April 13th, 2014, Kelli Hutchinson sat in a hotel room with friends watching a “Say Yes to the Dress” Marathon on TLC. Pregnant and angry, because she wasn’t even engaged, Kelli was unaware her boyfriend had already nudged fate into motion. Her soon to be fiancé, Adam Chappuis was nervously waiting by the LSU Lakes with a banner reading "Who Loves Kelli? Adam Does! Who wants to spend the rest of his life showing her? Adam Does!" Her friends convinced her to take a walk to the pier where he was staged. Then there, in front of a large group of family and friends, Adam asked Kelli Hutchinson, "Will You Marry Me?”
Little did Kelli know that answering “YES", at that very moment, was about to bring her a on journey of both beautiful and catastrophic situations where she'd ultimately be faced again and again with the question, "Should I say YES?"
Kelli and Adam’s 3-year engagement saw its share of challenges and postponements. First, they waited for the birth of Rhyan, now two years old. Kelli’s new business, which was barely a year old, The Hair Show by Kelli, began taking off and required more focus. Then along came Ava, now one year old. While all these challenges were beautiful, they played a toll on the engagement, pushing it back each time. “Will I ever get to say Yes?” Kelli would continue to ask herself.
Finally, a real Wedding Date was set and within reach. September 16th, 2016! The planning was in full swing, Kelli’s 15-year-old daughter Anjolie was helping keep the details in check, and everything seemed perfect. The family was growing, the business thriving, and a dream wedding was just months away. On August 1st, 2016, they moved into their new home and started focusing on their up and coming wedding which was now just weeks away. However, all suddenly seemed lost when The Great Flood of 2016 tragically hit South Louisiana, along with her and Adam’s new home; all she could do was watch.
On August 12th, 2016, the rain started and didn’t stop until their new home was in ruins. Not only was Kelli worried about her family, she also had no idea how her business was doing in the Acadian-Perkins Plaza. She had been sent pictures of S. Acadian Thruway closed off and flooded, and with this road being so close to her building she started to feel hopeless. Kelli had now lost her new home and had no answers regarding her business. Kelli and her family, now homeless, with nothing more than the clothes on their back and a diaper bag, set out to find a place to stay. Her wedding plans seemed to just fade away; her “YES” faded into a “probably not”, then a resounding “NO!”
Even though times were hard, she made it work by trying to get back into a “normal” way of life for her children. She went back to work, but her wedding plans still looked too far away to reach. Until one day everything changed. Kelli found out that someone had nominated her and her fiancé to be on the national TLC hit television show, “Say Yes to the Dress.” What’s even more exciting was, they were chosen for an interview!
After video conferencing with Randy Fenoli, the host of “Say Yes to the Dress,” she found out that Mr. Fenoli had spent most of his childhood in Louisiana, and sadly went through a similar situation with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He felt personally affected and wanted to help someone like Kelli and her family.
Production started for the hit show “Say Yes to the Dress” and soon Kelli and her family were telling their story of the journey that begun August 13th, 2014. Not only has Kelli made wonderful memories with her family, she is truly honored and blessed to be able to put Baton Rouge back in a national spotlight to show what amazing treasures this city has to offer. So many local and national businesses came together to donate their time, talents and products toward her special day; giving flowers, food, music and her beautiful cake. Even when everyone was hurting from the flood, they still came together. For that, Kelli is forever grateful!
Kelli will proudly appear on TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” in the Spring of 2017 and we can’t wait to see what happens. Does Kelli Hutchinson get to Say Yes to the Dress?
We do know Kelli was officially able to say “Yes, I do” to Adam on November 20th, 2016 at the Burden Museum and Gardens in Baton Rouge. With over 120 guests in attendance, and a handful of the TLC crew, Kelli was walked down the aisle and given away by her uncle, Patrick Chenevert, while daughter Anjolie sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. Even though Kelli forgot her personally written vows, it wasn’t keeping her from her well-deserved “Yes” and they managed through the ceremony without a pause. Their custom written words of love and devotion were read during the cake cutting.
Guests watched as award winning country star, Clay Walker, sang “Witness” to them live during their First Dance, then a heartfelt set of love songs for the wedding party. Louisiana celebrity and Nashville Star, David St. Romain, kept the party going late into the night before Kelli and Adam finally left for a romantic honeymoon to Playa Del Carmen.
Kelli is still riding high in the clouds. Though not yet completely repaired, they have moved back into their once, new home. The buzz from TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” continues as she’s been invited to tell their story on some unnamed (sorry, no spoilers) upcoming national talk shows and radio shows in California and New York, and the local media continues to seek her attention.
Kelli says that her tenacity and drive will continue as she explores all the new opportunities that the once seemed tragic flood has presented her. Her ultimate “Yes?” as she explains, is to one day answer the call from Lorne Michaels and say “Yes, I’ll host Saturday Night Live!” But until that day, she promises to love Adam and their beautiful family of girls and continue to share her story of “YES!”