I count myself one of the luckiest people in the world to have been involved in this sweet love story… and not for just anyone, but for my best friend. This whole journey was so incredibly special to me. Ashtyn & Demian, you will never know how much you have blessed my life.
Last year, Ashtyn & Demian got married in Phoenix Arizona after a whirlwind romance. They were one of those couples that you see very rarely.... One where there is no doubt to anyone that they have found their person… Their lobster… Their soulmate. Even through some of the growing pains :) Their wedding was very small, family only. (Thank you to Trent for FaceTiming me in!)
Ashtyn & Demian decided to get married at the Justice of the Peace so they could take their time and save up for a destination wedding celebration & not waste any time not being together. But circumstances are just that and life happens… and those plans for a destination wedding got put on the back burner. After talking with Ashtyn a bunch, she decided to allow me to help her throw a smaller celebration here in Memphis... A real testament to who Ashtyn & Demian are as a couple.. SO FUN! The celebration was to be set up & designed like a casual rehearsal dinner at Ashtyn’s favorite Memphis spot, BB King’s!
A few months later, I get a call from Demian. (Yes folks, this is where this whole thing starts to get epic!) He said that he needed my help creating a fairytale secret ceremony for his bride, my best friend! I cannot tell you how 100% in I was from the end of that very first conversation! What an incredible thing to do for his wife! I am so in love with the way that Demian loves our sweet Ashtyn! (And yes, I did tell him how easy it is to make a pregnant lady cry!) I took his idea and ran with it!
So as soon as I got off the phone with Demian, I called Ashley to tell her about how amazing the whole thing was! We immediately got Amber in the loop and started thinking through the logistics of keeping a wedding a secret from the bride! Let me tell you, Ashtyn, Ashley, Amber & I are quite the group. There are no other group of women in my life that I feel closer to in mind, spirit, humor and heart. I love these women so deeply! (Thank You to Alpha Gamma Delta for bringing us all together.)
There are obviously several challenges that are inevitable when trying to plan a secret wedding! I want to touch on two problems. One as a friend and one as a Wedding Planner. The first challenge was Ashtyn’s attire. Remember, Ashtyn knows about the BB King’s part of the celebration, but not the wedding celebration. She had picked out this gorgeous and saucey white dress for the BB King’s part, but it definitely wasn’t a gown. The girls and I decided to try and let Ashtyn wear a piece of each of us. Luckily, Ashtyn & Ashley are about the same size… except the height! (Ashtyn is a shorty!)
“Being part of Ashtyn's surprise ceremony was a DREAM! Ashtyn ended up wearing my dress and what made this even more special is that Ashtyn's late mother borrowed her best friend's wedding gown also. To have the opportunity to share a special piece of my wedding day with my friend was indescribable. We are also fortunate enough to have Emma in our circle to organize the event. She's a go-getter with an eye for details and genuine care, concern for the bride and groom's day. Emma made all the difference in making this special event happen for Ashtyn and Demi!” - Ashley Booth
Amber is also about to get married in November, so Ashley had a great guise to get all of Ashtyn’s measurements. AND it looked like Ashley’s wedding gown would work for her! (pending the size heals she would need) Check! We then were able to add in a piece of Emma and Amber to her attire. She would wear my veil and Amber’s earrings! Check! Check! Let’s just acknowledge the amazing fact that Amber allowed Ashtyn to wear her wedding day earrings… before she even wore them! How special is that! I love that Ashtyn had a piece of each of us on her big day. It really made us feel a part of this beautiful story. What we didn’t know, and found out while she was getting ready, is that her mother actually wore her best friend’s wedding gown on her wedding day. What a God thing this was! So incredibly special!
“When Emma told me what she and Demian had planned for Ashtyn, I knew I wanted to be a part of her special (SURPRISE) day! She was wearing Ashley's wedding dress, Emma's veil...so, naturally, I wanted her to have something from my upcoming wedding. I had just gotten my earrings a few days prior to Ashtyn's wedding so it couldn't have worked out more perfectly. I love the fact that someone I love had an opportunity to put them to use (why just make those lovely things sit in a box for months waiting on my wedding?)...and she wore them well!” - Amber Crawford
The other difficulty I encountered as the Planner of this secret event was working with all of the vendors and their contracts. Luckily, we chose some amazing vendors that truly love love, and bought into this whole surprise! Basically every vendor had to make two contracts; one that Ashtyn could see and one that she couldn’t. Honestly, it was humorous, but so worth it. I couldn’t have kept this secret without the incredible cooperation of these vendors!
So here was the plan! On Friday night, we would have a girls night...Take her out downtown and stay in a hotel together. We would tell her that Demian and the girls planned her a wedding photoshoot so they could get real wedding photos. We would show her the outfit and hope she didn’t figure out the rest. Then, 3eight photography would arrive mid-morning to take “getting ready photos”, and then we would take her to the Woodruff-Fontaine House. There, her dad would hide right along the path we would be walking her to her “Photo Shoot”, and then he would continue to walk her down the aisle to Demian. (It was a beautiful ceremony performed by her twin brother, Trent!) After the ceremony, they would get family wedding day photos and of course, the Bridal Photo Shoot. The BB KIng’s reception would follow a few hours after the ceremony, giving Ashtyn time to change into that adorable dress she bought for the occasion.
I couldn’t believe it, but we pulled it off! She was actually surprised up until the very moment they began walking down the aisle!
Dear Ashtyn & Demian, I cannot thank you two enough for allowing me to be a part of your day! This experience was incredible to be a part of, and I will forever count it as one of the most special weddings I have ever been a part of. Ashtyn, It makes my heart glow to see you so happy and with your soulmate. Demian, Thank you for loving my friend the way you do. It makes me love you all the more!
List of Vendors Photographer: 3eight Photography Venue: Woodruff-Fontaine House Tent: Classic Party Rentals Rentals: Party Connection Florist: L & Jay Productions Hotel: Sheraton Downtown Planner: Infinity Events