When Emily and I first saw the images for Ashley + David’s wedding, we swooned over their amazing dance moves and gorgeous (and I’m assuming out-of-this-world delicious) cake. But after reading their interview, the only thing I can think of when I look through these images is the sweet scene that A + D shared one winter night when David proposed. “We were in my family’s big red truck, driving around David’s neighborhood looking at Christmas lights with our dog Gremlin. David had the ring in his pocket and just leaned over and whispered, ‘Will you marry me?’ David teases me because I responded by saying ‘Are you serious!?’ But I definitely meant it in the most excited way possible.” I love that you can see how sweet and intimate their relationship is in their proposal story and in these photos from Caroline + Ben.
Our first look let us have some time together before all of the rush of the wedding set in. We also wanted to be able to join our guests at the cocktail hour after the ceremony, so we wanted to do most of our pictures beforehand. It turned out to be a very intimate and memorable moment for both of us.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress.
My mom and I went wedding dress shopping together, and David’s mom joined us for the second day, which was wonderful. It was toward the end of summer when we started looking, and I was about to head back up to law school at Harvard, so we took two days and just went everywhere. I had some idea of what I wanted; I knew I wanted something fitted and easy to move in, and I knew David would love a more fitted dress as well, so I didn’t really consider a “princessy” gown. I narrowed it down to a more flowy, bohemian dress and the beautiful Rivini Chantilly lace and organza gown that I ultimately chose. I knew the Rivini dress was the winner when I looked at my mom after I put it on. Once I put on the veil, she really started to tear up! Once my dress was ready, my parents and I drove out to our family lake house, and my dad (a very talented photographer) shot my bridal portraits on our family boat, my waterski in my hand. It was a cold and cloudy day, but I’ll never forget how fun it was. The photos were amazing!
Describe your wedding flowers.
We wanted our flowers to have a natural and rustic feel, and overall we went for loose and textural arrangements of earthy but bright pops of pink with more muted pinks, greens, lots of succulents, and sprigs of wheat and lavender. The pops of pink color in the bridesmaids’ bouquets really stood out against their blush-colored dresses. My bouquet was hand-tied and featured ivory hydrangea, bright pink garden roses, blush ranunculus, green millet, lavender, dusty miller, and champagne spray roses. The stems were tied with a wide burlap wrap, which was overlaid with a piece of lace from my mother’s wedding dress. We had two types of table centerpieces. The first was an arrangement of three mason jars of varying sizes with a textural mix of pink stock flowers, limonium, Queen Anne’s lace, ranunculus, and bright pink, open garden roses. The other tables had a low wooden box in the center, filled with moss and flowers similar to those on the other tables. Our favors and place cards for the evening were individual potted succulents, wrapped in burlap.
The ceremony was really important to us, and we wanted our musical choices to reflect our relationship and personalities. We had a string quartet play at the ceremony, but we mixed it up a little and didn’t go with too many classics. They played “Bittersweet Symphony” during the seating of the families and “Pachelbel’s Canon in D” for the processional. My dad and I walked down the aisle to “Stolen,” by Dashboard Confessional, a song that has special meaning for us because we listened to Dashboard Confessional together often when we were in high school. David has a deep love for Lady Gaga, so our recessional was a fun instrumental version of “Bad Romance” that got everybody up and ready to party.
Did you write your own vows?
We did write our own vows, and we are so glad we did. It made the ceremony so special to us. David really got everyone laughing when he vowed to remove my glasses, books, pens, and computer from the bed every night. I often fall asleep working or reading a book, and David’s always there to take everything out of the bed and put it in a place where it won’t get damaged after I fall asleep.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony?
My brother read “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Munkton, and our good friend Joey read “I carry your heart” by e.e. cummings.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was:
Before we got married, David spent two years restoring a historical airplane from WWII. As a surprise for our guests, the airplane, a B-17, made a dramatic flyover just before the ceremony. It was a moment that everyone will remember, and the flight crew joined us at the reception in their vintage flying gear. We also loved our getaway car. David’s dad worked for over a year to restore the family’s old 1939 Ford. David’s parents used that car as their getaway car, and it was so special to continue the tradition. Plus, the car looked amazing after all of David’s dad’s incredible work!
Our wedding was all about love, friends and family, good food, and a good party — it’s hard to get more Southern that that! Vista West Ranch, where we got married, is a beautiful finished out barn with this spectacular Hill Country backdrop. We wanted to really embrace the venue, so we included lots of rustic Texas touches– succulents, burlap, cowboy boots, etc. Our menu was also inspired by our love of good Southern cooking. We had smoked quail nachos and fried green tomatoes as passed hors d’oeuvres and served buttermilk fried chicken with Gruyere mac and cheese as our main course. Our wedding was a celebration not only of our future together, but also of the history we share. We got married almost exactly ten years after our first date, and we wanted to incorporate the many adventures we’ve shared into our wedding. My dad worked for months to compile over a hundred photos of us with family and friends through the years. These were pinned to clotheslines hanging in the trees at our cocktail hour, for all the guests to see.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding?
Budgeting is hard. Weddings can cost a lot of money, and sometimes you wonder whether it’s worth it to spend so much on a single day. My parents were amazing and gave us a very generous budget, but we were trying to save some of that money to put toward a house down payment. We didn’t go absolutely crazy with wedding costs, but, of course, we spent more than we initially planned. Fortunately, it was such a special day, and one that so totally reflected our personalities and our love for each other, that we both feel without a doubt that it was worth it.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert.
Our wedding cake was a white sour cream cake with delicious raspberry filling. It was decorated to resemble a toasted marshmallow. Our groom’s cake, which was bittersweet chocolate with caramel filling, featured a replica of the B-17 bomber that flew over our ceremony, complete with our dog Gremlin (in flying gear!) on the wing. We also had several flavors of mini-pies displayed on old wooden crates, in all our favorite flavors — blackberry cobbler, key lime, chocolate cream, and fried peach!
Can’t you see why we swooned over the image below?
We did an Argentine tango for our first dance, which was a ton of fun and required lots of dance lessons and practice! My dad and I did our first dance to “My Girl,” by the Temptations, which we because it’s the song played when the father and daughter play basketball in one of our favorite movies, “Father of the Bride.” David and his mom danced to “It’s a Wonderful World.”
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
We met in high school and went on our first date on October 4, 2002. We’ve been together ever since. We are very different people, but we are extremely good for one another. We have shared so much of our lives that it’s hard to even imagine what it’s like to not be together!
Describe the proposal.
David proposed in a very sweet and simple way. We were in my family’s big red truck, driving around David’s neighborhood looking at Christmas lights with our dog Gremlin. David had the ring in his pocket and just leaned over and whispered, “Will you marry me?” David teases me because I responded by saying “Are you serious!?” But I definitely meant it in the most excited way possible.
In what month did you get married?
How many guests attended your wedding?
What range did your wedding budget fall into?
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on?
We splurged on the food and the photographer. Both paid in spades. Our guests were so happy and full, and we have plenty of amazing photos to prove it!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day?
It’s hard to pick. Mostly, we loved having all of our friends and family there to celebrate such a special time with us. It was amazing to look around and just feel surrounded by love.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding?
Just have fun, be creative, and let your personalities shine through. Several of our guests told us that ours was the most personal wedding they’d ever been to — that it was just so “us.” That’s a real point of pride for both of us, and it’s what made our wedding unique. Also, pick someone whose style/taste/decision-making you trust and enlist their help! My mom is amazing; she understands my style, she’s super organized, and somehow she managed to fit in a billion wedding-planning tasks despite her busy doctor schedule. I was studying for the bar exam for several months before the wedding, and she was an absolute lifesaver during that time, as well as the weekend of the wedding.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future?
We look forward to lots of future adventures together! David is currently building an airplane in the garage, and we can’t wait to travel all over the country in it!