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Ashley & Mel- A Special Wedding Ceremony to Become a Family of 3

Ashley & Mel- A Special Wedding Ceremony to Become a Family of 3

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Ashley and Mel had to postpone their first lot of wedding plans due to covid restrictions. Little did they know that this worked perfectly in their favor, and the perfect venue popped up to set their scene for a dark, moody, and candlelit wedding.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do for work and fun?

Mel is an IFBB Professional Bodybuilder and owns her own personal training business, and Ashley is a barber. We love our family time with our four and a half-year-old son and hosting dinner parties for our friends. 

We have been together for three and a half years ago. It all started with an intentional right swipe. After talking online for a few weeks, Mel made the one and a half-hour drive to meet Ashley for their first date. They hit it off immediately and ended up spending the entire weekend together, and from that point forward, their love for one another grew rapidly. 


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Tell us about the proposal.

Ashley proposed to Melissa romantically at home one evening. She told Melissa to sit on the couch and close her eyes. When Melissa opened her eyes, she was surprised to tears, finding herself surrounded by candles with Ashley down on one knee. 

However, Ashley didn’t know that she had just beat Melissa to the punch. Melissa had been pre-planning a proposal to Ashley only a few short months later during their vacation in Costa Rica. 

After Melissa won her IFBB Pro Card during a competition in Costa Rica, they traveled to the coast. Mel asked Ashley to wake up early to watch the sunrise on a famous black sand beach, where Mel got down on one knee herself and proposed to Ashley, too!  

We were engaged for longer than anticipated as Covid interrupted our original plans to get married in August 2020. However, we still managed to get married about one year after the second proposal, in October 2020. 

Any stories from the lead up to the wedding stressful or funny?

We had an entire wedding planned in Ucluelet, British Columbia, in August. When March hit and our city went into lockdown, we had to make the difficult decision to cancel our destination wedding. There was too much unknown at the time to commit to that venue and worry our guests about traveling, when we had no idea what kind of provincial health orders would be in place come August. 

Fortunately, we feel that this worked out in our favor, as the wedding we did end up planning involved a new location we absolutely loved. We wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with vendors at the original location due to distance/travel and a fairytale day we feel so lucky to have had. 

What lead you to the venue and overall vibe of your wedding?

We envisioned a moody, romantic, dark, candlelit wedding. After looking at quite a few locations near our home, we ended up falling in love with Fireside Grill. The vaulted ceilings and gorgeous chandeliers, and dramatic fireplaces were so beautiful. 

Ashley and I are very romantic and sensual people, and we affiliate those feelings with a dark and moody vibe. Together we loved the look of a dark (black, eggplant, deep reds, and pale pink accents) pallet and wanted our weddings overall feel to be dark, sexy and romantic.  

We wanted our guests to be taken care of, with lots of food, drinks, and entertainment. So, we had a red carpet set up with a photographer during the cocktail hour with non-stop appetizers and a photo-booth for fun after dinner. Keeping in mind, this was a Covid wedding, where guests weren’t allowed to leave their table to mingle, let alone dance, so we had to get creative and keep things interesting. 

Talk to us about the big day! 

We woke up and face-timed Ashley’s best friend in Winnipeg as she wasn’t able to travel due to covid travel bans. After that, we had breakfast together and showered, then parted ways and spent the morning apart, getting ready. 

Our first look was on our hotel’s rooftop. Where we then had our family meet us for all of our family photos to be taken. Following that, our family left to the venue in a limo while we had a moment in our hotel room together. We had a glass of wine and soaked in what the rest of the day was about to bring.

The ceremony was so special, where our officiant worked very hard to make it extremely personal to our story. Our vows to one another were very heartfelt but also included humor and lots of talk about tacos! We had a champagne toast with all of our guests following our first kiss, which was a lot of fun.

Our sisters gave speeches as well as our parents, which ended the dinner service. We had our first dance, which was beautiful, and following that we cut our cake and ate cupcakes. We danced with our moms and our dads (this was approved by the Health Inspector, as Covid Regulations halted all dancing at events).

It was a wonderful day filled with so much love, and it flew by too fast!

Any favorite moments?

We did the first look before the wedding ceremony, and then the two of us rode in the limo together alone on the way to the ceremony. It was really special having that time together before walking down the aisle. 

The ceremony itself was so intimate and romantic. We loved saying vows to our son first before saying vows to each other. It was an extraordinary moment for Preston and us. Something the three of us will always remember, and so will our guests with not a single dry eye in the room during that moment. 

Do you have a stand out vendor?

How do we pick just one? From Chelsea, our photographer, going above and beyond and capturing our day so beautifully. To Danielle, our designer at Trend Decor bringing our wedding day vision to life and exceeding our expectations, to Poppies Floral Art creating the most beautiful floral arrangements. Walking into our reception was like walking into a fairy tale. The aroma of the flowers and the gorgeous candles and the sweetheart table was incredible. Also, with a special shoutout to our officiant. Chris-Ann Lake from Young Hip & Married who helped us design the most intimate and personal ceremony.

How did you incorporate your son into the wedding ceremony?

Mel has a four and a half-year-old son, Preston. It was incredibly important to us to include him in our wedding ceremony. We both wrote personal vows to him before exchanging vows to one another. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room, and it was an extremely special moment for us as we became a family of three. 

What does marriage mean to you?

Marriage is a thousand little things. It’s loving someone enough to step down to let them shine. It is friendship, being a cheerleader, and trusted confidant. It’s about loving your partner throughout years of life changes and growth. And, it’s forgiveness but also expectation. It’s about sexual compatibility and love and intimacy that never dies. It’s about devoting yourself to your partner no matter what and loving your partner through thick and thin. We will always fight for one another.

Anything you are glad you did? Or wish you didn’t do?  

Our original wedding plans did not involve having a decorator, and I planned to do all that myself. I am SO GLAD we hired Trend Decor because I could never imagine decorating our wedding to the caliber she did. 

Photography by Chelsea Warren Photography

Cake Ohh La La Cupcakes
Catering & Venue
Fireside Grill
Young Hip & Married
Decorative Elements Trend Decor Event Design
Poppies Floral Art
Lily Kennedy Custom
Gown Boutiques
Lily Kennedy Custom, Shades of White Bridal
Gown Designers
Mishka Badgley
Lustre of Pearl, Artistry by Alexa
Photo Booth
Mr. photobooth 
Rings Paul Mara Jewellers
Jimmy Choo, Miu Miu
Studio 745
Melanie Anne Designs
Suit Designer (Melissa’s 4-year-old son and MC)
The Russian Tailor

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