Ashley's wedding was one of the best nights ever! It was honestly the most fun I've ever had at a wedding - and that's saying something because I've been to a lot of fun weddings! There's so much I want to share because I don't want to forget anything. I think this post will have to focus on just the ceremony...
Of course, I expected Ashley would be a beautiful bride, but she was simply stunning! When I finally saw her in her dress, she took my breath away. She looked so timeless and classy. It was just perfect!
The groom, Michael, wore green Chuck Taylors with his suit, if that gives you any insight into his personality. That's one of the things I love most about this couple: they never take themselves too seriously. In fact, Beth and Kevin (friends who officiated) began the ceremony by expressing their shock that Michael was standing there with a woman and proceeded to make fun of his sayings, movies he likes, and even an embarrassing outfit he wore (which they blew up to poster size to share with us all... I wish I had taken a picture of that). It was hilarious!
Her sisters, who were her only bridesmaids, looked beautiful in their dresses as well. Kelsey is a couple years older than Ash and me, so I've seen her all done up for dances/acting gigs, etc. many times. Sometimes, though, I'm still caught off guard by how much Whitney has really grown up. I still think of her as a little girl sometimes, but, as you can see in the picture, she has grown into a beautiful woman. They both looked amazing in their dresses! And can we talk about their flowers? I love them! All those pops of color were just gorgeous against that royal blue!
I loved their nontraditional ceremony, which included a poem about how love is like a puppy (read by Ashley's childhood friend, Christina, who is a veterinarian) and a reading of The Velveteen Rabbit by Ashley's elementary-aged cousins. Christina's son, Chase, was one of the ring bearers, and he just didn't want to get dressed for the ceremony, so they sent him down the aisle in his diaper, shoes and hat - pushing the red wagon. If I hadn't known better, I'd have thought they planned it because it was absolutely adorable.
My favorite touch of the entire wedding was in the handkerchief she held around her bouquet. On it was a photo of Ashley and her dad, who passed away last year from ALS. Just looking at the picture (from her brother and mom walking her down the aisle) is enough to make me cry all over again. Her dad was like a second father to me. He was such an amazing husband and father, and I know he was so proud of the adults his children have grown to be. He would have been so proud to walk his little girl down that aisle and give her to Michael to cherish forever. In fact, not long before he passed away, Michael told Bob that he was planning to ask Ashley to marry him someday and wanted his blessing. Bob wasn't able to speak anymore at that point, but he gave Michael his thumbs up of approval... how sweet is that?! So even though he wasn't able to be a part of this day in body, he was certainly there in spirit.
Oh, and of course, I cried, but no more than anyone else. Despite feeling as much anxiety as I was experiencing for the days leading up to the ceremony, I felt pure excitement for her on this day. I couldn't have pictured a more perfect ceremony for my best friend. It was beautiful, beginning to end.