Captured & submitted by Vanessa Joy Photography
How did you two meet and fall in love?
Ashley and John met in Kindergarten and it was really love at first sight. After many play dates and lots of childhood memories together, John decided to surprise Ashley in first grade with a vintage locket from a local boutique. He gave it to her for her birthday and put his picture in it so she would always have a piece of him close to her heart. Although they were so young, they knew from the start that they wanted to be part of each other’s lives forever. Fast forward, twenty-four years later and John proposed at the same school where they met in Kindergarten.
They have experienced all of life’s different stages together while continuing to grow in the same direction (& having fun while doing it!). They are so excited for what is to come for them as a couple and can’t wait to create more amazing memories together.
What was most important to you when planning your wedding?
Working with the officiant to ensure the ceremony speech was personal and captured our essence. We know how lucky we are to have such a special story and the wedding day is THE DAY to celebrate that!
We also wanted to make sure the band/DJ combo got everyone on the dance floor to dance the night away. We are often the ones hosting our friends so we wanted this to go down as the most fun night of them all!
What was the inspiration behind your wedding theme?
With the amount of history we share, we wanted the theme to feel like it was telling a bit of our story. The vibe we went for was whimsical and dreamy, with personal touches included throughout. From our customized signs placed throughout the venue to use the treasure chest covered in pictures that I made John in 9th grade vs having a guest book – it was all about our love.
What is your favorite memory from your wedding?
It’s truly hard to choose one favorite memory. Reading the vows that we wrote to each other before the ceremony was a really special, intimate moment.
Something I will never forget was how John walked down the aisle, it was like he was the mayor of the town greeting everyone as he walked. Meanwhile, before the ceremony, he and I were talking about how nervous we were to walk down the aisle with all eyes on us. It was incredible though because his entrance set the stage. Our bridal party all followed suit with the same playful energy interacting with the crowd. The staff at OceanCliff turned to me laughing moments before I walked down the aisle and said they have never seen such an interactive crowd with the bridal party ceremony walkouts. The officiant then repeated the same sentiment when I arrived to meet John at the altar. It warmed my heart because the majority of people in that audience have grown up with us since we were little. Including our bridal party who has all known us for 15-20 years. We are so close with our friends and it just felt so real and authentic to who they are and the relationship we have with them. At that moment, the closeness and love we felt with each other, our friends, and the life we built together, was beyond anything we could have ever imagined.
How will you describe the feeling you had on your wedding day to your children one day?
The day was absolutely magical and filled with so much love. Our hearts were so full. The love John and I have for each other is such a strong bond and it was felt through every moment of our wedding day. From the tears of overwhelming happiness to kissing twice during the ceremony before the “first kiss” was announced (oops), there was so much love everywhere you looked and it’s just the beginning.
Dress Store:Davids Bridal//Cake Designer: Kennedy Confections//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Sal Lauretta//Dress Designer: Kittychen Couture//Dress Store: Vera’s House of Bridals//Calligrapher: Fonts and Flourishes Co.//Invitation Designer: Shine Wedding Invitations//Floral Designer:Botanica Wedding Florals//Cinema and Video: Pretty Films//Beauty: Beautini//Musicians: Hudson Horns//Band: Sounds Buono//Musicians: Entertainment Specialists//Reception Venue:Ocean Cliff Hotel//Photographer: Vanessa Joy Photography//