Ashley + James
How did you meet?
I’d say we have a first meet twice in life –
First encounter in life was in high school. I do remember Jim and knew he was on the high school hockey team. I also have a high school memory of somehow ending up at his house for a party lol
When he first brought me to his parents house after we met, I had the feeling of being there once before.
Second encounter was his cousin and my sister in law talking about setting us up. At the time I was opposed to being set up because I’ve had friends set me up in the past and I felt an amount of pressure for the relationship to work out. I initially said no. About a month went by and my sister in law asked me again if I’d want to meet up with Jim. She mentioned a group date on the boat and I said sure.
Before all this, I was single for a very long time and truthfully I felt defeated when it came to dating. This is why I was hesitant. I put myself out there a lot – on dating sites, set ups and just going out more often in the hope of meeting the one.
I honestly didn’t give our first meeting any expectations, I didn’t want to get hurt again so my guard was up. We texted for a week before the group date on the boat and it was great! Sometimes it’s difficult to keep a conversation going through text but we talked all day. I wasn’t nervous before the group date, that’s how low my expectations were (and again it wasn’t Jim that gave me low expectations, it was my past), I’m usually always nervous and overthinking before dates. Well once he got out of his truck and started walking towards the boat I immediately felt the iconic “butterflies in my stomach” feeling! We haven’t seen each other since high school and damn he looked good. So I could say in a split second my feelings changed for Jim in this moment. It was the perfect atmosphere for us. Casual and comfortable for us to connect. It was such a fun night. I could tell he was nervous and I was trying to make him feel as comfortable as possible. We got back to the dock and hung out for about an hour or so. Our first kiss was that night in the boat cabin 🙂
When did you know they were the one?
I’d say early on when I realised I didn’t want to go a day without seeing him, I knew he was special to me and that I was falling in love with him. We spent almost everyday together, I hardly slept at my condo and just stayed with him every night 🙂
When he invited me over to his house I felt this certain level of comfort that I’ve been longing for in a relationship. This might sound crazy but that little voice in my head whispered “husband”. I shook my head and ignored it because I didn’t want to get my hopes up. But ever since then we only grew stronger and started to fall in love. The most special feeling in the world.
What are your three favourite attributes of your partner?
My favourite attributes of Jim are that he is honest, down to earth and hardworking. He strives to always be transparent and for us that keeps our relationship strong. I instantly fell in love with how down to earth he is and his hardworking traits. I know I can always rely on him to have my back and make the best decision for us. He truly is my best friend and compliments me in every way.
Who proposed and how?
Jim proposed on our local bike path while we were taking our French Bulldog Mya on a walk. He had his cousin take photos of us leading up to the moment that he got down on one knee. I was out of my mind excited. I tried calling my parents, his parents and my best friend – no one answered! Which was very odd to me. Well the day wasn’t over and it was just starting but I didn’t know it in that moment. I wanted to stop at his parents house to tell them the great news but my very new fiancé gave me bogus excuse that we had to stop home first. I couldn’t contain my excitement. As we walked into our house I saw balloons on our back porch. I walked out of our sliding door to our family and friends who surprised me with blended engagement and 30th birthday party! He planned the most amazing day for us.
Where did you fall in love with your dress and why?
I went to Lovely Bride in Rochester, NY in search for the perfect dress. I went on the website before my appointment to gather a list for the stylist and started to fall in love with every MWL dress. I then started looking on the MWL website and set my eyes on Scottie. The Lovely Bride Rochester location did not have Scottie in stock but the Philadelphia location did. I payed a fee to have it shipped to Rochester so I could try it on. I could use the fee money towards any dress I got so there wasn’t pressure to get Scottie. I tried on a couple lace dresses then Scottie. I didn’t fall in love with it right away. When I tried it on a second time, it stole my heart. The dress makes me feel so confident and gives off the classic vibe I was in search for.
What was the best moment for you at the wedding?
My favourite moment was having my cousin marry us. She has never married anyone but in our eyes she was the perfect person to do the job. It felt so personal and intimate to have a family member perform such a special moment in our lives. We will be reminiscing about it with our whole family in the years to come.
What were your favourite details?
My favourite detail was my bouquet. I sadly lost my sister a year ago. My Maid of Honour gifted me a custom memorial photo charm. It was a picture of my sister and I when we were younger. My mother in law gave me a memorial pin that said “Missing you as I walk down the aisle”. My florist surprised me with both pins in the bouquet. They were the perfect addition to my wedding bouquet and to honour her missing presence.
What advice would you tell other brides?
My top advice would be to not procrastinate with the little details- easier said than done! Expect something along the way to go wrong, unfortunately nothing is perfect and that’s ok! Always go back to your reason of getting married and what the day means to you and your fiancé.
Any standout vendors?
All the vendors were amazing! Each of them made our wedding day what we envisioned.
YOUR MWL STOCKIST: