Bride Ashley shares her Texas hill country wedding at Boot Ranch.
Much to my husband’s chagrin, I’m not much of an outdoors-y gal, but today’s wedding just might have won me over with its beautiful views of the hill country. I’m delighted to introduce you to today’s bride, Ashley. She and her groom, Aaron, chose to celebrate their big day in Fredericksburg, Texas as a tribute to her late grandfather. Not only had he lived there before his passing, but he left his home to her family, creating many fond memories. Ashley said, “When we are down there, the focus is on enjoying the people around you and being present… all the other stuff and stresses seem to melt away.” I cannot think of a better reason for choosing a wedding locale. Of course, said views of Boot Ranch don’t hurt! Keep reading to learn more about Ashley and Aaron’s Texas wedding and their love story.
Big SW hugs to Feather and Twine for sharing Ashley and Aaron’s wedding with us!
My mom and I shopped for “the dress” for several weekends in Dallas – we called it marathon shopping. It felt like we went to every store in Dallas before I found out that one of the stores was doing a Vera Wang Trunk Show. We decided to go and see if I liked any of the dresses. They also had a photographer and a Vera Wang rep from New York present to tell us all about the dresses I tried on. The moment I tried on my dress I knew it was the perfect dress and the one for me. It was timeless, ethereal, and breath taking. The photographer captured those special moments revealing the dress to my mom. Also, the Vera Wang rep gave me a copy of Vera Wang Weddings book and left a special note in it for me.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Our first look – having that special moment between us in such a busy day to just put everything on pause and savor the feelings, emotions, and excitement. I will never forget the look he gave me when he turned around and saw me for the first time – his eyes were filled with so much love and adoration for me and at that moment I knew I couldn’t be more lucky to have him in my life.
I wanted a wedding that was classic, timeless, vintage, and romantic while still being a wedding that people said after the fact “that was such a fun wedding” or “I had the best time!” So I choose to do some things as a nod to old Southern traditions: our family hosted a welcome dinner Thursday night at our Fredericksburg house, I wore my mom’s cathedral-style wedding veil, and we did a hora or chair dance. We chose to display small pictures of our families sprinkled throughout the reception venue because as much as it was about Aaron and me, it was also about two families coming together, and our five-piece band with back-up dancers played music everyone could dance to!
Our ceremony was not a traditional ceremony… Aaron is Jewish, and I am Christian. We decided to have an interfaith rabbi conduct the ceremony. We custom-tailored every part of our wedding ceremony to reflect our personalities and the beliefs/traditions we value. I also decided for my mom to walk me down the aisle and my dad to meet her at the alter to do the hand off since my mom was the person who raised me. Our vows were very meaningful to us as well – “I promise to love you, respect you, laugh with you, and soothe your tears. I promise to share my life openly and honestly with you and to encourage and nurture your growth. Together, we continue this journey of exploration, trust, and communication. I promise to savor each day, reveling in our loving relationship and in our pursuit of happiness.” We felt these words reflected our core values and desire for each other to be the best people we can be.
We had a dessert bar filled with fun candy (hot tomales, twizzlers, sour patch watermelons, M&Ms, skittles, etc.), decorated cookies, and an assortment of macaroons in old-fashioned apothecary candy jars all centered around my cake. I decided to have a butter cream cheese and fresh strawberry yellow cake. I wanted something refreshing and delicious and to stray away from what was typically done. The cake was decorated with laurel like greenery and vibrant flowers pin-tucked into the greenery around the base of the tiered cake.
Tell us your love story in one sentence. Timing was everything for us – we had known that we were meant for one another when we dated at LSU, we just had to find out who we were as individuals before we could grow a life together successfully.
Tell us all about the proposal! We had been dating long-distance from Dallas, where Aaron lived, to Nashville, where I lived, for a little over a year. We knew after dating six months that one of us would move so that we could be together and enjoy the little things in life that regular couples get to enjoy, like going to the grocery store together, etc. Well, Aaron flew up to Nashville in January and let me know he had made dinner reservations at this new restaurant I had been wanting to go to. He finished getting ready before I did (as usual), went into my living room, and waited on me to finish up. Shortly after, I walked out of my bedroom all ready and he greeted me and told me how lucky he was to have me in his life and how he couldn’t imagine his life without me. He then got down on one knee and proposed. It was so special and intimate – which was exactly what I wanted. My engagement ring has more meaning than a typical engagement ring does – the center stone is from a ring my grandfather had and left to my mom after he passed away a little less than 5 years ago after a tragic accident. Aaron knew that I adored my grandfather and thought he hung the moon and decided to incorporate a piece/ memory of him into my ring.
When did y’all get married? April 22, 2017.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 156.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For our ceremony I decided to have a more traditional approach and went with a harp and two violinists. I wanted to keep it classic but with a fun twist for the music selections. They played songs that I had always loved. Aaron and I chose our first dance song, “You are the Best Thing,” based on the lyrics and how true it resembled our feelings for each other. We also felt like this song would remain somewhat of a classic song. I chose “Wonderful Tonight” for my dad’s song because I felt it was special in the meaning of how much love a parent can have. Aaron chose to dance with his mom to “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” because he used to sing it to his mom when he was little.
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? I can honestly say it was the most perfect day… I want to go back and relive that day over and over if I could! My wedding was all about the details and making those details reflect Aaron’s and my fun-loving and unique personalities. One of the details I did love was that I chose to wear Kate Spade rose gold sparkly Keds for my wedding shoes. I didn’t want to wear a shoe I couldn’t dance the night away in. So it was kind of funny to have this timeless classic dress and sparkly tennis shoes underneath it!
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? The best part was having all the people I loved the most surround and support Aaron and me while we went through this life-changing event. I have never felt so loved and so special!
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Stressing over the details and the feeling of having to take everything on.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Some of my vendors were local to Fredericksburg and provided better pricing than other vendors from larger nearby cities. Also, I created all my save-the-dates and wedding invitations on Minted instead of from a traditional paper store.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Do what you want to do and not necessarily what you are expected to do or what someone else wants you to do. Also to keep things in perspective – remember that all this planning is for one day, and the things you stress or get upset about beforehand don’t really matter because at the end of the day it is about you getting married to the love of your life and if that is achieved the wedding was a success!
Photographer: Feather and Twine | Planner: Melanie McKinley from Mayhar Designs | Venue and Caterer: Boot Ranch | Florist: Sprout | Wedding Cake Baker: Sophie’s Bakery | Rentals and Lighting: Whim | Band or DJ: Jordan Kahn Orchestra | Paper Products: Minted | Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang | Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Stanley Korshak | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Kiss By Katie | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale | Menswear: The Black Tux