Ashley & Ryan’s Cozy Non-Traditional Earth Day Wedding
Remember our sweet, cat-loving green-living couple whose lovely little at-home engagement session graced these pages a couple of months ago? Their wedding took place 3 days after the post went up, on Earth Day and I am ABSOLUTELY delighted to be able to share it with you today!
Just how darling are Ashley and Ryan??? Their intimate wedding is a stunner as well and what I really love about it is that it’s refreshingly different not for the sake of being “different”. It doesn’t scream “hey look, our wedding is alternative!” It was simply a charming and relaxed celebration of their love in the presence of people that mattered to them — and it just so happens that they held it their way without worries about what tradition dictates.
Once again we have the talented Chelsea LaVere of Bit of Ivory Photography to thank for this beauty. Chelsea photogaphed Ashley & Ryan’s home life e-session oh-so-gorgeously and, as you will see, that same care and keen eye for lighting, detail and capturing precious moments is also present in their wedding photos. Here she is to tell us more about the couple and their day:
Ashley and Ryan are two peas in a pod, and I consider myself so blessed to be a part of their lives as they are in mine. Ashley is the best “stalker” ever (read that back story on their e-session post!) and feeds me Big Bang Theory DVDs, and Ryan is a master at furniture assembly sans instruction manuals. 🙂
Their big day was filled with black, ivory, and bursts of wildflower color (provided by the lovely and talented Palette of Petals). It was intimate, unique, and so very special. Sweetwater Cuisine was the perfect location for them. And of course, Bella (their furry kid) was present in little prints made by Ryan (like legit prints made with linoleum plates, ink, and rollers!) decorated around the reception… just wait until you see that cuteness!
Ashley made these adorable invites!
Do you see Bella, their kitty, in Ashley’s custom fascinator?
The kinder egg and ugli doll are both very special trinkets to the bride. Here she is to tell us more about them:
When Ryan proposed, he meticulously hid the ring in that kinder egg — he even reassembled the chocolate around it. The ugli doll is a mascot of sorts, representing a special time in my life and one of the best groups of friends I could ever have.
The lace fabric around the lovely bouquet was a gift from Ashley’s good friend Ann:
When she found out I was getting married, she gave me her mother’s dress. Unfortunately it didn’t fit so I took some of the lace and satin off and had the florist wrap my bouquet with it.
I love that her gown has cap sleeves.. so sweet and feminine!
The first look…
Such a gorgeous bride…
Aww, I adore these two! <3 You’ve already met Ashley & Ryan before (click here if it’s your first time “meeting” them) so now Ashley’s here to tell us about their wedding:
Our wedding was very “us.” We tried to have everything as local /simple and earth-friendly as possible — Earth day was not a coincidence! 🙂 We chose vendors and details to that end. Our save the dates and RSVPs were electronic; our ceremony and reception were at the same location; our caterer and florist used local ingredients and flowers when possible; we recycled bottles and paper products as much as possible and dontated to charity in lieu of favors; and our “get away car” was a Prius.
The ceremony was planned to be outside, but mother nature didn’t think that was the best idea. My MIL made beautiful drapes for a ceremony backdrop that we didn’t get to use, which was a bummer. But our caterer and florist made some miracles happen and transformed an empty (indoor) space into a “garden” area.
Ryan and I walked down the aisle together, because we’ve been together through thick and thin for 7+ years — it seemed fitting.
The Sam Adams beer Ryan is holding in this shot is a nod to our love of Boston.
As a cat parent myself, I am SO loving the fact that they “brought” their kitty to the wedding:
Bella couldn’t be at the wedding because it was at a restaurant; so we brought her in every way we could. There was a picture of her in my fascinator, Ryan had a cat charm on his boutonniere and he made prints of her silhouette for part of the centerpieces.
Those photos on the guestbook are the same ones Chelsea took in their e-session!
Ryan made watercolors from pictures we have taken on our vacations.
We had a memorial seat (and candles) close to our table for his brother and my father who both have passed away.
The couple did the desserts themselves and that S’mores trifle is actually sitting in photographer Chelsea’s own trifle bowl! Ryan’s groom’s cake was a tower of Dunkin Donuts (and was another nod to Boston).
Ashley & Ryan did so many things “differently” and their wedding was 100% uniquely theirs. They also had no bridal party and had less than 50 guests! Shares the bride:
We certainly didn’t set out to be “different,” we wanted a wedding that reflected what was most important to us, close family and friends, and consciousness about the environment. We kept it very simple and elegant, the theme changed a million times (or at least what we called the theme) — the concept/design never really changed.
All in all, it was a cozy, warm home like feel, now that I think about it, very similar to the engagement pictures. We brought our home and ourselves to the restaurant: pictures, knick knacks, milk bottles, and of course Bella.
And now, some advice from the beautiful bride:
Think about what is most important to you and spend your money there — we are foodies and I LOVE pictures, so that was were the majority of our budget went. Hire people you trust and that have a great reputation, recommendations from other vendors says a lot; I can’t say ENOUGH about my vendors.
But most of all, remember that a wedding is a day and a marriage a lifetime — relax and enjoy the day, savor every moment, even the unexpected because at the end of the night, you are still married and it was YOUR wedding day.
It is also really easy to make small choices that can have a big impact on the environment without sacrificing style or budget.
Huge thanks to Chelsea for sending this unique and gorgeous celebration my way, and congratulations to Ashley & Ryan! Here’s wishing you guys a lifetime of married bliss. 🙂
Photographer: Chelsea LaVere of Bit of Ivory Photography
Dress: David’s Bridal
Jewelry: Tiffany & Co., personal/family heirloom pieces
Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Hair/Makeup: Behind the Veil
Custom Fascinator: Ann Ruben
Invitations: designed and created by Ashley, printed at House of Printing
Florist: Palette of Petals
Venue/Caterer/Cake & Desserts: Sweetwater Cuisine
Groom’s “Cake:” Dunkin Donuts
Officiant: Dawn Kenny
DJ: Billy Stokes
Image submission via Two Bright Lights