Ryan asked Ashley to marry him on a weekend trip to New York City to celebrate their second anniversary.
"Ryan planned a big weekend for us, complete with ice skating in Bryant Park, delicious dinners out, and staying at our favorite hotel in the city, the Ace Hotel," Ashley says." Ryan carried Ashley's emerald cut diamond engagement ring in his pocket all weekend long. Knowing Ashley would love a big scene, he planned an intimate, personal proposal at their hotel.
The couple, who live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, love the ocean. When deciding on where to get married, they headed north to check out the coast of Maine. "We were excited to find The Portland Company, as the city provided a wealth of activities for our guests, as well as some amazing food!" Ashley says.
For their big day, Ashley and Ryan decided to put their own personal stamp on their chosen venue. "To contrast the rustic, industrial feel of The Portland Company, we chose to use gold details and decor to evoke the Art Deco era," Ashley says. "I hand built the ceremony backdrop as well as the large chandelier over the dance floor." The couple now have the chandelier hanging in their apartment.
On the morning of their wedding day, Ashley and Ryan both got ready with their wedding parties at the nearby Press Hotel. "The day was relaxed, and we were able to enjoy the penthouse and roof deck while we got ready," Ashley says.
Their wedding ceremony was held in the machine room at The Portland Company. The ceremony was beautifully officiated by Ryan's aunt Patty and the couple exchanged their own handwritten vows. "We were beyond the moon to celebrate this momentous occasion with so many family members and friends," Ashley says.
Immediately following the ceremony, guests were escorted to the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad, an antique train that travels up and down the Maine coast, for a champagne toast. The cocktail hour and reception was held in the main room at The Portland Company. "Unbeknownst to us, when planning our wedding we chose to have it on a night where there was a total eclipse of a rare blood moon," Ashley says. "We and many of our guests were able to enjoy it from the water's edge."
In Her Words
We asked the bride more about the big day. Here's what Ashley said…
I wish…we could have spent more time with all of our friends and family, but there would never be enough hours in the day.
I didn’t realize…how much fun the day would be! Although we hoped the day to be great, we were worried that, as bride and groom, we would have too many obligations to enjoy it. The key was to stay in the moment and remember this was our day!
One of my favorite moments was…our train ride. There was absolutely nothing we could do but enjoy the moment with our family and friends.
I’m glad that…we kept things simple and saved money on things we didn't think we're necessary.
I really liked…that all elements to our day—ceremony, train ride, and reception—were in one location. There was no time wasted from traveling to a secondary location and we were able to enjoy all that our site had to offer.
My advice to other brides and/or grooms is…to make decisions quickly. It is easy to become caught up in the wedding mania and put too much emphasis on details that in the end do not matter much.