Growing up, it was Ashton’s dream to get married on Cape Cod, but as she got older, she realized that North Carolina had truly became her home. There’s just something about the South, I tell ya! She and Brent chose to become husband and wife in the same state where they met and their relationship bloomed. With the help of their florist, Flowers on Broad Street, Ashton and Brent mixed old Southern charm with inspiration from their New England childhood memories, including white hydrangea, stunning greenery, and peach accents. While Ashton and Brent may not have done a first look themselves, how precious is it that Ashton not only did a first look with her dad, but with her brother as well? What a wonderful way to make the first men in her life feel so special (and make us tear up!).
Gracious, we’re delighted Blue Ribbon Vendor Robyn Van Dyke was on hand to preserve all these memories with photos!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! While growing up, my grandmother gave me a sapphire ring, which was the first piece of jewelry she had received from my grandfather after their wedding. It is a special reminder of their love and faithful commitment to each other after fifty-five years of marriage and was an extra special “blue” and “old.” In addition, I wore diamond earnings that were passed down to my mother as my “borrowed” memento. Finally, my “new” veil was made my by maid of honor, who is an incredible designer.
I was so excited when the time finally came to go wedding dress shopping. Being a pretty decisive person, I was expecting to fall in love with one of the first dresses I found. Oh, was I wrong! I was surprisingly overwhelmed and indecisive; they were all so stunning in different ways. After three stores and a little imagination, my mom had the big moment, not me. I knew the dress was all I had ever wanted: simple, lace and classic. Each time I went back for a fitting, it transformed, and I fell more in love with it.
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Brent was very insistent from the beginning about waiting to see me until I walked down the aisle. He wanted to share our first look in front of everyone during the ceremony. While I was reluctant at first, this is one traditional aspect I was so happy we kept. Sharing this moment, and our reactions, with all of our friends and family was one of our favorite moments of the entire day.
While I was growing up, it was my dream to get married on Cape Cod, where we spent many summers during my childhood, but as I got older, North Carolina has truly become home. I took a lot of inspiration from the New England charm of my childhood, especially when it came to the flowers. We chose white hydrangeas, which were accompanied by stunning greenery and peach accents.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our day was filled with tears of joy. These tearful and emotional moments turned out to be our most favorite moments of our wedding day. During my mom’s matron of honor speech, my first look with my dad, and when I saw my brother for the first time, we all broke down. These people have constantly shown Brent and I strength and guidance, and these moments perfectly captured our overflowing love for each other. These are the moments that will be perfectly engraved in my memory forever. The ultimate moment, though, was when the doors opened from the back of the house and I walked down the aisle. Taking it all in, Brent punched his fists together and was swaying from side to side, attempting to hold back his tears. His reaction was priceless–as I arrived to the top of the stairs, Brent let out all of his excitement with a huge “whoo!” I could not have imagined a better reaction.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? This was another aspect of our wedding that we wanted to ensure was very personal to us. We want a God-focused marriage and wanted our vows to be an outward expression of the covenant we were making. Hands down, our favorite line was “I will love you as Christ loved the church, laying my life down for yours.”
Both of our families are from the New England area, but Brent and I have grown up in North Carolina and it has become our home. We wanted our wedding venue to have old Southern charm that reminded us of New England, but with a touch of rustic elegance. One of our favorite parts of Highgrove was the ability to have both indoor and outdoor elements to our wedding.
Brent is a huge cake lover–more specifically, he loves cupcakes! While planning a wedding has its stressors, no one can disagree that cake tasting is a welcomed event. This was one of our favorite things to do in preparing for the wedding. In addition to cake, one of our favorite mountain-inspired details was a fire pit that featured a s’mores bar. It even included Brent’s favorite peanut butter marshmallows! They were quite a hit!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Brent and I met at College Life during our sophomore year at Appalachian State University. The introductory ice breaker was “speed dating.” Brent noticed me from across the room and cut a direct path through the groups, moving the other guys out of the way! After a bunch of wacky ice breaker questions, we hit it off so well that we didn’t even notice others rotating around us. Thanks to some charming persistence and many long nights of chatting, Brent took me on our first date to Beacon Heights lookout off the Blue Ridge Parkway to go star gazing. The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! During Memorial Day weekend in 2014, we took a trip up to Boone to visit our favorite old stomping grounds. We had planned out the whole weekend to make sure we hit all of our favorite shops, restaurants, and hiking spots. Brent suggested we hike the Grandfather Ladder Trail–and I quickly discovered a fear of heights as we climbed up eight wooden ladders hanging off the side of the mountain. Brent took my camera and documented every last part of the hike, which was very unlike him. As we made our way over the tree line, we met an older couple hiking the same trail. They were such a great reminder that I could overcome this new fear–if they were doing it, I sure could! Finally, we reached the top of the mountain and were in completely in awe of the beautiful view. We took tons of photos, and decided to soak in the view before heading down. Brent finally gave me the camera, and while I was taking photos of the view, he said “Hey, take a picture of this!” I turned around and saw that he was down on one knee, on top of the most beautiful mountain in our favorite place, and he asked me to marry him. I shrieked in excitement and slight shock! He then insisted we practically run down the mountain, where some of our closest friends were waiting to surprise us in Boone to celebrate. It was the most beautiful day and so worth overcoming my newfound fear of heights!
When did y’all get married? May 22, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 120
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We included a version of Numbers 6:24-26 in the conclusion of our ceremony that has been passed down through generations in my family as a nighttime prayer.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We participated in a premarital class through our church and then met with our pastor and his wife regularly, discussing a few books and reviewing a list of questions that we had answered independently. This has made a huge impact on our marriage from the start; there were many topics and expectations that we were able to discuss and receive advice about before the big day, and it quickly opened up our communication channels.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? My best advice would be to relax and enjoy the process. I tried planning out tasks and to-dos day by day, because I was determined to enjoy the sweet season right before the wedding and to soak in all the moments. There will always be endless ideas online, but don’t overdo it–pick a few ideas that are the most impactful and meaningful to you and your groom.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Brent and I first bonded when we found out that we both wanted a yellow lab and to name her Riley. On our first date, Brent bought me an Appalachian State puppy collar, and soon, we will be bringing our sweet little Riley home! We are so overwhelmed by the Lord’s plan in our lives and how He has completed this chapter over the past five years. We can’t wait to see what is next.
Photographer: Robyn Van Dyke Photography / Venue and Caterer: Highgrove on Laurel Lake / Florist: Flowers on Broad Street / Cake Baker: Sweet Memories Bakery / Rentals: CE Rentals / Lighting and DJ: Stylus SE / Bride’s Gown: “Dakota” by Rosa Clara / Hair and Makeup: Haute Concepts / Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Ann Taylor / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse / Car: Classy Transportation / Bridesmaid Robes: Wedding Prep Gals / Bridal Robe: In Bloom By Jonquil / Invitations: Fine Stationery / Groomsmen Socks: Happy Socks / Ties and Bow Ties: Ralph Lauren
Robyn Van Dyke is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!