I wonder what must it feel like to have the opportunity to become the most beautiful woman inside a structure built to house and honor the achievements and legacy of women in the field of arts – because that’s what our today’s feature’s bride felt like the day of her wedding. This couple is undeniably in love with Washington DC (aside from each other, of course) and what better way to celebrate this affection plus their special day than to have it in one of the national museums. Such an amazing and elegant idea. Everything came down perfectly, from the color choices to the setup. The transformation of the hall for the ceremony and then for reception was spectacular as well. Congratulations Ashley and Stanley!
What is your story as a couple, how did you meet & fall in love?
We met in Atlanta in January of 2010. We hit it off immediately and soon started talking talk moving in with each other. We both realized that we had a mutual love for Washington D.C. and decided to move in together in a completely different state. We have not looked back since.
What makes the two of you a perfect match?
We complement each other. Our characteristics and personalities may seem different but when you get down to it we have all the bases covered because we are just enough different as we are the same.
How did he (or you) propose?
We had planned to go to a Cirque du Soleil show for a long time and I was looking forward to going. He was very eager to leave and I did not know what the big rush was but went along with it. He surprised me when we arrived there by upgrading us to the VIP tent and I thought that was the big surprise. During intermission when we went back into the tent he got us 2 glasses of champagne and still did not think anything of it. I turned around to look at something and as I turned around he was down on one knee asking me to be his wife. It was perfect.
How long was the planning process? Did you think it was enough time?
We got married in February of 2014 and got engaged in August of 2012. We did not start actual planning till February of 2013 and I thought it was plenty of time.
What was the best advice you received when you were planning your wedding?
The best part of advice that I received actually did not come with the planning process but for the day of. My cousin told me to remember to eat. The day of the wedding, you get so nervous and you forget to eat. I made myself eat and I am so glad that I did because it actually calmed my nerves and made me feel so much better. Also, to remember every single second and memory. It all goes by too fast.
What tips & tricks (“hacks”?) can you share future brides that you yourself have learned during and after your wedding?
I made folders in my email and just put everything there and that helped me to be very organized.
What were some challenges you faced planning your wedding & what would you have done differently to avoid them?
The timeline was my biggest challenge. Nobody had told me how critical a timeline was when planning a wedding and I would have started thinking about it from the moment the process began instead of 2 weeks out. There are so many moving pieces that you really need to start thinking about it long before your planner asks you to.
What inspired your wedding decor? Why did you choose the things that you did?
I always knew I wanted an elegant wedding over everything else and elegant to me is in the form of the colors ivory and gold. From there I chose plum dresses because I got married in the winter. I also wanted a warm tone as little pops of color which I then chose green. With ivory and gold being my two base palette everything else just really fell into place from there.
Where did you save the most money?
We saved the most money by getting a DJ instead of a band. The difference was huge and beyond that, the DJ was the most perfect thing the whole evening and I am so glad that we went the DJ route.
What was the biggest expense?
The biggest expense, like most wedding, is the catering and food.
How many guests were invited in your wedding and what was the final guest count?
140 were invited and 105 showed up.
How did you narrow down your list?
We fortunately did not have to narrow it down too much because when we started making our guest list we said from the beginning that only aunts, uncles, first cousins, and very close friends were going to be invited.
What songs did you use during the ceremony?
Processional: Canon in D
Brides Entrance: Prince of Denmarks March
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We did not go on a honeymoon and spent a couple of nights downtown and went to a concert of our favorite band that actually played our first dance song.
What are you most excited about for the future?
Being together forever and always looking back at our wedding as one of the happiest days of our lives.
Do you have advice for couples still in the planning process?
Organizing is a big thing and overall just remember to breathe. I remember the last month was the most difficult because that is when all the final answers need to happen and I just remembered to breathe and knew that I could do it.
What would you say, the overall story for this album?
The overall story is a fun and happy couple celebrating with the people they love best.
What inspired the wedding day outfits?
I always knew I wanted lace somehow on my dress and for it to be ivory. I actually found my dress at a bridal show and tried it on a few months later and love it. I thought it was so unique the way the lace went up the chest.
What was your favorite part of the day?
My favorite part (besides marrying my husband) was getting to celebrate and dance with everyone. It was such a blast that I want to relive again and again.
Was there any Do it Yourself (DIY) projects? If so, can you describe them in detail?
There was 1 major DIY that I did and that was the table “numbers”. My husband and I love DC so much and this is the city where we grew our family and got married so we knew we wanted to incorporate that somehow. Each table was named after a special place or monument that we love in DC and I put pictures of those special places in frames and set on the tables where people sat.
What were the highlights from the ceremony & reception?
The biggest highlight throughout the whole night was just having all the people that we love most there celebrating with us. It was so special to have all those people in one room!
Was there a theme for the ceremony and reception?
There was no specific theme other than elegant.
Photographer: Sarah Lyn Photography
Reception Venue: National Museum of Women in the Arts
Dress Designer: Romona Keveza
Caterer: Baked and Wired
DJ: Crow Entertainment
Floral Designer: Edge Floral Event Designers
Event Planner: HJ Planners