August 11, 2020
This past weekend, Ashlyn & Joe celebrated their beautiful summer wedding at Appleford Estate! And, like all 2020 weddings, the road to the altar was full of bumps and switchbacks and the occasional roundabout. But these two navigated the uncertainty with grace and optimism, which are two words that perfectly describe Ashlyn & Joe. As a result, I can’t imagine their wedding any other way than it was. Every detail was perfect. Every guest connected with the celebration. Everything just fell into place 🙂
When you first meet Ashlyn & Joe, you’ll notice a few things right away: Their love and connection is the real deal. They’re a team that makes each other better. They are quick to embrace you. They prioritize friends & family over anything else. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
More now than ever, I’m blown away that a true love like Ashlyn & Joe’s is found through the vastness of the internet (they met on Bumble). There was certainly a time when these two had never met; and were it not for one app they may never have. But I don’t want to imagine a world where Joe doesn’t end up with Ash. These two and their love have survived hemisphere-spanning long distance, the daily stresses of their ambitious careers, oh and planning a wedding in a pandemic.
You see, a mere month after Ashlyn & Joe’s first date, she jetted off to work abroad – for an entire year. Their relationship was brand new, but from the way she described him it was obvious that they were going to stand the test of distance. And sure enough, exactly three years (to the day!) after their first date, Ashlyn & Joe are now husband and wife! Just imagine what they’ll conquer now!
As you can see, things falling into place is kind of Ashlyn & Joe’s life theme 🙂 In fact, it also describes they way that Ashlyn and I first met! We met on a volunteer trip three years ago – on the Galapagos islands. Of all the volunteer projects to choose, of all the weeks in the year… I mean, what are the freaking odds? Fate put us on that plane together, and palm-sized spiders, machete lessons, and cold showers bonded us forever.
At the time, my photography business was still relatively new. I was still working full-time for a company, and the desire to be able to take my own business full-time was still a secret I kept in my heart. I had barely voiced my dream to anyone before, too scared to let it out into the world. But something about that volunteer experience made me want to share that secret with Ashlyn. In her ever-optimistic way, she responded, “Well in a few years maybe I’ll be calling you for my own wedding!”
On that trip, Ashlyn wasn’t dating anyone. She was working through her own major life transitions and preparing to work abroad for an entire year. The idea of us reuniting for this celebration felt more than unlikely, but I pocketed away the thought just the same. And then, last November, Ashlyn texted me saying “Hello my darling friend! Well… the occasion is here!! Lol and it’s so real now! I absolutely love and admire your work a great deal – and I would LOVE to work with you and have your here for our wedding!”
(Yes, I still have that text message). Naturally I flipped at the idea of traveling to Pennsylvania to celebrate Ashlyn & Joe’s wedding day! I’m so very glad that our shared passions for service, travel, and the Spanish language brought us together. And I can’t wait to see where life takes you two next!
Special thanks to the dream team that made this wedding extra magical!
venue: Appleford Estate
floral: Matlack Florist
catering: Serock Catering
cake: The Master’s Baker
makeup: Lauren DiMartino
gown: Castle Couture Bridal
transportation: Mid-Atlantic Limousine
entertainment: Synergetic Sound
I’m so in love with the hoop bouquets Ashlyn requested for her bridesmaids!!
This is the perfume Ashlyn wore on her first date with Joe!
A surprise first look!
Just wait til you see Joe’s reaction when he sees Ashlyn for the first time!
When Ashlyn told me she’d chosen a long veil I was over the moon excited! It was the perfect accessory for her gorgeous, romantic gown.
Ashlyn and three of her bridesmaids went to Villanova!
Ashlyn & Joe got married at Saints Simon and Jude Church, just down the street from Villanova, Ashlyn’s alma mater.
The priest that married Ashlyn & Joe is a dear friend to the couple, which made their ceremony – especially their homily – all the more personal and special.
On the way back to Appleford, we made a quick stop along this gorgeous tree-lined drive I’d spotted the day before. I simply couldn’t resist!
Appleford Estate is a simply stunning property! The previous owners, the Parsons, created new gardens annually across the property. They were gifts from Mr. Parsons to his dear wife 🙂
When the estate was bequeathed to the city, Mrs. Parsons requested that weddings continue to keep the romance alive among the gardens!
Ashlyn & Joe’s reception decor brought Appleford’s gardens inside in the most perfect way!
Ashlyn & Joe’s grand entrance morphed into a surprise mash-up dance that was unbelievable! I was seriously so impressed, just like their guests!
Ashlyn made a quick outfit change too for maximum mobility 🙂
Later in the evening we snuck away from the celebration for a few sunset portraits! This is one of my favorite moments with my couples. It’s a chance to take a little break with your (brand new!) spouse.
Joe’s best man Jeff gave a moving toast, complete with a saxophone serenade! He is one talented musician.
I’m blown away by the community you’ve created with your friends & families. Love surrounds you and radiates from you both!
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a summer garden celebration // appleford estate, pa