NYLON – Chelsey Hill has always loved hot air balloons. Something about the colorful giants that are somehow lighter than air captured her imagination, so much so that at some point she let slip to Christopher Healy, now her fiancé, that she wanted to someday get engaged in a balloon.
What ensued was a complex plan to get Chelsey to the Great Wellsville Balloon Rally in Allegany County without her knowing that her parents, grandparents, her best friend were there, waiting to capture the moment.
“It was perfect, we’re still on cloud nine,” said Chelsey. “I had no idea what he was planning, or that my parents were there, or that my best friend and professional photographer was there.”
The pair met at a wedding in central Ohio.
“That night we knew something special was about to begin,” said Chelsey. “He had grown up in Wellsville and lived there at that time, but decided to move to Cincinnati, Ohio to be closer to me while I finish up my degree at the University of Cincinnati. Christopher has gone to the Balloon Rally since he was young, and has fond memories chasing the balloons as they left Sunday morning.”
The proposal started with a walk around the launch field. Suddenly, Chris got on one knee and asked Chelsey to marry him, to the surprise of everyone at the rally. Others started taking pictures of the moment and later sent them to Chelsey on top of the professional photos that Chris arranged.
“I said yes, of course! Then to my surprise, I looked to the side and saw my best friend from Ohio, Jooniper Moreland, taking pictures,” said Chelsey. “He then turned me around where my parents, Damian and Lisa Hill, and grandparents, Joseph and Barbara Kent, were waiting to congratulate us.”
Family members traveled from Mount Vernon, Ohio and managed to stay hidden at the rally until the time was right. After a few pictures, the crew of Freedom Flight Inc. allowed the couple to step into their POW-MIA balloon. Though it was too windy for a ride, everyone had a good time being around the balloons.
“I want to say thank you to the crew of the Freedom Flight Inc., POW-MIA balloon,” said Chelsey. “Christopher and I appreciate you welcoming us into your balloon and adding your own excitement to the mix. Lastly, a huge thank you to our families who helped him pull this proposal off, and for those who traveled so far to be a part of it.”
Their wedding is set for October 2017.