

“My whole life I had imagined standing eye to eye with my husband on my wedding day. 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 Bloomfield in her vows, as she shared on Instagram.

And the magical day continued at the reception when Chelsie and her dad wowed the crowd with an incredible father-daughter dance. 

Fast forward 5 months later, the couple is now looking forward to starting a family, and they couldn’t be more excited. Chelsie also shared her advice with those in similar conditions like her who want to get married.

“You don’t have to walk down the aisle in order to have a beautiful and meaningful wedding,” she said. “That was an important thing for me, but every bride and every groom is going to be different … figure out what’s most important to you, and then go from there!”

Looking back at her wedding day, Chelsie couldn’t be happier. She walked down the aisle, stood during the ceremony, and danced with Jay at the wedding reception, all with her wheelchair out of sight. In other words, mission accomplished. 

(Image: Chelsie Hill)

This just goes to show that anything is possible if enough effort is put in. This may sound like hubris, but after achieving what she set out to do, Chelsie had set a precedent whereby even the impossible is possible as long as one has enough determination and confidence. Because at the end of the day, choices are what separates a ‘fairy tale’ and a familiar story.