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Real Wedding: Ashley & Thomas

Bride: Ashley Jones Vermylen
Groom: Thomas Vermylen
Wedding gown style: Gwendolyn
Wedding date: September 17, 2011
Boutique purchased: Madison Avenue Flagship Store, NYC
Location: Ames, Iowa
Photographer:  Molly Michel of Mthree Studio

First things first, where did you meet your husband and was it love at first site? Tom and I met on a blind date in New York City. My sister and his cousin worked at the same law firm in Washington, DC and they decided to set us up. A few emails were exchanged about where to meet and that was it – no photos. Tom didn’t seem to be worried about recognizing each other – he told me he’d be wearing a blue sweater and had just gotten a haircut (as if I knew what his hair looked like before!). On the night of the date I called my dad, nervous about what I had agreed to and he told me, “Ash, just remember, most blind dates don’t work out.” As he mentioned in his father of the bride speech, he’s never been so wrong about something in his life! Tom and I hit it off right away and we were officially a couple in less than a month.

How did he propose? Tell us the story! On one of the first sunny days of spring, Tom suggested we go to Central Park for a picnic. This should have been the first clue that he was going to propose since he had never suggested a picnic in our four years of dating! I have a large gold bag that I used to pack our goodies and Tom offered to carry it (should have been the second clue) because he wanted to hide the ring. After a nice lunch, Tom suggested we take a walk. Little did I know this was because he thought there were too many people sitting around us to propose. After walking me around in circles, Tom found the perfect private spot on a hill. He suggested we walk up there to get a better view of the park and before I knew it, he was down on one knee. He completely surprised me! After calling our families, we headed to a Kentucky Derby party where all of our friends were waiting to celebrate.

Once the wedding plans started, what made you decide on a Vera Wang gown? I work in fashion and knew that I wanted a dress that was completely different. Living in NYC, I had the best stores at my fingertips. I went to 14 places, saving the best for last (Vera Wang). The minute I saw the dress hanging in the showroom, I knew it was “the one”. It was just days off the runway and I was the first to purchase the dress. It was everything I could have dreamed of – unique, romantic, full of texture, and the perfect color.

As Vera has started to veer away from traditional white/ivory gowns shown in her recent Fall 2012 Collection, was an alternate color something you considered? Definitely – I wasn’t looking for a traditional dress; I was looking for something unique. I loved the pale pink and soft orange colored gowns. I knew I didn’t want bright white.

How did you accessorize to make your wedding day unique? I always wear layered bracelets so my jeweled bangles were the perfect representation of my style. I have a design degree and knew that I wanted to have my own special touches throughout the day. One of those was my veil, which I handmade.

What was the inspiration or theme for your wedding? We wanted to create a romantic mood with vintage touches. My main goal was to provide a unique experience for our Iowa guests while surprising the New York guests with a laid-back but elegant affair.

Did you stay true to the Old English wedding rhyme: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. If so, what were yours? I was planning on it – I had everything except for the “something blue”. I guess I had other things on my mind that last week of planning!

What tips do you have for new brides picking out their wedding dress? Choose a dress that YOU love and feel comfortable in. It’s nice to have the approval of your friends and family, but don’t feel pressured into a style that doesn’t feel like a perfect representation of yourself.

What was your favorite part of the day? And, are there any other anecdotes you would like to share? My favorite part of the day was when the doors to the sanctuary opened and I saw Tom’s face for the first time that day. The walk down the aisle with my dad by my side was a moment I had dreamed of my whole life.

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