Bridal Bliss: Ashley and Ricky

College sweethearts Ashley and Ricky were long distance lovers doing their best to pass the time until the day she opened the door expecting the FedEx guy and saw him on bended knee at her door instead.

Charli Penn Sep, 25, 2013

1 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

“I knew Ricky was special back in college,” insists Ashley. “We just clicked, but being away from your partner and best friend for three years really puts things into perspective. During our time apart, I knew that he was the one when I couldn’t fathom a future without him in it.”

2 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

“My wedding dress was designed by Vera Wang,” says Ashley. “It came from her Fall 2012 Collection. I fell in love with the dress as soon as I saw the images from the runway.”

3 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

“Ricky was made for me,” says the bride. “I can’t describe it, but I just knew that we would be in each other’s lives for a long time.”

4 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

“I chose to make Ashley my wife because in all the years of my life, I never felt more happy or complete than when I was with her,” says the proud groom. “What made it all come together was when she moved away and every day apart was never the same. This was just further confirmation that she was the one.”

5 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

“Ricky is a strong, God-fearing, compassionate man,” Ashley shares. “I love that I am able to be 100-percent myself with him. We just fit.”

6 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

I don’t have a vast knowledge of flowers, so I relied heavily on my floral designer, Danny Wilson of The Savage Garden,” says Ashley, who wound up carrying this lovely bouquet of ivory roses, spray roses, white dahlias, dusty miller foliage, baby’s breath, echevaria succulents, amnesias, purple smoke tree foliage and white hydrangeas. “We selected the flowers because it achieved a certain look and it also worked within our budget.”

7 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

Ashley chose well when it came to her wedding gown hunt. Her Vera Wang trumpet gown was stunning from all angles.

8 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

Ashley’s bridesmaids and maid-of-honor gowns were designed by Alvina Valentina. “We selected the dresses because they worked well on all of the girls,” she recalls. “I loved the structure and the color was gorgeous.”

9 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

To complement the bridesmaids, Ricky’s groomsmen wore slim modern fit tuxedos from Vera Wang. “The look that we were going for was a modern tuxedo style with skinny ties instead of the traditional bow tie, vest or cummerbund combo. Ricky chose the tuxedo, but with my approval,” said the bride.

10 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

Ricky and Ashley held their ceremony and reception at the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta. "I immediately fell in love with the architecture of the space," says the bride. "It had so many intricate touches. The hotel is just beautiful. It was definitely the perfect location."

11 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

“I knew that Ashley was the woman for me when I first met her,” says Ricky. “She was different from other encounters. The way that our personalities meshed, I knew that we would always be together.”

12 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

“Ricky is his own man,” says Ashley. “He’s the kind of guy who means what he says and does what he says. He’s genuine, caring, intelligent and funny.”

13 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

Classic bride Ashley was escorted down the all-white aisle by her father to the sounds of “Cannon in D” by Pachelbel.

14 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

Ashley’s childhood Pastor, Marlin D. Harris of New Life Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, officiated the couple’s ceremony during which they exchanged traditional vows.

15 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

"We had a unity candle lighting, a special poem read (The Art of Marriage by Wilfred A. Peterson) and we participated in a first communion as husband and wife," says Ashley.

16 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Wallace!

17 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

“When I first saw him standing at the altar, I couldn’t hold back tears,” says the beaming bride.

18 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

“I’ve never been so happy in my life than on that day,” says Ashley. “Looking into his eyes was everything. I was overcome with pure joy because we made it.”

19 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

“For me everything was about her that day and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her,” says Ricky. “Ashley was so beautiful in her dress and I knew that I was looking into the eyes of the woman I would be spending the rest of my years with. I could see the love in her eyes as I looked into them and I know that she could see the same in my eyes.”

20 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

Ashley and Ricky used the same hotel ballroom for the ceremony and reception party. “Danny and I went with a sophisticated whimsy décor style with tall silver containers and baby’s breath,” she tells us. “It was a classic choice for the venue. They were accented nicely with the short alternative arrangement and ivory silk linens. We had candles everywhere for a romantic flair.”

21 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

After entering the reception dancing to “I Feel Good” by James Brown, Ricky and Ashley shared a romantic first dance to “Because I Love You” by Lenny Williams. The song was special because Ricky sang this song to me on our first date in 2007.

22 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

“We felt our theme was sophisticated whimsy,” Ashley explains. “We used bronze, gold and a few silver notes.  The deep purple in the echevaria succulents played a large roll in the scheme. I absolutely loved the ivory damask and ivory lace linens with gold accents. I loved every single detail.”

23 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

“We had a lemon raspberry cake with a raspberry ganache,” says Ashley of the beautiful confectionary masterpiece they cut on their wedding day. “After the tasting, this was the cake that we could both agree on. It was delicious.”

24 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

The newlyweds posed for wwedding photos inside of the Georgian Terrace hotel and in front of the Fox Theatre.

25 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

"Being a bride was a surreal experience," Ashley says. "You’re full of emotion and excitement. I definitely had a ball that weekend. it was the best experience of my life."

26 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

One hundred and seventy five guests showed up to help Ashley and Ricky celebrate the most romantic day of their lives.

27 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

"There were small oops here and there but overall it was truly a beautiful day," says Ashley. "We ran a little late the morning of the wedding. But, I imagine that’s pretty typical."

28 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

On the morning after the wedding, Ashley and Ricky left for their weeklong island honeymoon getaway in the Floriday Keys.

29 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

Ashley usually wears her natural hair curly, but on her wedding day, she was determined to wear it straight. She went through numerous hair trials to achieve this stunning style and the result was pure perfection.

30 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

"Ricky graciously let me and my mom plan the decorative details of the wedding," says Ashley. "He was very concerned with the food selections for the guests and the DJ. I would say those were the areas where we collaborated very well. It was a learning process as it was the first time we were making major decisions together."

31 of 31 Erik Umphery Photography

Can you feel the love? We sure do. If you loved Ashley and Ricky's modern-meet-traditional wedding style as much as we did, leave the newlyweds a little comment love below. Want to see your wedding featured in Bridal Bliss? Email us now.


# Weddings


# Weddings