This week’s wedding is nothing short of exceptional! And I was honored to photograph Ashley and Brian’s wedding; they are an uber-amazing couple! They got married at River Farm, the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society. The rain was on and off all day, but we had enough of a break to make everything work during the day.
Ashley and Brian met back in 2004 during a voyage of Semester at Sea (the study abroad program where you get to study while on a cruise ship).
Reverand Luu, the officiant at the wedding, had this to say about their first encounter:
[Brian’s] first memory of meeting Ashley was in the lobby of the Holiday Inn in Nassau, Bahamas. He remembers this, but Ashley does not, and like any good companion, Brian gives her a hard time about this to this day. But the moment Brian saw Ashley, he knew he had to introduce himself. Now, while I’m sure Ashley appreciates that gesture now, she says that meeting was probably a quick handshake and introduction among a couple hundred that day.
Fortunately, Brian was not the only one who had noticed the connection and perhaps had outside help: a few days later was the first lecture on the ship to their first stop, Havana, Cuba. Ashley was late to the lecture so when she got there, she grabbed the first open seat she saw, next to Brian. She introduced herself—no word on whether Brian was thinking, “What? We already met!”— and they got to talking, and Ashley told Brian that she had friends of family to visit in South Africa and Brian told Ashley he had family to visit in South Korea. And then only a few minutes into the conversation, she invited him to join her on her trip in South Africa and he invited her to join him to meet his family in South Korea. Now, if it strikes you as odd that Ashley decided to invite anyone so early in the trip instead of waiting to establish some friendships first, she thought so too! But in her words, “I just felt so instantly comfortable around Brian, I had no hesitation.”
The first time Brian told Ashley he loved her, they were in the airport security line in Boston saying goodbye. Of that moment, Ashley says, “It was always so hard to say goodbye at the end of a weekend visit, but after he told me he loved me I smiled all the way home on the train back to my apartment.” And for Brian, that moment began months ago, when he says—and this is a quote— “It was love at first sight, in the lecture hall.”
In 2009, Ashley and Brian drove across the country together to move into their new place in Virginia. One day, soon after their arrival, Brian suggested they go kayaking on the Potomac in Georgetown, and when he brought along a backpack, Ashley had a feeling he was up to something… They rented a double kayak and a few minutes into the ride, from the seat behind Ashley, a very, very nervous Brian asked her to marry him. Her first words were “I knew it!” which Brian greeted with laughter.
Many thanks to Ian Sbalcio, the second shooter for the wedding. Also a big thank you to Kristi Hartig, of Glow Weddings and Events, who did an amazing job keeping the day perfectly orchestrated in the midst of the rain.