Ashlyn and Cole were married at the gorgeous Pretty Place Chapel back in June. We were so excited to get to capture this day having already met and hung out with them last year.
This wedding was so full of joy and happy tears. You can tell this couple is truly loved by their friends and family. Now, enough from us! Here is a bit more from Ashlyn and Cole!
A bit about Ashlyn: Ashlyn was raised on her family farm in a small North Carolina town where she lived until she moved to Elon, North Carolina for college. She is a graduate of Elon University with a double major in Accounting and Finance. If that wasn’t enough to keep her hands full she was also a Cheerleader for the Football and Basketball teams during her 4 years there. Ashlyn enjoys singing in the worship team at her church and currently works in Greensboro, North Carolina for a public accounting firm as an Auditor.
A bit about Cole: Cole was born in a suburb of Richmond, Virginia where he lived until he moved to North Carolina for college. Cole is a graduate of Elon University with a BA in Communications. He is currently employed by Elon University in the Advancement Department working closely with other Alumni as the Coordinator of Annual Giving. He is a sports fanatic, especially the Philadelphia Eagles, is the drummer in his church worship team, and an avid fly fisherman.
How did you meet? We were introduced to each other by a mutual friend, Lexi, at Elon University in January of 2015. Initially, neither of us was too interested in the idea of a relationship. At that time Cole was a student worker for Athletics and I was cheering for the basketball team. After seeing me from a distance at the basketball game, lots of Facebook stalking, and persistence from Lexi, he decided he would make a move!
Describe your first date? Our first date was at a local coffee shop in Elon called The Oak house. Cole was about 20 minutes late, which knowing him now, is very typical. We chatted for so long over coffee that our coffee date turned into a dinner date. I guess you could say we hit it off from the start.
How long have you been together? 2 and a half years
What are your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple? We both love music so one of our favorite things to do together is play music. We are both self-taught guitarists. Cole plays the drums and I sing and so its fun to just hang out and make music together. We actually did this on our second date. We also love to play tennis together. We can get pretty competitive but its fun and it keeps us active. We are also adventurists so we love to go hiking, take a picnic lunch to the park, or just hang out in our eno hammocks enjoying God’s creation.
Who popped the question and HOW? Cole popped the question in July of 2016. Cole’s Nana lives outside of Asheville in a small town called Mills River, NC. Throughout college it was always one of our favorite places to “get away” so when Cole asked if I wanted to spend a weekend there before I started my job I thought nothing of it and said “Of Course!” He had told me that we would drive up on Wednesday, we would go to his Uncle’s art show in Brevard on Thursday and then go hiking on Friday. Sounded like a plan to me. Well our drive up didn’t quite go as planned as we had some car trouble and ended up having to get a rental car, but nonetheless, we made it. On Thursday morning I got up to get ready for the art show. Cole suggested we stop by Looking Glass Falls on our way to the art show because we always go and see it when we are in the area and may not have another chance on this trip. I agreed that that would be a great idea. So, we arrived at Looking Glass Falls, proceeded to walk down onto the rocks and in less than a minute, Cole was down on one knee and popped the question!!! I was so shocked and quickly answered YES!!!! His photographer uncle, who’s “art show” we were supposedly going to, popped out of the bushes snapping pictures like crazy. It was a special moment neither of us will ever forget. But, if that wasn’t enough, the following day we drove back to Richmond, VA where Cole’s parents live to be surprised with an engagement party where we could celebrate with so many of our friends and family. It was truly an incredible weekend and a perfect start to our new adventure.
Why did you pick Pretty Place? We fell in love in the mountains of North Carolina so we knew that we wanted to get married there. The first time we stepped into Pretty Place, which was before we were even engaged, we both just gasped. There are simply no words for the view other than it literally took our breath away. We could feel God’s presence as we gazed over the rolling hills and we immediately knew that one day we would say our I do’s at the center of that wooden cross looking out over God’s beautiful creation.
What adjective best describes your spouse on your wedding day?
Cole’s response: precious
Ashlyn’s response: joyful
What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most?
Ashlyn’s response: I got a little creative when choosing my something old and something borrowed. For my old I had two things. First, my Nanee (Grandma) made my garter out of old lace and an old handkerchief that her Mom, my Great-grandma had hand stitched. Second, I used the sleeve from my Mom’s wedding dress to hold around my bouquet. For my borrowed, I wore my Nana’s (my other grandma) beautiful sapphire and diamond ring that she will one day pass down to me. All of those things were very special to me.
Cole’s response: Since we were not doing a first look, Ashlyn and I decided we would write messages to each other, me on the bottom of her shoe and her on the back of my tie and then have them hand delivered to each other by a member of the wedding party. We didn’t talk about what we would write AT ALL and when I got back my tie it said, “We can take the world” which is exactly what I wrote on her shoe and I just thought that was so special.
How many guests attended the wedding? About 140
What did you and your guests eat at the reception? For the entrée we had chicken breasts in an herbed wine sauce and baked salmon. The entrée was served with mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, a broccoli and cauliflower medley drizzled with a cheese sauce, a side garden salad, and mixed fruit.
What was the flavor of your wedding cake? I am not a huge fan of icing so we had my favorite type of cake, pound cake, with just a touch of strawberry icing in between the layers, covered in fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, and dusted with powdered sugar. The cake was absolutely delicious.
What is the one of the funniest things that happened on your wedding day? Because the ceremony was about an hour drive from the Inn where the wedding party was staying and the reception was, we had rented a trolley for the wedding party and immediate family to ride to and from the ceremony. Because Cole and I did not want to see each other before the ceremony, I headed to Pretty Place a little earlier than the rest of the wedding party in a separate car with my mom and a close friend. Less than a mile from the Inn where the wedding party was waiting to be picked up, we noticed the trolley parked on the side of the road. My mom jumped out of the car, pretty sure before it was even completely stopped, to find out that it was broken down and it would be about an hour before another trolley could get there. But thankfully the crisis was averted and everyone piled into cars and safely made it to the ceremony in plenty of time. Looking back now, it worked out for the best and it is something we will always laugh about.
What was your first dance song and why did you pick it? Our first dance song was “Forever Like That” by Ben Rector. The first time Cole ever took me to his Nana’s in Mills River, NC right outside of Asheville, we danced to this song on her front porch after dinner in the summertime mountain air and that’s when we knew we wanted to spend forever together. We thought it was only fitting that we chose that song for our first dance as husband and wife.
What stood out to you the most when you think of your wedding? Just everything! It was better than we could have ever dreamed and we would relive the day over and over if we could. We were in the most beautiful place with perfect weather, we had all of the people who are most special to us in one place and we had SO MUCH FUN!!!! What more could you ask for?
What is on your “bucket list” to do together as a married couple? There are so many things we can’t wait to do together but a few of our tops are to go on a mission’s trip that serves orphanages in another country, put our feet in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean in the same day, and hopefully be blessed enough to start a family in a few years.
First look with the bridesmaids!
Cole’s reaction was priceless. He started crying when he walked out even before Ashlyn walked down the aisle.
And then he turned around.
Soaking it in.
This was our first time working at Sleepy Hallow Inn and Event Center. Such a great place!
The bridal party had a choreographed dance! They rocked it.
The toast brought on loads of laughter.
The famous shoe game!
The anniversary dance. This couple had been married the longest. 🙂
Shout out to Elon!
A twist to the garter toss. 😉
Congrats Ashlyn and Cole!!
Wedding coordinator – Julie Gentry
Wedding Venue- Pretty Place
Reception Venue- Sleepy Hollow Inn and Event Center
Dress Designer – Justin Alexander
Where you purchased your dress – Little White Dress – Myrtle Beach, SC
Makeup artist – Lexi Giering, bridesmaid
Hair designer – Jena Cross
Floral designer – An English Garden
Caterer – Sleepy Hollow
DJ or Band – Dean Campbell
Officiant – Jeremy Pollard
Cake designer – Marcelle’s Cakes du Joir
Videographer – Daniel Loggins
We loved getting to be a part of Natalie and Jason’s Asheville wedding. Asheville means a great deal to Natalie and Jason, they both lived here at certain times in their lives and got engaged here!
One thing that stood out to us from this wedding was the amazing “roasting” that went on during the toast. It was epic. The “moment” photos we captured during these speeches were very telling of the intensity.
More on that later! Let’s start back at the beginning of their day.
It was a rainy day, however, we don’t fret too much about that. Breaks from the rain came just when we needed them and gave opportunity for photos outside.
Wendy with Blush Asheville rocked Natalie’s makeup. Look at those lashes!
The gifts for the moms were especially tearful and full of smiles.
Natalie reading her letter from Jason.
First look with Natalie and her dad!
The fellas had a slightly less tearful time. 😉 More laughs to go around!
First look with Jason and Natalie.
Photos in downtown Asheville.
Then the sky opened up! We were able to finish the rest of the photos under the cover of the beautiful dome Justice center building while we waited it out!
Everyone was still smiling and having a great time with rain and all!
Onward to Grace Episcopal Church for the ceremony.
Since we had some extra time, we drove to Botanical Gardens at UNCA for a few photos amongst the beauty there.
Their reception was at “On Broadway” in downtown Asheville. The food by Celine and Company was fantastic!
Introducing this amazing, happy couple!
Let the roasting… I mean toasting begin.
This dude busted out some sweet Irish dance moves.
Congrats Natalie and Jason!!!
Now more from this awesome couple on how they met, the proposal, and their wedding!
A bit about Natalie: Natalie loves to do things outside. She has a green thumb and loves to attempt to grow things and has shared this love with Jason. She enjoys watching, playing, and teaching softball. Natalie loves traveling and visiting her friends and family.
A bit about Jason: Jason’s passion is coaching lacrosse, watching lacrosse, talking about lacrosse…everything lacrosse. He also enjoys exploring breweries and local eateries wherever he is traveling. Jason travels all over the country for his job but he also loves to hang out on the couch and watch a good Netflix series.
How did you meet? We met in the Fall of ’07. Jason lived off campus above one of Natalie’s softball teammates. Natalie frequented the apartment of her teammate where there were a lot of “social functions.” We met there and liked each other. However, we did not start dating until later that spring.
Describe your first date? Our first date was Valentine’s Day 2008. Jason asked Natalie to go out to dinner. He took me to Makiato’s in Asheville. He picked Natalie up in his 1992 Honda Accord, Natalie thought he was such a gentleman because he opened the door for her. We had a wonderful time, Natalie was hooked. Later, Natalie learned that he was opening the door for her because the handle was broken…once he got comfortable with her he started rolling down the window lol.
How long have you been together? We have been together since the summer of 2008.
What are your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple? We love to garden, check out local breweries, and binge watch tv series.
Who popped the question and HOW? Jason popped the questions. It was December 2015 and we had booked a weekend get-away to our favorite place, Asheville. We went to dinner at Pack’s Tavern and as we were leaving he took me into Pack’s Square Park where he asked me to marry him. Little did I know, our friends were supposed to be taking pictures but Jason got too nervous to make it the top of the stairs under the light. We spent the rest of the weekend celebrating with our friends and family in the area.
Why did you pick Asheville and your venues? We love Asheville. We knew the weekend we got engaged that we would get married in Asheville. Jason lived in Asheville for 9 years and I lived there for 5. We wanted to share our favorite city with all of our friends and family.
What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most? I loved that I had the bell from my grandmother’s cake topper in by bouquet.
How many guests attended the wedding? 150
What did you and your guests eat at the reception? Shrimp and Grits, Chicken
What was the flavor of your wedding cake? Coconut
What is the one of the funniest things that happened on your wedding day? The speeches from our wedding party…so embarrassing.
What was your first dance song and why did you pick it? “Me and You” by Kenny Chesney. We went back and forth on this for months but this song spoke to both of us and how we feel about our relationship with each other.
What stood out to you the most when you think of your wedding? We felt overwhelmed by the amount of love surrounding us. We wish we could live the day over.
What is on your “bucket list” to do together as a married couple? Travel! We love exploring together and we want to go all over the world together.
Shout out to these wedding professionals that made this day awesome!
Hotel: Renaissance Hotel
Ceremony Venue: Grace Episcopal Church
Reception Venue: On Broadway
Dress Designer – Sottoreo Midgley
Where you purchased your dress – Classic Bride and Formals in Cornelius, NC
Makeup artist – Blush Asheville, Wendy
Hair designer – Eclipse Salon
Floral designer – Merrimon Avenue Florist
Caterer – Celine and Company
DJ or Band – A Social Function
Officiant – Andrew Hoots
Cake designer – Celine and Company – dessert bar
Limo or car service – Gray Line Trolley
Videographer – Casey and Kristin
Wedding hashtag- #lovemelangetime
After not shooting a wedding at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in 7 years, Ashtyn and Shawn gave us that opportunity again! It was their destination wedding here in Asheville, NC.
We had not met Ashtyn and Shawn before their wedding day but did get to meet with their sweet parents when they booked us for the wedding. Upon finally meeting them, Michael and I instantly liked Ashtyn and Shawn. They were super fun to work with and absolutely gorgeous. I don’t know if Ashtyn was trying to look like a Disney princess but I am pretty sure we just shot Elsa’s wedding. 😉 She was stunning and her veil literally made me gasp.
Shawn invited a lot of his military pals to his wedding and there was such camaraderie among them. Michael enjoyed getting to hang with the fellas before the ceremony. They are close and you can tell!
More from us throughout the blog post but for now, here is a bit from Ashtyn and Shawn!
A bit about Ashtyn: Ashtyn is a Florida State University Alumnus with a BFA in Musical Theatre. She currently performs on some of the largest cruise ships in the world as a Singer in the Production Casts. She even planned a large part of her wedding from her last cruise ship!
A bit about Shawn: Shawn is a graduate of Norwich University with a double major in Accounting and Finance. As if that wasn’t enough work, he was also part of the ROTC program there and commissioned into the United States Army as Second Lieutenant Military Intelligence Officer. He will be bravely serving our country for at least the next 4 years.
How did you meet? We met our Senior year of high school in Overland Park, Kansas in 2010. We had English class together and I fell for him the second he walked through the door. After that we were partners for any project or paper throughout the year and developed a really great friendship.
Describe your first date? I asked Shawn on our first date. My best friend wanted me to go out with her and her boyfriend, so I asked three guys before Shawn because I didn’t want to make our friendship weird. Finally, after no one else was available I nervously asked my biggest crush out and he said yes! (Thank goodness) We went on the double date and had a great time and then we left and hung out the rest of the night just us two. What I thought would be just a pre-graduation fling turned out to be so much more!
How long have you been together? We started dating April of 2011, so a little over 6 years.
What are your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple? We are a very active couple. We love to get out and see places. So we really enjoy local fairs or markets and we absolutely love camping. We’re “pitch a tent in the middle of the woods people” and we have such a blast doing it!
Who popped the question and HOW? Shawn popped the question in November 2016. I had been on my cruise ship since June of that year and Shawn and I hadn’t seen each other since he came and cruised Alaska with me in July. So, he and his entire family, including my mom, were coming to cruise with me for Thanksgiving. The morning they were to board the ship, they picked me up and took me out to breakfast. The week prior, Shawn had just branched Military Intelligence in the Army, so he took a moment to thank the family for their support and singled me out as being a strong source of support for him, and before I even knew it, he was scooting out his chair and asking me to marry him. I was shocked and cried like a baby. Shawn had to ask me again because I was crying too hard to answer! It was a perfect moment in a beautiful setting surrounded by our family.
Why did you pick Asheville and the Grand Bohemian? We picked Asheville because we love the mountains. Being from Florida, one of the reasons we picked up camping was to get away from the beach and into a new environment. Once we got engaged we thought the mountains would be an amazing place to start our new lives together. The Grand Bohemian was the perfect place because it has such a mountain hunting lodge feel while still being glitzy and glamorous. It was the absolute perfect place for our wedding!
What adjective best describes your spouse on your wedding day? Shawn’s answer: Stunning. Ashtyn’s answer: Mine
What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most? My favorite piece was my dress. It was truly the dress of my dreams. It wouldn’t have been the same without my veil though and I loved the combination of them both!
How many guests attended the wedding? We had 86 total.
What did you and your guests eat at the reception? We had a wedge salad to begin, with jalapeño ranch dressing and Nueske’s bacon chunks, then we had a duet entree, so each guest got a portion of ginger honey grilled chicken and a small filet mignon. The entree was served with Yukon mashed potatoes, asparagus, and a family sized portion of Brussel Sprouts for the table.
What was the flavor of your wedding cake? We actually had three flavors of wedding cake each being equally delicious. We had Lemon Raspberry Poundcake with cream cheese frosting, Carrot Cake Delight with crushed pralines and cream cheese frosting, and Apple Hummingbird with cream cheese frosting. The cake was phenomenal!
What is the one of the funniest things that happened on your wedding day? When I started walking down the aisle, first off, I started crying as soon as I saw Shawn because I was so happy, then secondly, the detail around the edge of my veil caught on the carpet runner we had and it pulled the veil out of my head! Luckily, one of our guests grabbed it, handed it my mom and my mom was able to stick it back in real quick. It definitely wasn’t what I envisioned, but it actually helped me and Shawn compose ourselves because everyone started laughing. Only us!
What was your first dance song and why did you pick it? Our first dance song was “I Met A Girl” by William Michael Morgan. Shawn sent me that song a few years ago and told me it reminded him of me. So earlier this year we were getting our engagement pictures taken, and on the way home, that song came on the radio and we knew that was it. It was close to our hearts and meaningful.
What stood out to you the most when you think of your wedding? THE FLOWERS. Holy moly, the flowers were absolutely stunning. Everywhere I looked, I saw incredible arrangements. The bouquets for me and my girls were stunning, the corsages for our moms, the boutonnières for the guys. Seriously, the flowers were just incredible. Close second is just how much stinking fun it was! We had the best guests and the most amazing wedding party. It was a day and night of our dreams!
What is on your “bucket list” to do together as a married couple? We have quite a few things that we want to do/accomplish, but the top things on our checklist are to travel and see the world and then in a few years, hopefully be blessed enough to welcome some children into this world.
The amazing Mary with Mary Bell Events helped plan and coordinate this awesome day!
It was pretty steamy outside so we did most of our photos inside the Grand Bohemian Hotel. The decor was perfect for this gorgeous bride and her gals.
This ceremony was FULL of some amazing, beautiful moments!
The beautiful Mother of the Bride… who happens to also be named Shawn! 🙂
For the parents…
Shawn’s vows were amazing… everyone thought so too. We all teared up a bit!
And the best man too. 😉
We love love loved the up-lighting and floral at this wedding. The Grand Bohemian ballroom is already stunning but they made it amazing!
Ashtyn sang ” Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur. She was killing it… until Shawn kissed her hand. Then she lost it. She said it was the hardest performance of her life. This girl has an incredible voice ya’ll!
These toasts were so fun!
A toast to Ashtyn’s dad from her uncle.
There was a bit of a twist to this garter toss…
Apparently when you find this drink you have to down it. So Ashtyn hid it under her dress.
She was in for a surprise herself… see that guy with the covered plate on the left?
Now Ashtyn had to join in as well!
I don’t know if it was meant to be a competition… but well…
Ashtyn won. Sorry Shawn! She killed it.
Gushing over that ring.
Wobble instructor anyone? She was awesome!
A little limbo was in order.
Congrats Ashtyn and Shawn! We wish you the absolute best ever!!
Shout out to these professionals that helped make this day awesome!