Wedding date: March 23, 2013
Her story: Ashley Cook, 30, grew up in Woodbridge, Va. She is a literary academic content liaison for Baltimore City Public Schools. Her mother, Sherry, is a facilities manager for a government contracting agency in Virginia. Her father, Patrick, passed away last year.
His story: Phillip Plymouth, 29, grew up in Randallstown. He is an accountant for the American Postal Workers Union Health Plan. His mother, Bernice Brooks-Plymouth, is a psychiatric nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital. His father, Aaron, is a retired educator.
Their story: Ashley and Phillip met through his roommate, who taught at the same school where Ashley previously taught. After discovering their respective astrological signs were compatible (she's a Pisces and he's a Taurus), they began dating in early 2010.
The proposal: The couple got engaged in April 2012 during a trip to Tulum, Mexico. They had planned the trip in January; however, Ashley's dad became ill in February and passed away in March.
"We weren't sure we were going to be able to make the trip, but it was really beautiful," shares Ashley. "Phillip had told everyone he was going to propose in Mexico … It was very perfect and very much us."
The ring: Phillip ordered a custom-made, two-row shared-prong engagement ring with a round solitaire diamond from Quinn's Goldsmith Inc. in Virginia.
The venue: About 175 guests attended the reception and ceremony at Morais Vineyards and Winery in Bealeton, Va. Instead of a guest book, the couple asked their guests to sign corks.
"I knew I always wanted to get married at a winery," says Ashley. "I googled wineries in Virginia and Morais came up. The pictures were amazing. The tasting room and venue were gorgeous. As soon as we walked in, I knew this was the place. It's a diamond in the rough."
The dress: Ashley wore a lace mermaid-style Blue by Enzoani gown with a crystal-beaded belt from Francesca's Bridal in Baltimore. She also wore vanilla Badgley Mischka peep-toe pumps. For her "something blue," she carried her dad's sapphire ring down the aisle.
Bridesmaids' dresses: The bridesmaids wore silk dupioni cobalt blue dresses by Alfred Sung from Francesca's Bridal. They also wore champagne-colored shoes from Nine West, as well as rose gold bracelets and cluster earrings.
Men's apparel: The groom and groomsmen wore tan suits with coral ties from Amanda Ritchie Bridal in Baltimore.
Flowers: Ashley carried a bouquet of white flowers, including calla lilies and white roses, from Partyland Flowers & Event Décor in Gaithersburg, while the bridesmaids carried mango calla lilies.
Entertainment: The couple hired Rich Barry, a Baltimore-based classical guitarist, to play during the ceremony and cocktail hour. Dominion DJs, based in Haymarket, Va., played during the reception.
The bridal party entered to "Hot in Here" by Nelly and some of the bridesmaids and groomsmen did the famous Ray Lewis dance, while Ashley and Phillip entered to "Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes.
Food: R&R Catering, the official caterer of the Washington Redskins in Springfield, Va., prepared international food stations for the guests, which included a Mediterranean station, tapas, shrimp and mashed potatoes in martini glasses.
Dessert: Ashley and Phillip selected a traditional three-tier wedding cake by Lora Gookin of Gateau in Warrenton, Va. They chose Lemon Lover, Strawberry and Pineapple Passion. Additionally, the couple had a dessert table full of mini pies and tarts.
Favors: In lieu of favors, the couple made a donation to Capital Caring Hospice in Virginia in honor of Ashley's father.
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