Ashley and Matt were married on the beach in Mexico! The weather was perfect and the resort was stunning. The resort had amazing architecture and insanely beautiful landscaping! It felt like you were in paradise.
Ashley and Matt started their day by exchanging emotional letters and didn’t see each other until the ceremony. After the wedding, we photographed them around the stunning resort and on the beach before heading to their poolside reception. After the reception, the wedding party headed to the resort disco for some hilarious karaoke and late-night dancing! A fun side-note, Ashley and Matt (as well as their friends and family) are die-hard St. Louis Blues hockey fans! They cheered on their home team during the Stanley Cup Finals from Mexico at the resorts sports bar and even had a lucky painted ceramic Blues skull and a Blues Hockey flag hanging in the bar for all three games that happened while they were at the resort! After they returned home, the St. Louis Blues WON the Stanley Cup, making history since this was the first time they had ever won and since they hadn’t made it to the playoffs in over 30 years!
Matt & I have always dreamed of a destination wedding. We absolutely love to travel & couldn’t think of a better way to incorporate that into our wedding. After much research we finally decided on Secrets Akumal based on their wonderful reviews for weddings, service, food, as well as the resort in general. Our colors were navy, white, gold & blush. We are die hard blues fans, so of course we had to incorporate blue & gold into our wedding!
The ceremony did not require much decoration as the beach location itself was breathtaking. The simple flowers & linens for dinner were enough to add just that extra touch that made everything perfect. I ordered a personalized cake topper that I fell in love with. It incorporated our last name & a globe with a plane to represent our love for travel & our destination wedding. As far as our at home reception, I have made many personalized signs to place throughout the venue that I feel will add a special touch that we will always remember. We will have flower arrangements throughout the venue as well as a dessert bar including popcorn, candy, cake pops, & cupcakes.
I had communicated quite often with the onsite wedding coordinator on all of the details of our big day including the flowers. My vision included all white flowers. My arrangement was made up of white roses & white lisianthus whereas my bridesmaid’s bouquets were smaller versions of mine. The groom & groomsmen boutonnieres were white roses. For our at home reception centerpieces, we will incorporate mostly white flowers, hydrangeas, roses, etc. while also incorporating tropical leaves such as palm & monstera leaves to bring a little bit of Mexico back home for those that could not attend the destination wedding.
My favorite part of the wedding was by far seeing how happy my groom was waiting for me at the end of the aisle. It was the happiest day of both of our lives & I think something that really stood out to me that day was how lucky we were to have the friends & family that traveled so far, there with us to celebrate our marriage. I will never forget how full my heart felt that day, it was the best feeling I have ever had. I think in a way having a small ceremony with a special group in a beautiful destination has it’s own personal touch that will always be cherished.
I probably tried on over 50 dresses (not even exaggerating)…until I finally decided on the perfect gown just 7 short months before the big day. It was so much fun, but once I put “the dress” on, I truly did have the feeling everyone says you get when you find the one. It was perfect from the gorgeous details on the front down to the stunning train that seemed to go on forever. I knew I wanted my girls in a dark navy, semi fitted dress that matched the groomsmen’s ties. Matt has always loved navy & we wanted him to stand out from his groomsmen. We knew we wanted him in a navy suit & his guys in mostly the same attire, aside from the tie & jacket. We originally were going to have Matt in a white tie & the guys in a navy tie. The white tie didn’t end up working out so we found about 5 different baby blue ties & found the perfect one. I got Matt a personalized tie clip & cuff links for a gift to wear on the big day. The bridesmaids & groomsmen all looked so great & it was everything I had in my vision.
It all began during Spring semester at SIUE in 2013; we had a few classes together. We started to get to know each other as we were both in the School of Business & really hit it off. We had our first date at El Maguey in Edwardsville, IL (Mexican food, of course). We love going to Cardinals & Blues games, concerts, traveling, just anything where we can be together enjoying each other’s company. Matt could always make me laugh & I think that’s something that really attracted me to him. We became best friends & were lucky enough to fall in love. From there we graduated together & started our careers.
Four years into our relationship we were on vacation in New York City where Matt proposed in Times Square, another moment I will never forget. It was absolutely perfect. We have grown so much together in 6 years & I can’t imagine doing life with anyone else by my side.
By far, the most anticipated & special moment of the big day was seeing Matt at the end of the aisle with a big smile on his face. I have never seen him so happy & it just about made my heart explode. I was very emotional on our wedding day, all happy tears of course, people always say it’s an emotional day, but I did not see these tears coming. It was as though I was so unbelievably happy I couldn’t control it. Anytime one of our friends or family members walked into our bridal suite, I was suddenly overcome with happiness so much that I would just tear up & hug them. It was the best day of our life, & every small detail will truly never be forgotten.
I will definitely say take your time, don’t rush, enjoy every single minute. Matt & I had a fairly long engagement. We were engaged in August 2017 & our wedding was June 2, 2019. I think this was the perfect amount of time to enjoy everything as well as have ample time to plan everything without becoming overwhelmed & stressed. Being engaged is so much fun & it is something that should be enjoyed without the stresses of rushing to plan a wedding in a short amount of time bothering you. I am so happy we took our time & once the big day finally arrived, we were both so ready to vow forever to each other & it couldn’t have been more perfect.