A Watercolor Lakehouse wedding for Ashley and Nathan was everything they had hoped and planned for in their special day.
We wanted to learn a little more about their story, and here’s what they had to say:
How did you meet?
December, 2015, I am standing next to my new friend at our company Christmas party, listening to a few of our coworkers deliver their holiday speeches. As I listen to this beautiful young woman, whom I had noticed a few weeks back hand delivering and hanging Christmas stockings in our smaller office, my friend leans in and asks me subtly, “what do you want for Christmas, Nate, do you have a Christmas wish?”
I answered immediately, “That beautiful girl standing right up there. That’s my Christmas wish!”
August, 2016, I left home for a two month, three country trip that was bound to have a great second half.
After a month in two less desirable countries, in my hand are two plane tickets: one to Johannesburg, South Africa, the other to Cape Town. A month in one of my childhood cities, but not without a short detour to Cape Town for the long weekend before the start of work.
It wasn’t just a short vacation that I was looking forward to, but more so, I knew of someone that would be on this trip as well. Someone that I had not yet formally met, but that I knew was a very special person. Someone that radiated good energy and positivity. That same someone I made a Christmas wish to have in my life.
Having taken not more than two steps into the airport in Pretoria, I heard a very unique, distinguishable voice; it was her! I could feel my heart beating through my chest as my nerves kicked in. Good nerves! As I approached the team, who had been in South Africa for a night already, to say “hi” for the first time, I gave a general “hello” to everyone. But when I caught her eyes for the first time, I gave a very specific, rather awkward and nervous at the same time, “Hi Ashley” to who I didn’t know at the time would become my future wife.
As the trip went on we became closer, sharing meals, exploring together, not leaving one another’s side. I introduced her to some family friends from my childhood whom we met with in Pretoria. One family friend in particular had a very big influence on the development of our relationship. He took us out often to dinner around town. He shared stories with us from when I was younger, even stories that I did not remember and was hearing for the first time as well. He took us to my childhood neighborhood and even to my old house. We appreciated the tours he gave and enjoyed his company, as he did ours, but he could tell there was something more than special between us. And so he encouraged us with his whole heart. Through his intuition, support and kind words, he helped form a special bond between Ashley and myself and eliminated the uncertainty and awkwardness that often accompany a new relationship, allowing our relationship to flourish from the beginning with no barriers. I owe this man the world.
As the trip neared it’s end, there was an uncertainty that left me anxious. All I could think of was how long will this last and how can I be sure that what we had would continue and grow when we returned home? I wasn’t sure what she was thinking or how she truly felt either.
One night at dinner, in the middle of a conversation, a friend looked at us and jokingly said “what happens in South Africa stays in South Africa.” Hearing this cliché nearly broke my heart, until the woman of my dreams looked at her with a look of hope and responded without hesitation, “I hope not, I want to bring this back home with us!”
Talk about a night maker. This helped clear most of the uncertainty that I felt. But what I didn’t know at that very moment was that we wouldn’t just take what we had back home with us, we would take it with us wherever life brought us and keep it with us forever.
How did he propose?
December, 2017, The day before our Christmas party, the Christmas Wish I had made at our same Christmas party two years ago came true when I asked Ashley to be my wife. What happens in South Africa may stay in South Africa, but we will always have a piece of that wonderful country in our hearts, and thus, what happened in South Africa will stay in our hearts and with us for the rest of our lives.
He proposed in a present at our family home right before Christmas. He had my family flown in from Florida watching from the window waiting to surprise me after I said yes!
Why did you choose 30A?
I grew up in the panhandle and always loved 30A. When I was showing off my hometown to my now husband, he fell in love with the 30A area. It was a perfect mix of everything we could have dreamed for our wedding day.
Venue: Watercolor Lakehouse Wedding
Video: Foraged Films
Ceremony Music: Chris Alvarado
Music (Band): The New Royals, Sam Hill Entertainment
Flowers/Decor: Kelli, Florals by the Sea
Hair: Kim Nelson Hair
Makeup: Jamie, Blush Beauty Lounge