Ashley and Charles managed to make their Southern wedding a fabulous celebration of family and tradition.
They had so many vintage touches and nods to their family who also helped out with the wedding preparations. In a ceremony meant to create new family, Ashley and Charles did an amazing job honoring their families with a gorgeous wedding captured by KTB Sparkle Photography.
Ashley’s bouquet was a bed of white and pale green silk hydrangeas crowned by dozens of broaches from five generations of aunts and grandmothers. The center point of the bouquet was a necklace belonging to her great, great, great grandmother, Ola Cole Ashley, her namesake. Then to finish the bouquet the handle was wrapped with a dress tie belonging to her late grandfather, Mr. Harold Stevens. She carried her family history in her hands on one of the most important days of her life.
The family theme was continued with her hair complemented by a vintage comb of pearls and swarovski crystals, a gift from her step-mother, Mrs. Sherrie Loftin. The center point of the wedding ceremony featured a white column holding a pillow where the rings were placed. The pillow had been used in her grandparents, Harold and Jeannette Stevens’, wedding. A Missing Man Memorial was placed on the ceremony mantel and featured the bride’s late cousin, Park Coleman Stevens, her grandfather, Harold Stevens, and her great grandmother, Faye Millender.
Following the ceremony, the vintage theme was carried into the reception area catered by Bar-B-Que On Wheels, the bride’s father’s business. The bride’s cake was a three tiered pound cake and iced with caramel, and the groom’s was a carrot cake, both made by the bride’s grandmother, Mrs. Jeannette Stevens. The entire venue was decorated by the bride’s first cousin, Laura Ashton Stevens, in order to display antique family heirlooms and memorabilia.
Every tiny detail in the wedding was touched by family history – from the guest book adorned with a tablecloth used to register guests during the bridal shower of the bride’s grandmother, Mrs. Jeannette Stevens, to the photographs of the bride and groom and their families across the ages.
From Mid-South Bride Ashley
Tell us your love story. How did you meet and fall in love?
We met while I was finishing my Master’s Degree from Mississippi State University in 2012. We met through a mutual friend and instantly connected.
After about two months of dating, we exchanged the words “I love you,” and Charles even proposed marriage then with a plastic ring of his niece’s and said one day he’ll give me a real one. Over the next several years, we built a life together, and on August 30, 2014, Charles proposed marriage with a real diamond ring.
On August 30, 2014, Charles and I started our night with dinner and a shower with watching the Cirque Shanghai Warriors at the Pepsi Skyline Stage at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL. The show started at 8:00 P.M., and it was a hot summer night. After the show, we stayed at Navy Pier to watch the last fireworks over Lake Michigan of the summer. The fireworks started around 10:00 P.M., and by 10:17 P.M. we were ENGAGED!
While I was busy with my iPhone taking photographs of the sky lighting up over Lake Michigan, Charles was slowing and discretely pulling out a tiny box from his pocket. I looked down to my lap and started crying. He had placed the, now opened, ring box in my lap with the most beautiful engagement ring staring back at me. I looked over at Charles through tear filled eyes, and he said “will you?” with a huge grin on his face. I blinked and started showering him in kisses. He had to ask me three times before I realized that I hadn’t said yes yet!
Tell us about your wedding. What was your wedding vision?
I have one word that will sum up our summer wedding….Southern! When I hear the words “southern wedding,” I automatically think bar-b-que, caramel cake, and antiques; and our wedding had all three and so much more! When I envisioned my dream wedding, the word southern kept coming to mind. Therefore, our wedding was built around this word. It was in a barn, it was outside, and, yes, a sudden rain shower even cooled off our guests; it was a typical Mississippi summer day after all!
Our reception was a true southern family affair as our guests dined on classic southern favorites from bar-b-que and sweet tea to a caramel iced pound cake and homemade banana pudding, all cooked and prepared by the bride’s dad, grandmother, and stepmother. The entire venue was decorated by the bride’s first cousin, grandmother, and mother to display antique family heirlooms and memorabilia. Every tiny detail was touched by family history – from the guest book adorned with a tablecloth that was used to register guests during the bridal shower of the bride’s grandmother to photographs of the bride and groom and their families across the ages, to a tape recording of the bride’s late grandfather singing one of his favorite hymns during the wedding ceremony.
Our “southern wedding” was very much true to its theme with southern belles and gentlemen alike sharing in a celebration of love and family.
What was your favorite part of your wedding?
My favorite part of our wedding was my entrance. I walked out of the barn doors alone and met my dad at the end of the aisle and together we completed the walk for him to give me away. I chose to have a long walk because I adored my dress and the song I chose and wanted everyone to be able to stay seated and relaxed as I was having the longest discussion with myself and God.
Photos: KTB Sparkle Photography
Congrats Ashley & Charles!
Mississippi Wedding Vendors
- Venue: Hewlett Barn at Woodside Estates, Starkville, MS
- Photography: KTB Sparkle Photography
- Bridal Gown: dreamprom.com
- Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse
- Flowers: Turner’s Flowers and Gifts – Harolyn Turner of Okolona
- Caterer: Bar-B-Que On Wheels – Harold Loftin (Ashley Cole’s Father)
- Band: Bill Cooke Trio of Starkville
- Rentals: Big Show Rentals – Suzanne Word of West Point
- Hair Stylist: Tina Beth Cruse of Park Place Boutique and Salon, Columbus, MS
- Makeup Artist: Dwalette King of Starkville, MS