For most brides, when you put on THE DRESS you know it’s it. For Ashley, it was the venue. She walked in to the President Hotel in downtown Kansas City and she was overwhelmed with excitement and tears… because THIS WAS IT: the place she would celebrate marrying her best friend with her closest friends and family members.
Ashley started her getting ready process at the home she grew up in, while Nick took it easy with his groomsmen at the hotel. The girls then packed up their belongings and headed to the church where her grandfather used to be a Pastor, which is where she would put on her dress, see Nick for the first time, and finally say, “I DO!!”
We highly encourage our brides and grooms to do a “First Look” before the ceremony because it gives us more time for bridal party photos after the ceremony so they can get to the reception as soon as possible to celebrate with their guests. This is a time for them to get some nerves out before the ceremony and have a very private moment with just the two of them since the rest of the day can get pretty busy. Nick and Ashley were not opposed to this idea at all, but their family requested to be in the room at the same time. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks after the wedding that we really understood their reasoning behind this, and it makes a lot of sense! Their parents asked to be there because that moment with the groom sees his bride for the first time (and vice versa) is a very exciting time for everyone… not just the bride and groom. Their parents wanted to be part of this special moment. After the happy tears were wiped away, they did leave the room to give the love birds some private time together to exchange letters.
This was one of my favorite moments of the day because Ashley has told me so much about Nick’s goofiness. On the way to the church she was telling me they weren’t doing gifts, but instead they were going to exchange letters… and she wasn’t too sure Nick had actually finished his. It was during the first look that he reached in to his jacket pocket and pulled out the letter he had written to her. She started reading it, looked up at him with her “You have to be joking, right?” eyes, only to see that he’d pulled another letter out of his pocket while she was reading. The first one made her chuckle, the second one touched her heart. Nick sure knows his girl :)
After the ceremony the bridal party ducked away from the threatening rain clouds and headed to the Liberty Memorial for some portraits. This is when the guys busted (ok, gently unbuttoned!) their shirts to reveal their true identities: SUPERHEROES!
Then the reception began: the colors of the day were based around the beautiful blues and greens of a peacock, mixed with the incredible golds in the reception hall at The Hilton President Hotel. They had a little twist to the “dollar dance” in that instead of the money going to them and their unplugged honeymoon in Ochos Rios Jamaica, the money was donated to two animal rescue shelters in the Kansas City area, because both Ashley and Nick have an incredible soft spot in their hearts for their rescues.
Ashley and Nick also had us bring our open air photo booth (the alternative to The Photo Bus!) to their reception, and it was so much fun!
To see their downtown KC engagement session, please visit their blog post with photos!