Hey Y'all! I's Married Now!!! Married life is...Married life. Not much difference just no wedding stress. It's been FOREVER! Well...the month before the wedding was a mess! I was all over the place..so I gave my blog a rest.  All the stress was so worth it, but I'm so glad it's over...
The wedding was perfect. There were so many last minute changes I worried myself sick. Literally...I got bronchitis the week before my wedding and it was messy. Thanks to my wonderful coordinators for keeping me sane because I promise I was two blinks shy of dead. Sooo where do I begin. I was a nervous wreck I must admit. I just thought my wedding was going to be a total bust! I just knew it wouldn't be what I wanted. I'm just one of those people that always thinks the worst....It's a bad way to be. It really is...I started my day May 3rd at 4am. I didn't sleep at all the night before. I had so much on my mind that I couldn't sleep. I tried, but it never happened. I had to be to my hair appointment at 4am along with three of my girls. The rest of the girls began make up at 8am. Keep in mind my wedding didn't begin until 5pm. But they had to be beat so 8am was the start time! They arrived to the Hilton Garden Inn where they received bath robes and bottles of wine. It was absolutely beautiful! They ate and got their faces done and before we knew it was 3pm and time for me to head to my special place to get dressed. 
So the guys were some place doing their thing. I really have no idea what they were doing, because we seriously had the most going on. None the less it all worked out. So Aaron and I had a first look and it was suppose to be outside but that didn't work because of that bike race that tried to ruin my wedding weekend but we took that bike race on! The wedding started on time, THANK GOD because I said many prayers that it would start on time. Nothing is more embarrassing than to invite someone some place and start late. They say I was a bridezilla, but I don't know anything about all that. I think I did pretty well...I didn't go off on anyone on the day of the wedding. 
So...back to me being worried sick. I honestly had no idea how anything was going to look because so much changed. I just didn't want it to look a mess. It turned out great. I cannot say enough about how it all worked out. The decor actually shocked me...I walked in the ceremony and seriously couldn't stop looking around because I was so shocked! I didn't know what to expect. I loved everything...so that's to explain why you may see a lot of pics all the time on social media. It was great. I can't explain it... from the first look to the ceremony to the first dance doing the wobble to the petal toss. It was great! So enjoy the pics. There are two different slide shows one for each photographer I used. The first is Ashley Vanley Photography and the other is the Digital Scene. There is also a link to the YouTube video by Black Wunda Films...Toooootles....
 
 
Hey Dolls! It's been forever, and that's completely my fault. I have been busy, super duper busy...but it's happening. It's happening really really fast at that. While I'm stressed I'm loving every moment of these times. These are really the best days ever! I am just soaking these moments in so that I won't ever forget them. But on to the good stuff....
March 8th I sent out my invites for the wedding. These invites took blood sweat and tears to get right. They actually took one whole year to meet my approval!! But they were worth all 365 days of working and searching. Besides the actual wedding the invitations are one of the most important pieces to the pie. The invites set the tone of the event. If you slack on your invite people will slack on your event. It's literally that simple. I wanted my invitation to capture my black tie wedding while bringing my vintage/classic feel to life. Working along side Sharon Givens of Panache Paper I think we were successful! We did everything pearl to play up the fanciness of the black tie and we bordered everything with navy lace. To top off the invitation we did a lace overlay and tied it all up with navy ribbon and some bling. It turned out gorgeous. The reviews really made my day, I received texts and calls literally for about 3 or 4 days straight. I think people got the picture. lol
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I also took bridal portraits on last saturday March 22nd. Which was the same day as my bridal shower. I wanted to take my portraits some place outside that kind of had the vintage feel but also had a garden like feel. I got online and googled "gardens" in Richmond and to my surprise Agecroft Hall popped right up. Agecroft is an English Tutor with beautiful gardens. I called and spoke to their events rep and she was more than accommodating. I took my pictures there and lets just say they turned out amazing. Photographer Ashley Vanley of Hampton, Va took my photos and she did an awesome job. I also hired Paisley and Jade a vintage rental company to provide me with a beautiful pink love seat as a pop of color for my pics. I can't wait for you guys to see them. They are breath taking, not because of me particularly but because of the great work of the photographer and the beautiful landscapes of Agecroft Hall. If you're ever in the Windsor Farms area i encourage you to drop by Agecroft, it's worth seeing. 

After my bridal portraits I ran home got dressed and went to my Bridal Tea Party. It was so much fun. I cannot describe the amount of fun I had. My sister planned everything and it is safe to say she outdid herself. The day and event both were sheer perfection. I wouldn't have changed not one single thing. It's almost like god is smiling on me. The weather was beautiful, my outfit worked out, my pictures look great and I got to spend time with great people and have a lot of fun. Below are some pictures! The small details were everything. They had my mom's wedding dress displayed, a sweets table, fresh flowers, my own tea table, real tea cups, and the list goes on. If you missed it...you missed out. Enjoy the pics!!!
 
 
Hey Girls! Happy New Year! I'm so excited to be just about 100 days away from our big day! I cannot believe how time is flying. We are actually having a ball tying things up and making it happen day by day. Where are we?!? I'm all over the place to be honest, finalizing invites, bridesmaids dress, menus, bridal shower attire. I'm a million and three places at once literally but I'm doing it! 

This month I wanted to kick off my wedding fun with a bang. Of course I have my quarterly meetings with my girls and I have loved getting together with them just to discuss the wedding and have fun. This last meeting was a little different though...Wasn't what I would call a meeting but you can certainly call it a ball! I don't think you all are ready.....My girls and I took boudoir pictures. With my wedding coming and Valentine's Day coming, I mean why not?!? We had an absolute BALL!   

I honestly cannot describe the fun we had. It felt like we were in high school being crazy all over again. We all got nice and creative with our pictures and the photographer was great. After many ups and downs with the photographer I ended up using Melanie of Mehli Photography. Check her out on Facebook and please please book her for all your kinky and fun photography needs. 

As the bride I felt it was important for my girls and myself to bond. May 3rd will soon be just a blurr that most of us won't remember because we were having that much fun. What we will remember are the laughs, ups and downs, and good time we have had throughout this process. I thought this was a great way to kick off the wedding fun since the dresses are ordered and the wedding day is basically planned. Check out some of our pics below. Yep, most of the pictures of cropped because these aren't for everyone's eyes to see. I'm really happy to have had this experience, although I am on a journey to drop the pounds this really helped me to love who I am regardless of what others may think or have to say and not to toot my own horn but now I see some of what Aaron loves about me as well...lol. 
Signing off...-Ash

 
 
Seasons Greetings love bugs! I hope everyone is enjoying themselves this holiday season. While we spend so much time getting caught up in the gift buying and holiday hustle please remember Jesus is the reason for the season. This season is a time of fellowship, love and thanksgiving. I plan on doing just that, I haven't bought the first gift. I'm just not feeling all of that right now with 140 days until my big day! While I have everything planned, I'm still finding myself extremely busy. It's hard work locking everything down and revisiting what you've already planned to insure it's what you really want. But the hard work is worth it. Some things you can't cut corners on and this is one of them. I mean really, you only plan to get married once. So you may as well go about it in the right way and have things just as you desire.
So, I've pretty much nailed down everything. Even the guys have their tuxedos now. I revamped my décor and it is more fitting to my modern vintage theme. I'm excited to work with Mrs. Armwood of Master's Touch Florist to bring my décor to life. She and I have been back and forth to the venue and finally we have are final plans and I honestly can't wait for everyone to see it. I also finally got the nerve to try on my wedding gown. It's breath taking, to say the least. I was so nervous because I initially bought my dress to small in hopes that I would drop a few pounds. I kind of got off to a late start on my weight loss journey, I have to be honest. Thankfully I've finally got going and things are seriously changing. Old clothes are now fitting and things just look better. I'm extremely pleased. Weight loss is not a fast process, this has taught me a lot of patience and endurance. Many brides face these issues and all are not successful. Through instagram I have been blessed to link up with Trainer Maria Jones owner of Body By Maria and she has worked my butt off these past three months. Maria is no joke! She's everything I need If not more...I certainly suggest you follow her on instagram for lots of great tips and tricks.
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Working out with Maria I've lost 16 pounds and 4 inches from my waist. I'm also happy to say, my wedding dress is too big! Can you believe it? After all that grief, it's completely too large. I was so excited I could have kissed the bridal consultant at Bella Rosa Bridal after she helped me in my dress. I have been eating right for the most part and working out consistently. This is probably one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I'm doing it. So, of course I'm all nervous now because I don't want any alteration drama. After speaking with the alterations department at Bella Rosa, they're able to take my dress in up to 10 sizes without altering the over all look of the dress. That was also exciting new, because my dress has to look right. This is a once in a life time day. Everything has to be exceptional. My gut is going down, that pouch is becoming a thing of the past! I cannot complain. When I walk down the aisle, you will know this body is by Maria! Right now I personal train once a week and I attend her "Butts and Gutts" classes! If you're in Richmond, join in some of the fun with me.

I'm excited about my weight loss. I'm excited it's all coming together. I really cannot wait for the day to come. I'm savoring every moment of this experience. It's getting better and better each day. We also were able to lock down our main wedding photographer Courtney from Through My Lynnz photography. With our wedding package came a free engagement shoot and since we've had so many we just took some nice holiday pictures. She did an awesome job. I'm happy we went with her and I certainly cannot wait for her to capture our big day. Check out some of the pictures we took below. It was fun! Please check out Courtney at www.ThroughMyLynnz.com. Once again Merry Christmas, Signing Off -- Ash

 
 
Hey love bugs! It's been quite a long time since I've updated my blog, but I'm still here and the wedding plans are all falling into place! I am done planning! I don't have anything aspect of the wedding that is not planned with the exception of the menu, but that's not anything major. The month of October was dedicated to my girls. This month we pretty much locked in what they would be wearing and we also purchased the dresses. Everyone is ready and set for the big day!
I'm sure most of you watched Nene's wedding. Of course I did! It was a little over the top for me but the look of the wedding was EVERYTHING to me! I loved it....It just looked royal and everyone looked awesome that attended and that were in the wedding. What stuck out the most to me was her bridesmaids, they were all in the same color but they all had their on individual style. I loved that! It's 2013 nobody really wants to have to wear a "uniform" in your wedding. Watching Nene's wedding let me know I am right on track with my girls. I'm not all about the matchy matchy. As long as the dresses were the same color and material I was good.
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Thankfully my girls all picked dresses that will work well with their body type. I also gave them the opportunity to pick their own shoes as long as they were all the same color. I mean I know what I like, but what I like may not be what they like. Plus, comfort is everything...if they aren't comfortable they won't look comfortable. So they're all wearing nude color shoes of their choice. I told them to get creative with their shoes, I'm a shoes person so fancy shoes are necessary. Fancy shoes make for a beautiful shoe picture with my girls! So far about 4 of my girls have their shoes and so far they are stunning! I'm so excited for this to come to life. I love how they're taking my idea and my dream and incorporating their personality.

So...the girls are just about done with the serious stuff. It's all fun and games from this point forward! I have a really big something planned for them in January to kick off the year of the wedding and to kick off the party! They have their dress, I finally have my dress and my momma even has her dress! We are ready to have a wedding! 185 Days to go!!! So with nothing else to do I'm focusing on becoming a healthier me! I'm already down inches and pounds, no numbers necessary just look for a new and improved me. Tootles...
 
 
Hey My Loves! How has everyone been doing? I've been doing awesome, coming up on my deadline and I'm right where I want to be. I've pretty much planned this wedding. I've picked all my vendors and locked in my date with them so we are ready to go with this wedding! The only thing left to do is pick our menu with Center Stage and it's ON! I'm super excited I just can't wait for it all to unfold, but on to the real topic at hand....SMALL DETAILS.
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I'm really big on details with anything The details are what set things apart and really take things from good to great. I mean, lets just be honest anyone can put on a white dress, rent a venue and come down the aisle. It's not really about the white dress or the venue. It's about what you did with that white dress and how you made that venue yours for one night that people remember. Those are the things that keep people attentive and it also helps them enjoy the night.

As stated in previous blogs, my theme is more along the lines of a modern vintage feel. I am absolutely in love with this theme because it is full of small details. It reminds me of taking a plain white t-shirt and jazzing it up with a beautiful statement necklace. The base of this theme is super classic and plain but the details take you right over the top.
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So  I've been on a quest to make the small details worth while! But how? The big name rental companies don't have vintage furniture and vintage items for rent. Where are these people getting all this stuff? I searched and I googled and I searched some more and I googled more and the skies began to open with retro rental places in Richmond! You can rent anything from bride and groom Victorian seating, to type writers, to vintage couches. I was so excited to discover these things right at my finger tips! I mean seriously when you go to weddings there is a lot to take in at once in a small amount of time. The basics you more than likely skip over but the details you never forget! So why not serve your signature drinks in mason jars? Why not have the bride in groom seated in a vintage love seat? Why not decorate your guest book area with a vintage type writer? Why not make them search for your something blue? I mean after all. you do want this to be a night to remember, right?

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With a little over 7 months to go and just about all the big things done for this wedding, I'm mastering my small details. Those are the things that you won't forget. Remember that in life the small details are what get noticed...You won't ever forget May 3rd 2014! Next up, Bridal party meeting this Saturday. Of course they're spoiled Aaron is taking the guys out to dinner while us girls stay home with food I've had catered for them.  This is the final meeting before the dresses are ordered and the tuxedos are rented! It's really coming to life...and I so happy it's all working wonderfully. Until next time, PEACE!

 
 
Hey My Loves! Can you believe I'm coming up on 8 months to go?!?! I'm getting so excited. I feel like it is 8 days to go. I honestly feel like I'm running out of time, but I'm not. I'm so thankful to have time on my side currently. I see so many people and hear so many wedding horror stories about rushing and last minute stuff and one thing I can't stand is to rush! So now that I'm at 8 months I've pretty much narrowed down all the vendors I'm using for my wedding. We've paid most of my deposits and the wedding is well in the wind! Making these decisions are so hard for me though. I just want everything to be right! I have way to much time for this not to be just about perfect.
One of my biggest hang ups is this veil, I thought I loved the birdcage but after further review I'm torn. I love them all, I think they look so sacred and they really complete the look of the bride. I like the forehead tiara's, head chains,  hair broaches...I just want it all. I look at them daily. My dress should be finished being made and shipped by the end of this month so maybe I can try on some different looks to really get a feel for what I want. I know Bella Rosa will hook me up! I'm not really worried at all.
What's next, not much. The guys are getting their tuxedo's in November and the girls are getting their dresses in October. I'm excited because the tuxedo's Aaron picked and the dresses the girls will be wearing are gorgeous. It's exciting to see it come together piece by piece. I know everyone will look stunning. The guys and girls are having meetings in September to go over their final look, cost, and deadlines.
So let's do a mini vendor roll call...It's not that many but still....They are the bomb, check them out for your events!

-Floral/ Décor: Master's Touch Florist

-Videography: Blackwunda Films

-Music: The Harp Sisters/ Mr. Jake (Precise Marketing)/ Farnetta Baker of Shadz of Soul

-Bridal Jewelry: Shear Essence

-Tuxedos: 707 Men's Boutique

-Bridesmaids Dresses: HouseOfBrides.Com

-Wedding Gown: Bella Rosa Bridal

-Makeup: Fab Faces by Brandy

-Transportation: First Class Limo

That's all for right now, I'm still finalizing other things like the photographer and stationary. It honestly feels good to be on the down slope of this wedding planning. My goal is to be completely finished with picking vendors by the end of September with all deposits paid. Once 2014 hits we will be moving into our new home and enjoying the pre-wedding festivities! I cannot wait! I'm so ready to show you guys all of our hard work and effort! Until next time....Tootles.
 
 
Hey My Loves! The 2013 wedding season is drawing near it's end, Congratulations to all my beautiful brides of 2013! Of course the year isn't over but wedding season is generally from May throughout the month of August. Typically in July the wedding trends for the following year begin to surface and since we are about 10 months out on my wedding I'm really watching the trends closely. Not because I intend on changing anything about my wedding, but because I just want to know if I'm on track or am I marching to the beat of my own drum! I've never been one to follow trends in fact, I've always done my own thing and if it's within the trend, it's within the trend...if not...well then it's not! I'm fine either way...Well after much research, lots of magazines, and blogs it's safe to say one of the main trends for 2014 is the return of "Black Tie"!
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If you know me then you know I've always been an old school jewel! If it's not broke don't fix it. I've never been into the watering down of certain things. In example, people have really gotten into not dressing for the occasion...at work we no longer wear business professional attire but we can wear jeans and sneakers, at church the same. I'm over it...I love dressing up! There's nothing like a nice dress or a man in a nice suit. I love it when everyone is looking their absolute best. When you look good usually you feel good. So when I saw the 2014 trend was "Black Tie", I nearly hit the floor! I've been singing black tie since the day I got engaged. I absolutely love black tie attire. What's crazy is I've been getting questioned "What is black tie?" "Am I suppose to wear a black tie?" "Church clothes right?"

...Black tie is what we now call "formal." Since Aaron and myself are having a vintage themed wedding we have opted to use the terms "Black Tie." Back in the 1920's and 1930's "formal" was "Black Tie." There's something about that look I love! There weren't a lot of colors  involved and those colors that were used were those of more regal and royal tones, clean lines, and not a lot of prints. So to know my choice in attire for our wedding party and guests is right on target with the 2014 trends has me totally excited! To answer the many questions though, black tie is not quite church attire, but more dressy. It isn't what I would call formal either....black tie is more of a trendy look. Very classy with some sex appeal, so fellas can opt out of your normal neck ties, and wear a bow tie, or an ascot or even no neck wear at all and the right sports jacket. For ladies, typically pants aren't appropriate, but instead we should wear longer length dresses with lower necklines with beautiful jewelry.  When I think of black tie attire it always takes my mind to the Oscars. Everyone always comes to the Oscars looking awesome. Our wedding is not an Oscar event, there won't be a red carpet or flashing lights but it will be a night you won't forget. I certainly look forward to seeing all of our guests in they're beautiful attire. Both of us come from well dressed families so I am not concerned about them showing off! Until next time....-Ash
 
 
Also! We were featured on the wonderful blog, P.S. Love You Lots! Our save the date and love story was posted as one of their love stories. Thanks P.S. Love You Lots! Check them out at www.psloveyoulots.com and comment on our feature! Also, There have been a few minor updates to our wedding website http://www.mywedding.com/aaronlovesashlie. Check that out and comment in our guest book to let us know you checked it out!
 
 
Hey Beauties! So I haven't updated this in quite some time. I've missed my blog as much as you guys have! It took me a while to actually get my thoughts for this post together. It's been a trying couple of weeks...to say the least.
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So Aaron and I have been having a bit of challenges. Nothing big really...all relationships have them. If you're relationship doesn't then someone is lying. Nothing in life in perfect, there are only perfect moments. As stated in previous posts Aaron and I have been in marriage counseling with a great pastor. He has really helped us get thing on the right track. Things weren't ever really on the wrong track, but lets just say we needed some divine intervention to bring things were they need to be before we make this huge step. Marriage is not about having a your dream wedding and waking up to the man of your dreams only. Marriage is about commitment, the commitments....to myself, my love, and to god. The counseling really bought that home for me. I've lived 25 wonderful years of getting exactly what I want when I want it. Welp, the harsh reality is...it's no longer what I want but what WE want. The thought alone takes some getting use to. It's not easy, we've been together almost 6 years and walking away probably has crossed our mind more than enough. Every time I start walking something makes me stay, even if I tried to forget I cant...So I know its mean to be, but we needed to make sure it's meant to last FOREVER.

I've learned so much during the 3 counseling sessions we have had. I've laughed, got mad and cried tears of joy. I say, I needed it...I needed it because we walked into that counseling session thinking "opposites attract" counseling is almost over and the truth is opposites don't attract we attract our reflection. Nobody want's their opposites really, they want a person that understand, and wants to do things that they like, a person that can fill in the blanks or fit where the pieces are missing. I also learned that my love for Aaron should be one that match the love god has for me. What I learned is...If love were like magnets and attracted it's opposites it would be too easy. It's hard to look at someone and see yourself, because then you see the good, the bad, and the great about not only them but about yourself. The beauty in all of this is WE can work on becoming a better US together.
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I'm so thankful to have been provided guidance from a wonderful pastor. I can finally dance in our rain because I know that rain showers produce beautiful flowers. So while the last few weeks have been trying I see the light. Planning a wedding is more than a pretty white dress. Planning a wedding is also planning a life together. I'm happy to know that our life together may not be perfect but we have put the proper tools in place to always be able to keep our foundation of LOVE together. I'm excited for May 3, 2014....because my wedding will be everything that I dreamed of and a new life as one will begin.
-Signing Off

"Love Bears All Things Believes All Things Hopes All Things Love Never Fails"
1 Corinthians 13:7-8