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Today’s couple’s story is a little different from most of the brides and grooms who grace Southern Weddings! Jeremy proposed spontaneously in Vegas, and he and Ashley were married in a chic, casual elopement ceremony the very next day. While their whirlwind 36-hour engagement was perfectly them, they were excited to share their joy with family and friends, too. A year and a half after their first wedding in Vegas, these wedding industry cuties were pronounced “still married” at a beautiful Virginia barn.

Thanks so much to Justin & Mary for sharing Ashley and Jeremy’s wedding day with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! It was about 3 a.m. at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant inside the MGM Grand during the 2012 WPPI, a photographer’s conference (I am a wedding photographer and Jeremy is a wedding cinematographer). Through a crazy turn of events, Jeremy decided that he was going to propose to me as soon as I returned to the table. He borrowed a sterling silver ring from a friend, got down on one knee to the shrieks of our friends, and asked me to marry him! We were engaged and married within 36 hours in the most amazing elopement ceremony EVER! You can see our elopement film here and the images here. It was a complete whirlwind but SO us.

Even though our wedding was in the fall, I wanted pastels, pastels, and more pastels! I wanted our florals to feel lush, inviting, soft, romantic, and pretty, with a touch of glam. Rachel, our florist, did an absolutely amazing job with every single piece throughout the day. She even created a little flower collar for our dog to wear down the aisle! My favorites were the huge succulents and giant dahlias that she found and incorporated throughout the wedding!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Of course! There were several reasons we chose to do a first look. One, of course, being a wedding photographer myself, I knew the value of having that extra time on the wedding day for portraits, which were so important to us. We did not have the weather on our side on our wedding day, and if we hadn’t done a first look, all of our portraits would have been in the rain. I’ve also had the privilege of seeing so many couples have a first look, and the emotions and love that comes from them cemented my desire to have one. Jeremy is my best friend and all I wanted to do was see him and hang out before the ceremony!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we did! In my vows, I spoke about the book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and how, in that book, the ultimate answer to everything in the universe is the number 42. Through some strange coincidences, that number in particular is very meaningful to us, and I expressed to Jeremy that I was so thankful that “the ultimate answer to everything in my universe was you.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our ceremony was short and sweet. We had one of our great friends, Dave, officiate for us, so it was amazing hearing him tell the story of how we met, offer some advice, and pronounce us “still married.”

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our food was most decidedly Southern–we wanted upscale, small-plated Southern tapas, and Jodi with Sweetwater more than delivered! We had an entire biscuit bar with homemade jams and jellies, mini mac n’ cheese, mini pot pies, mini grilled cheese paninis with tomato soup, butter beans with cornbread, mini shrimp po’boys…my mouth waters just thinking about it! So many people told us the food was the best they had had at any wedding. Our venue was also so beautifully Southern–a gorgeous home that dated back to the 1800s, tucked away in a tiny Virginia town. I also think our decision to keep the wedding as intimate as possible was Southern too–growing up, we had backyard BBQs and pool parties and were always surrounded by a close knit group of friends and family. I wanted to keep that same feeling alive by not “meeting” anyone at my wedding for the first time!

When we started planning our wedding, I wrote down in my notebook that my dream venue would be a barn with chandeliers. I stumbled across Silverbrook, immediately emailed and spoke to Dot, the owner, and when she said the chandeliers were part of the barn, I couldn’t arrange a site visit fast enough! We chose the venue based on the location and vibe, but we never expected to fall as in love with Dot as much as we did–she was such an amazing part of our day.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had an entire table of Southern dessert favorites! My daddy made his famous banana pudding, which was served in tiny flip-top mason jars. Our incredible caterer, Jodi, put together hand pies on sticks (the chocolate ones were to die for!), miniature Coke floats, and mason jar strawberry shortcakes. We went this direction in lieu of a traditional cake and it was so much fun letting everyone pick their favorites (or try them all!).

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met about eight years ago when I bought car parts from Jeremy and he installed them on my car. Romantic, right? We are both big car nerds and happened to have the same type of car at that time. It wasn’t until about three years later that we saw each other again when a group of our mutual friends organized a snowboarding trip. We annoyed all of our friends by staying up late and talking while everyone else was trying to sleep. It was pretty much “game over” after that!
When did y’all get married? The first time, February 22, 2012. This time, October 12, 2013!
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I wanted this particular Vera dress from the minute I saw it. My only fear was that it wasn’t going to fit me right, so as soon as we picked a date for the wedding, I ran to the store and tried it on. To my absolute relief, it was exactly what I had imagined! With a few tweaks (I added a sweetheart neckline), it was my dream wedding dress. I also picked out a fun BHLDN dress for the reception so that I could show off my favorite accessory, my sparkly gold Kate Spade shoes!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Music is a huge part of our lives, so our music choices were very deliberate! The song I walked down the aisle to was “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros, and we walked back up the aisle to American Authors’ “Best Day of My Life.” Our first dance song was Bright Eyes’ “First Day of My Life,” and the rest of our playlist consisted of super fun old-school songs that kept everyone on the dance floor all night long!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We loved the overall combination of the items we chose to include in each part of the day–each choice was made with the intention to not only describe us and our relationship, but to provide a fun, Southern party for all of our best friends to come together at. I think one of the detail highlights was Jeremy’s signature drink–a “pickleback,” which is whiskey and pickle juice. Everyone was scared at first, but by the end of the night, everyone was requesting how to make them, and it was so fun seeing everyone cheers-ing with their newfound favorite drink.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The weather! I know that being in the wedding industry, I should know better than to get upset over the weather, but we had a freak nor’easter roll through Virginia the week of our wedding and it would NOT stop raining. I tried very hard to “let go” during the week, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit helpless. However, when the rehearsal rolled around and I was surrounded by my friends and family, I realized it truly did not matter in the least what the weather brought–everything was going to be perfect no matter what. And truthfully, the overcast skies and the foggy mountains made our wedding absolutely magical.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I couldn’t pick just one! Our vendors were amazing and we chose them not only because of their talents, but because of who they are as people. They not only did their jobs, they treated us like family every step of the way, and when we looked around on the wedding night, it made us so happy to see them dancing and enjoying themselves just as much as we did. We had the best team of vendors ever!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There was a point when Jeremy and I were looking around and we realized that even though we had invited lots of family and friends from all different parts of our lives, there was absolutely no sign that these people hadn’t known each other for more than two hours. All of our friends, from all over the country, from all different parts of our story, were dancing, laughing, and cheers-ing together. That was by far my favorite memory–seeing all of our favorite people meet and become friends with all of our other favorite people!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? As hard as it is, and as cliche as it is, at some point you have to let go and know that your marriage is far more important than your wedding. There are going to be things that are out of your control, but what is in your control is how you react, and how you communicate with your soon-to-be hubby in the face of a stressful situation. Know that in your heart, you are marrying someone amazing, and at the end of the day, that is what matters. I promise, everything will fall into place just as it should. You will look back and see the things that went “wrong” as sweet memories that made the day all the better. It will all be okay!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Married life has been incredible!! We are just looking forward to continuing to build our life together, hand in hand, side by side. He’s my best friend and he saves me in the smallest of ways, every day. I can never truly show him how much I love him, but I darn well am going to try! Oh, and hopefully purchasing our first home together soon–we can’t wait!

Photographer: Justin & Mary Photography / Videographer: Josh Gooden / Planner: Antonia Christianson Events / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Silverbrook Farm / Florist: Floral and Bloom / Dessert Baker and Caterer: Sweetwater Cuisine / DJ: Amanda pearl of Fat Cat Productions / Photo Booth: Liz & Ryan / Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang “White” / Paper Products: PaperDolls Design / Hair Stylist: Ian McCabe / Makeup Artist: Sarah Rillon / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Groom’s Attire: Levi Denim, J.Crew Shirt, Forever 21 Blazer, Etsy Bow Tie, and Aldo Shoes / Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew Shirt, Levi Denim, and H&M Shoes / Chalkboards, place cards, and window panes: Coastal Calligraphy and Design

lisa Written with love by Lisa
22 Comments
  1. avatar Ashley Mitchell reply

    Ahhhh! What an amazing honor and treat to see our wedding grace the “pages” of Southern Weddings this morning!!! We are so stinking excited!!! Thank you so much!!

  2. avatar Emilia Jane reply

    AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Love you two and I just can’t get enough of your wedding photos :-D <3

  3. avatar Suzy VanDyke reply

    Justin and Mary are amazing photographers, and Ashley & Jeremy are a wonderful couple! I love this wedding!

  4. avatar Liz and Ryan reply

    Ahhh! We just love reliving Ashley and Jeremy’s special day! ;) (x2) So gorgeous! And so perfect! Love you A&J! Ohh and of course AMAZING photographs J&M!!! ;) Love all around! ;)

  5. avatar Rustic wedding inspiration | Rustic Folk Weddings reply

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    […] Louise’s wedding gown (above)–and so did we! See hers and Billy’s wedding here. Ashley and Jeremy were pronounced “still married” at their sparkly barn wedding. Lauren and Cole‘s […]

  7. avatar Virginia Wedding Film by Josh Gooden – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] who declared Ashley and Jeremy the cutest couple ever after reading their story and admiring their sparkly barn wedding this week! That notion was only reinforced when Josh Gooden sent over their wedding video, which […]

  8. avatar Daniella reply

    Where are your bridesmaids earrings from….I love them!! Your wedding pictures are gorgeous!!

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  15. avatar Kat reply

    I love the necklace that your bridesmaid in the grey is wearing! Where did you buy it?

  16. avatar Julie DeFrancisco reply

    Hi!

    I also LOVE the necklace you bridesmaid is wearing. Where did you/she get it? I’d love for my ladies to have it for my wedding this October.

    Thanks!

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I almost wish I could reverse this post and show you the photos from Loft Photographie from end to beginning. You’ll just have to be patient and scroll through Paige + Brian’s sweet ceremony and pretty pink details before you about fall over and swoon over the last amazing photograph in their wedding. I promise, the suspense will be worth it. Just imagine you’re scrolling through their images to the soundtrack of P + B’s ceremony, which Paige spent much (worthwhile) time perfecting, building emotions and crescendos until her debut at the top of the aisle.

Describe your wedding flowers: My flowers we perfect! They were pink roses and white hydrangea and peonies. It was the perfect balance of white and pink. My bridesmaids wore pink and had all-white bouquets to keep the contrast. I loved it!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes and no! I wanted to spend some time with Brian before the ceremony and have a chance to pray together and just say “I love you” before everything happened, but I still didn’t want him to see me in my dress before I walked down the aisle. It was really important to me that have that moment and get to see him reaction of seeing me walking with my dad. Brian was blind folded and we got to have a moment before the ceremony started.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I went shopping with my mom a week after the proposal. I found my dress at Brickhouse Bridal in The Woodlands, TX. Once I saw all of the dresses, I had no idea what I wanted. Pronovias was having a trunk show that weekend and it was perfect for me. I ended up trying on five of their dresses, and the one I choose was the second dress I tried on. I tried on different styles but I kept thinking about the second dress that made me really feel like a bride! It was the one and I accessorized in the store with a short veil and vintage lace sash.

Before walking down the aisle, we came up with a playlist of some of our favorite love songs, which built up until I walked down the aisle. The last song before the ceremony started was Boyce Avenue’s “On My Way.” Brian walked out with the Pastor as the last line of the song played, “I’ll be there the moment that you walk down in white.” I walked down the aisle to Ingrid Michaels’ “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You,” the Elvis cover. I chose this song mainly just because I love it, I feel like it fit perfectly into our wedding theme and our story as a couple. We took communion during our ceremony and while we did this and Brian prayed over our new marriage, the Kari Jobe song, “My Beloved” played. It was perfect to me for this part of our wedding because I felt like it mirrored the love God has for us and the love that a husband should have for his wife. We walked back down the aisle to an instrumental version on the Plain White T’s “1, 2, 3, 4.”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: At the ceremony, I would say it was the music and how it set the tone for the emotions that I was feeling leading up to being Brian’s wife, and just getting to be up there in front of everyone, showing the world my love for him. At the reception, it was the decorations. It was the ideal vintage-chic wedding that was exactly what I dreamed of! It was more than I could have imagined. My mom made most of it and she did an amazing job!


From the food to the decorations, I feel like without even trying we pulled together a simple and sweet Southern wedding. We served lavender lemonade, golden Yukon mashed potatoes and decadent cake balls. Our wedding reception was in a beautiful red barn strung with white twinkling lights. One of my main decorations was milk glass vases. I knew from the beginning that I wanted my wedding to have them as them. They worked perfectly with the burlap details, hydrangeas and pink touches. Outside, we had a monogrammed bean bag toss homemade by my mom and brother, a photo booth with an old door to hold the pictures and a quilt to be signed by our guests.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Invites, definitely! One mistake that we made was sending out invitations without knowing the exact number we were inviting. We over-invited and it got very stressful very fast! Dealing with catering, chairs, and the ranch capacity was most overwhelming as we tried to get our numbers right!

My wedding cake was a gift from a family friend who makes wonderful cakes! It was the perfect moist white cake with vanilla buttercream icing. I wanted it to be simple, tied with burlap on each tier and topped with chalkboard signs that said “Mr. and Mrs.” We paired the cake with pink iced cake balls, which are one of my favorite sweet things! The groom’s cake was a cookie cake, Brian’s favorite. It sat on top of a vintage suitcase and was surrounded by a cookie bar. We had paper bags with our initials on them for our gets to take home as a favor or eat in the moment. It was such a big hit. Not a single cookie or slice of cookie cake was left over and everyone talked about how good it was.

Y’all, isn’t this photo the best? It’s sweet, indeed, but it’s also just dripping with pure joy. It put a smile on my face immediately, so I know Paige + Brian must love looking back on that moment.

How did the two of you meet?  Tell us your story.  I met Brian at Cru, which is a College Ministry that he used to play the drums at. I met him and instantly had a strong connection. He added me on Facebook not long after, but we never talked. I was friends with his friends and for a year, would secretly hope that every time I would hang out with them that I would get the chance to see Brian. But it never happened. Over a year after we met the first time (which Brian doesn’t remember) we both ended up at our friend Ruben’s Labor Day cookout. When he walked in, my heart skipped a beat. I couldn’t believe he was actually there, and I found out that he lived at the same apartment complex as I did. After the cookout, we both stayed around to watch a movie with some of our friends. We watched Michael Jackson’s Movie (which wouldn’t have been my first choice in movies but I stayed because Brian did). The entire time I noticed that Brian and I kept looking at each other across the living room, and I couldn’t stop smiling. We left at the same time and Brian reintroduced himself to me. For the next couple of weeks, we would run into each other around the Outpost, the bus, and at Ruben’s. Finally he got my number and we starting hanging out and we went on our first official date on October 16, 2010. We have been in love and inseparable ever since.
Describe the proposal. On Friday November 18, Brian asked me out on a date. We had been going on a lot of dates lately, and I knew he had the ring, so every date I got ready and wanted to look my best in case that night was THE night. But this particular Friday I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t even want to go out. Brian took me to the new food trailers in San Marcos and we ate outside under the tree lights. After we ate, Brian asked me what I wanted to do. I just wanted to Red Box a movie and hang out on the couch, but on the way home Brian asked if we could stop at this spot in town where the Christmas Festival always is. We starting walking around and he told me that he was looking for the band from church that was going to play there. I was starting to get annoyed. It was getting cold, I didn’t have a jacket and Brian was texting someone and taking a long time. I didn’t know he was texting his friends who were helping him out. We started to go over this bridge and Brian stopped me. He had told me before that if he ever told me to close my eyes, it meant he was about to propose. So when Brian told me to close my eyes, I knew it was it! I started shaking and crying. I looked up and Brian was on his knee, with his friends coming from the other side of the bridge holding signs that said “Will You Marry” and Brian was holding a sign that said “Me?” Of course I said yes! He prayed over our relationship and the next day we had a surprise engagement party with our closest friends and family!!
In what month did you get married? July
How many guests attended your wedding? 200
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photography! I loved our pictures and what they captured will help to keep our memories alive forever! I would tell anyone that no matter what, make sure you love your photography team!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The entire getting-ready process, with the jitters and anticipation building up and having my dad put on my garter and my mom put on my jewelry. I have always dreamed of getting ready for my day and to have both my parents be a part of it was perfect and so sweet. We are a very close family and I wanted them to be a part of every step!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be comfortable with the budget you have set, and make sure that you know who is contributing before you start planning.  I also kept worrying that we were doing too much, but I am so happy we did everything that we did. Less is not always more when it comes to decorating your wedding or adding in your personal touches. Those are what really make you wedding stand out!
What’s next for you as a couple?  What are you looking forward to in the future?  We just moved to Georgia and Brian got a great job doing media at a church. I am looking forward to pursuing teaching and seeing where God is going to take our family!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
11 Comments
  1. avatar Zoe Alexander reply

    Stunning photography! Weddings are so special! They are so happy! Many thanks Nicole!
    Zoe xxx

  2. avatar Bridget reply

    It seems like it was such a meaningful wedding. Best wishes to the adorable couple!

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  4. avatar Kat reply

    Oh I love that button monogram!!! Her soft color palette and vintage details are so sweet!

  5. avatar Belinda Damerow reply

    Amazing couple…Spectacular wedding!!! Love to both of you.

  6. avatar NC Wedding Planner – Orangerie Events reply

    I love every little thing! The color palette worked great and tied things together nicely! The fun personality of the couple was definitley shown through all the great details. Thank you for sharing!

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  8. avatar Maggie Goodell reply

    Gorgeous wedding, the flowers were my favorite.

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