ASH­LEY DECKER & MAXX CUA

Inside Weddings - - Inside - June 11, 2016 Cincin­nati, Ohio | Pho­tographed by Kort­nee Kate Pho­tog­ra­phy

Septem­ber 3, 2016 Nashville, Ten­nessee Pho­tographed by Chard Photo

CARO­LINE EVELO & SHANE DAVIS

Dur­ing nearly two years of plan­ning, Ash­ley was sur­prised by how much she en­joyed co­or­di­nat­ing the de­tails of the day with her team of wed­ding pro­fes­sion­als. Since the cou­ple re­sides in Nashville, they chose to wed in the cap­i­tal of Ten­nessee. “We wanted our friends and fam­ily to see where we now call home,” de­clares the bride. “Nashville is such an in­cred­i­ble city and we wanted to share that with our guests.” Loved ones were in­vited to the fes­tiv­i­ties by way of a chic black, white, and gold in­vi­ta­tion suite fea­tur­ing a mar­ble mo­tif de­signed by Nico and Lala.

Prior to the cer­e­mony, at­ten­dees en­joyed a Cham­pagne toast in the court­yard of the down­town re­cep­tion venue be­fore be­ing trans­ported to the tra­di­tional house of wor­ship. Since the sanc­tu­ary dé­cor is so beau­ti­ful as is, sim­ple ar­range­ments of ivory and blush blooms were the only em­bel­lish­ments nec­es­sary. Ash­ley was glow­ing in a form-fit­ting gown with a flared skirt as she made her way to­ward her sweet­heart at the al­tar. The service was of­fi­ci­ated by a bishop who bap­tized the bride and mar­ried her par­ents as well as her brother and sis­ter-in-law. “It was re­ally spe­cial for us that he was there to per­form our cer­e­mony,” she con­firms.

Fol­low­ing the vow ex­change, at­ten­dees con­vened at the sym­phony cen­ter to cel­e­brate with the new­ly­weds. While guests en­joyed cock­tail hour, the bride and groom took part in a pri­vate din­ner and toast. “We were so happy to have that time alone since we did not do a ‘first look.’ The day goes by so quickly, so it was spe­cial to re­flect and en­joy to­gether,” ex­presses Ash­ley. As friends and fam­ily en­tered the con­cert hall for din­ner, they were wel­comed with glam­orous dé­cor in a fes­tive pal­ette of black, ivory, gold, and sil­ver. Round and square ta­bles strewn with ebony linens dis­played both high and low ar­range­ments of snowy blooms. Each place set­ting show­cased an ebony menu card with gold foil cal­lig­ra­phy and a sin­gle bloom. A large head ta­ble fea­tured a cus­tom mir­rored top, which re­flected a lush twotiered flo­ral chan­de­lier sus­pended over­head.

“It was our goal to give ev­ery­one a mem­o­rable week­end by mak­ing sure

they felt as spe­cial as we

did.”

“We wanted the night to be a cel­e­bra­tion from start to fin­ish,” muses the bride. As such, Cham­pagne was a large theme of the event. Mini bot­tles were sent as save the dates and also placed in wel­come bags, a cus­tom cart of bub­bly was en­joyed dur­ing cock­tail hour, a sig­na­ture Cham­pagne cock­tail was served, and over­sized bot­tles were used as ta­ble mark­ers. “Mu­sic was an­other theme as the wed­ding was held in ‘Mu­sic City,’” notes the bride. Rel­a­tives and friends signed a gui­tar in lieu of a guest book, which now hangs in the cou­ple’s home, and sur­prise per­form­ers en­ter­tained rev­el­ers through­out the evening.

A tow­er­ing seven-layer con­fec­tion adorned with gold sparkles and the duo’s mono­gram was on dis­play, and guests en­joyed craft­ing their own desserts at a cake-shot bar. When it came time for the spe­cial dances, the groom’s fam­ily sur­prised the bride by hav­ing leg­endary coun­try star Tim McGraw sing “My Lit­tle Girl” for the fa­ther-daugh­ter dance. Nolan Neal from The Voice then sang the mother-son dance, and a 16-piece band per­formed for the rest of the night un­til con­fetti erupted, sig­nal­ing the cou­ple’s grand exit.

More than any­thing else, Ash­ley and Maxx wanted their wed­ding to be a grand party with friends and fam­ily from all sea­sons of life. “It was our goal to give ev­ery­one a mem­o­rable week­end by mak­ing sure they felt as spe­cial as we did,” shares Maxx. Ash­ley con­firms that it was all she ever hoped for. “It was truly the best night of my life!” she says. “Our day was ab­so­lutely per­fect in my eyes. I just wish it didn’t go by so quickly!”

After dat­ing for three years, Me­lanie Her­man and Ja­son Kravitz were ready to get mar­ried. How­ever, Ja­son’s sis­ter had just got­ten en­gaged, and he wanted her to fully en­joy the spot­light. So the month fol­low­ing her March wed­ding, Ja­son was well pre­pared for his own pro­posal. He phoned Me­lanie’s mother to ask for her blessing, but it turned out to be a for­mal­ity. “When I called and asked her mom if she wanted to go to lunch, she replied, ‘I give you my per­mis­sion,’” Ja­son laughs. With his fa­ther in tow to help him shop, the hope­ful groom searched for three per­fect rings: one for his beloved and two for her twin daugh­ters, Olive and Paige. “Any pro­posal needed to in­clude them,” he con­firms.

One day, Me­lanie ar­rived home with her daugh­ters after their art class. Though all she had to carry were some pa­pers, Ja­son met them at the car to help. He then asked them to head up­stairs, which to their de­light had been filled with can­dles and roses. A di­a­mond ring – set in the mid­dle of two heart-shaped gem­stone rings – was dis­played on the ot­toman. “He made sure they said yes, too,” Me­lanie shares of the sweet mem­ory.

Plan­ning be­gan quickly, as the fam­i­lies of the bride and groom came over to cel­e­brate the pro­posal and a wed­ding date was picked that very day. Se­lect­ing a pro­fes­sional con­sul­tant was easy, as Ja­son’s best friend is mar­ried to a very tal­ented event plan­ner: Allyson Levine of Bob Gail Spe­cial Events. “I de­cided that I wanted a very mod­ern look; I didn’t want lace, pearls, or gold,” Me­lanie shares.

Pale blush tones were used in the flo­rals, and ini­tially the bride thought she would want those hues for the re­cep­tion as well, but a meet­ing with the team at White Lilac Inc. proved that dark pink blos­soms bet­ter suited her con­tem­po­rary vi­sion. “We de­cided that the wed­ding would have an om­bré ef­fect as guests shuf­fled from space to space through­out the day – the cer­e­mony start­ing with white, cream, and blush, mov­ing to more medium pinks for cock­tail hour, and fi­nally cul­mi­nat­ing the look of the re­cep­tion with full vi­brant pinks,” re­veals Me­lanie.

Hon­or­ing the her­itage of both the bride and the groom, the cou­ple was wed in a tra­di­tional Jewish cer­e­mony. Six brides­maids in rose-col­ored gowns pre­ceded Me­lanie down the aisle, while two maids of honor – her young daugh­ters – were clad in dar­ling dresses with tulle polka-dot­ted skirts. They car­ried the same lush bou­quets as the brides­maids so it would be clear to guests they were not serv­ing as flower girls.

To start the re­cep­tion, Olive and Paige made a grand en­trance, fol­lowed by the new­ly­weds. “I love the fact that they felt they were the most im­por­tant part,” gushes the bride. Me­lanie and Ja­son swayed to­gether to “To­day Was a Fairy­tale” by Tay­lor Swift while the girls danced around them.

The mod­ern vi­sion of the bride was ev­i­dent through­out the re­cep­tion space, but it was most ap­par­ent with the con­fec­tion. “How many peo­ple can say they had their wed­ding cake sus­pended from the top of a chup­pah with no ta­ble un­der­neath?” asks the groom. Pink light­ing helped the struc­ture match the vi­brant re­cep­tion dé­cor, and the float­ing mas­ter­piece fea­tured an in­tri­cate fanned de­sign for a unique look. A live band en­ter­tained guests un­til after mid­night, when a DJ took over for the late-night crowd. “The dance floor was packed from the mo­ment the doors opened un­til the end of the night!” ex­claims the bride.

To stay look­ing pic­ture-per­fect the whole event, Me­lanie had her makeup and hair touched up be­tween each part of the day. She also had a day-of seam­stress, who kept her bridal gown clean after out­door pho­tos dirt­ied the skirt. “I highly rec­om­mend hav­ing a seam­stress on hand,” she notes. There was noth­ing she would have done dif­fer­ently, though Ja­son ad­mits to one thing he’d fix: “I would have pro­posed sooner.”

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