A shared affinity for antique lamps initially brought Ashley and David together. But it was their mutual eccentricities and love of nature that really sealed the deal for this couple. After an incredibly sweet proposal at Fallingwater, Ashley and David returned to that very spot to celebrate their lifelong commitment to each other…and it was exactly five years (to the day) after their very first date. But just wait – this wedding gets even more heartfelt. Ashley says, “Weddings are events but when you include those that you love and love you in return, they become so much more. The day becomes a gift.” Because of that, their day was chock full of heartfelt, familial touches. All of the florals used in the ceremony and reception were grown by Ashley's mom, and the bride's dried flower bouquet was arranged by the matron of honor. The father of the bride cut down a tree in his backyard to use as centerpiece decor. While there wasn't cake at this wedding, each of the pies were also made by the mothers of the bride and groom. Ashley herself made the corn hole boards and the stationery. The focus wasn't so much on DIY as it was on being authentic, and I think they totally nailed it. A few of my favorites?
- Ashley's dress. The off-the-shoulder Daughters of Simone number with lace trim made this wedding's boho vibe come to life.
- The ceremony location and decor. Ashley and David knew they had to get married outdoors. So the forest-y landscape of Fallingwater was picture perfect. They dressed it up with a floral and fabric covered arbor that was just divine.
- Yummy favors. Guests went home with their choice of a variety of homemade jellies, crafted with love by the mother of the bride.
Natalie Mancuso Photography beautifully captured this wedding that was a celebration of love, family, and individuality. I'm smitten.
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
David and I were set up by my best friend. She had known Dave for years, as he was a member of the same car club as her husband. After a breakup, she said to me, “I've got the perfect guy for you”. You know, people say these things but it's not very often that it is true.
She arranged for us to meet at an estate sale. You see, both of us were lifelong collectors of antiques and what some other people call junk. The meeting was a success and we started out as friends with a shared affinity for old lamps (of all things). After a few months, I got up the courage to ask Dave out on a date. We went on a short road trip to an auction of mid-century modern furniture in Medina, OH. On the two hour drive, I remember that we discussed our childhoods and upbringings. I was so happy to learn that he also grew up in the country, loved nature, but felt that the city suited him best. He was happiest that I was a Polish girl. After the auction, he wanted to take me out to a fancy meal and chose a steakhouse. It seems that I had forgotten to mention that I was a vegetarian. He was embarrassed and I was smitten.
After a year of dating, he asked me and my cat to move in. A year after that, we purchased a home together. We've been inseparable ever since, supporting each other and going on endless adventures.
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
Although Dave and I live in and love the city, we love the outdoors and love to camp. We try to sneak off for the weekend as much as we can and the proposal weekend was one of these times. We had spent a few days at our usual spot in the Laurel Highlands hiking, cooking, and foraging for wild mushrooms (we are members of the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club). After packing up and getting ready to head back home on Sunday afternoon, Dave suggested that we stop by Fallingwater. We had been there a dozen times before but I figured what the heck. We walked down the winding path to the overlook and sat on the bench to look at the house. There we sat surrounded by tourists. He turned to me and said, “This isn't how it was supposed to be.” Puzzled, I looked at him and I knew immediately that something was up. I asked, “What are you talking about?” to which he replied, “I was going to ask you to marry me.” Shocked, I quickly replied, “Are you proposing to me right now?” He nodded. I somehow managed to get out the words, “Well, you're going to have to ask me again!”
Right there, Dave got down on one knee, in front of all of those foreign tourists and asked me to be his wife. I was in shock and I was over the moon. Of course, I said “YES!”
He didn't have a ring and explained that he wanted to design one together. It was the best decision and I couldn't be happier with any part of it. He gets me and I get him. We are a team.
Describe the wedding. The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
We picked The Barn at Fallingwater because we knew that we had to be married outdoors. We are unconventional eccentrics. I work as a high school art teacher and David is a mechanical engineer. Fallingwater wasn't just a beautiful venue; it was symbolic of art and engineering coming together in the most important of places – the woods. Through this theme, we wanted to incorporate as many personal elements as possible. It wasn't as much about being DIY as it was being authentic. My mother grew most all of the flowers in her garden and both moms made the pies (no cake) and the cookies. My dad cut down a tree in their backyard to make slabs to support centerpieces. I can go on and on about the details but know that each one of theme is significant and symbolic. We even chose our wedding date of October 1 because it was the same day as our first date at the auction five years prior.
Our wedding wasn't just about Dave and me getting married. It was a celebration of us as individuals, of our families, and of life.
What made your wedding unique?
Seriously, the most unique and important part was the fact that Natalie was our photographer. Dave and I can clam up a little bit in front of some people but she made us feel so relaxed that it was if she wasn't there at all. We got to be ourselves on the most important day of our lives.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
Possibly my favorite moment of the day was a private one that was actually captured on film. I was standing at the altar, hand in hand with Dave as the preacher was delivering his sermon. I was overwhelmed and feeling so anxious. The day had been so busy and chaotic not to mention that the weather report had been threatening rain. I stood there and turned my head up at the sky. It was so blue and the clouds so puffy and white. I remember breathing in a huge sigh or relief and it was all I needed to be present, to calm down. After that, I gained my composure and was able to focus on the moment. It was then that I realized that all of my dreams were finally coming true.
What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
My day was so special because I sought the help of those around me that I love. For over a year, I got to have an incredible experience with my mother to plan so many elements of the day. These are important moments that will only help to surround you and your spouse with love and support. Weddings are events but when you include those that you love and love you in return, they become so much more. The day becomes a gift.
Dried Flowers for Bridal Bouquet: Roxanne's Dried Flowers | Bouquet Assembly: DIY | Bride's Dress: Daughters of Simone | Bride's Bracelet: Second Daughter | Bride's Earrings: Second Daughter | Bride's Rings: Custom made from WAX Jewelry Design Studio | Bride's Shoes: Steve Madden | Bridesmaids Dresses: ASOS, Free People, & Altar'd State | Calligraphy: Friend of the bride | Caterer: Just Ask Catering | Ceremony Location: The Barn at Fallingwater | Cornhole Boards: Made by the bride | DJ: DJ Zombo | Favor: Jelly homemade by the mother of the bride | First Anniversary Pinata: Made by the mother of the bride | Flowers: Grown by the mother of the bride | Hair: Eye Candy Salon | Makeup: DIY | Menswear: Alfani suits from Macy's with custom made ties from Zazzle | Photographer: Natalie Mancuso Photography | Reception Venue: The Barn at Fallingwater | Stationery: Designed by the bride