The Times West Virginian

March 4, 2014

‘He completes me,’ Chelsea Slaughter says of fiancé Matt Welch

By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Like a lot of people, Chelsea Slaughter and Matt Welch went to school together and had known each other since fourth grade.

“We’ve known each other almost all our lives,” she said. “I guess we really didn’t meet in high school, but that’s when we got together.”

They graduated from Mussleman High in 2009. Then, about two years ago, they met again on Facebook and chatted about old times, getting caught up on each other’s life.

They exchanged numbers and started texting.

“We were just supposed to be friends catching up,” she said. “Somehow it turned into getting together. We were nothing more than friends in high school, not really,” she said. “We never really hung out outside school.”

That friendship blossomed through their Facebook chats.

Through mutual school friends, she checked up on him a little.

“They said he was a good guy, always good to his past girlfriends, a decent person to be with.”

She whole-heartedly agrees.

“He is one of the best people I’ve ever met in my life. He is a good person. He will always be there for me, no matter what. He is a genuine person, the kind you only meet once in a lifetime.

“He’ll text me ‘good morning, have a good day.’ You can tell he genuinely cares. That’s what attracted me to him.”

When the relationship turned serious, she left Berkeley County, where they both grew up, and her job in Leesburg, Va., to move to Morgantown.

“For him,” she said. “I came up a couple of times to hang out. The first time, he asked me to be his girlfriend.”

He was attending West Virginia University. She’d visit about every other weekend, driving from Leesburg to Martinsburg to Morgantown and back.

“That started getting old. I hadn’t planned on moving. I don’t know what came over me. But it was four hours from Leesburg every other weekend.

“I never saw myself moving from home. But in the midst of driving back and forth, I realized I could move up there.”

So she said goodbye her friends and family, left a good job at a medical company, and moved west.

Matt was in school and couldn’t have moved back, she added. She found a job at Ruby Memorial, packed up and moved west, planning to continue her online college career.

The day Matt graduated from college, both their lives changed. His and her parents had come up for the event, and everyone was in his little apartment.

Then he got down on one knee “ ... In front of everybody,” she said.

“I knew it was coming but not exactly when,” she said. “He had taken me out to look at rings months beforehand, and I picked one out.

“A little after I moved up here, I realized this was my life now. I had moved from friends and family to be with this man. This was serious. I guess life just happens.

“This was grown-up stuff. It was a big decision, one of the hardest things I’ve done. But he’s worth it. Love makes you do crazy things, I guess.”

The May wedding is just weeks away.

“I’m pretty well along the plans,” she said. “But when I start thinking about it, I do get nervous thinking about being up in front of family and friends, and all eyes will be on me.

“I’m nervous about the ‘here comes the bride’ part.

“But I’m not nervous about marrying him and saying ‘yes’ to being his wife. He will be in my life forever. I just know it.

“I did make the right decision to be up here with him.”

The move also helped her grow up a bit, she said.

“As an adult, you move away from your parents. This definitely helped me grow up and helped me appreciate life, too.

“He is definitely worth it.”

She’d never imagined this next step, she said.

“I honestly saw myself being an old, single lady. I didn’t think I would ever, ever, ever fall in love. I was more career-focused and not worried about having somebody else in my life.

“And now, I take this step back, and know there are other more important things than money. One of them is love.

“I felt like I didn’t want to go through those kinds of things. There was always a job to have. But Matt makes it easy. He makes life worth living now.

“He brings my eyes to life.”

Matt is employed as a multi-media sports writer for the Times West Virginian and she works at Ruby.

She’d also never thought about having children.

“I never saw myself as a mom ... maybe an aunt ... but definitely not a mom. But now I can say definitely I want to be the mother of his kids.

“He has completely turned me around. Everybody talks about it.

“My grandmother tells me all the time she’s so happy we are together. He completes me and keeps me straight.

“And he does. He is the rock in the relationship.”

Email Debra Minor Wilson at dwilson@timeswv.com.