It’s hard to believe that my friends Ashley and Brian Newman have been married 4 years. I was with them for their first ceremony (which they call their ‘ii do’), and was very honored when they asked me to document their vow renewal ceremony in the north suburbs of Chicago.
Ashley, a lifelong free-spirit, had this to say about the day: “When we first got married, the wedding was planned in 9 days, and someone asked if I ever regretted not having or planning a large wedding, and I just told them that I would rather just keep getting married to Brian over and over again…”
Ashley continues: “So here we are four years after our first ceremony (what we call our “ii do”), with 2 kids and another on the way, and it was time for a Newman family ‘reNEWal.'”
Ashley and Brian’s dear friend, Reverend Ryle Irish, was present to marry them all over again among all the moss covered trees and chirping birds.
To make the intimate ceremony really special, they decided to both write their own vows, something they hadn’t done for the first wedding.
The thoughtfully composed and heart-felt words made all present sets of eyes misty.
Ashley provided wonderful insight into her creative process in planning the day: “When planning this second event, we decided to leave the decorations up to God and all His natural wonderment, and just focus on us, who we are and have grown to be over these last four years.”
She continues: “To compliment the natural decor of our wooded backdrop, Overland, a small family clothing company near my hometown in Iowa, would be a perfect fit for our a lot of the guys’ wardrobe and our accessories.”
Regarding her dress: “The dress I wore was designed by one of my dearest friends, Elise Bergman, and it was a true honor to have my Lavender Blue Dilly, Dilly dress (my favorite song by Burl Ives) and wear it for our 4 year vow reNEWal.”
Ashley, as always, looked amazing. Her wardrobe choices were spot-on and the makeup design by Nika Vaughan (who was with me at the first Newman wedding, as well) was a perfect compliment. Ashley writes about Nika “…she made me feel extra beautiful that day.” I’m very lucky to be collaborating with these two talented artists!
Every detail was thought out and individualized.
Brian’s look complimented Ashley’s perfectly. They’re a match made in heaven!
Then the newly renewed Newmans were off to celebrate their union with some fishing (and relaxation!) by the lake.
Ashley made sure that she and Brian had all the essentials for their afternoon.
We found a cozy dock by the edge of the pond at which to settle down. Ashley set to work…
Everything they could need was in the tackle box.
Brian cast out the line while Ashley kept her eye out for passing fish.
The fish weren’t biting, but that was okay. This happy couple was too excited to sit still.
It was their wedding, after all, and what’s a wedding without a first dance?
Reverend Ryle was there to play his guitar and serenade.
Ryle can stir emotions with his ballads, but he knows some great dance song, too!
And of course, there was a bouquet toss. Who do you think was the lucky person to catch it?
Ashley and Brian displayed the cake toppers they used at their first wedding celebration.
Ashley even thought to include a sweet treat in the tackle box so they would have a place to reside.
Brian poured some coffee as they took a seat on a downed tree.
Love is sweet!
And, of course, I wanted to take portraits of this photogenic couple among the timber.
Ashley displays her bouquet, which was arranged by our good friends at Mille Fiori.
I can’t imagine a more perfect afternoon. The following series of photos were taken as we meandered our way back to town. No one among us was in a hurry.
We finally did arrive back to Central Street in Evanston, where Ryle was waiting for them at local diner Prairie Joe’s.
The trio looked over the menu, deciding on the perfect treat to enjoy at the end the day:
Congratulations on your reNEWal, Ashley and Brian!
I can’t wait to join you for all the reNEWals to come!