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Chris Shanklin proposed to Ashley Citrano on stage at a concert for The Dirty Guv'nahs, the couple's favorite band.
Chris Shanklin proposed to Ashley Citrano on stage at a concert for The Dirty Guv'nahs, the couple's favorite band. (Courtesy of Mason Grace Photography, Handout photo)

Date: Oct. 18

Her story: Ashley Citrano, 28, grew up in Nottingham. She is an animal care technician at Defenders of Animal Rights Inc. in Phoenix, Baltimore County. Her parents, Vera and Michael Citrano, live in Nottingham.

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His story: Chris Shanklin, 29, grew up in Nottingham. He is the owner of Chesapeake Billiards, a pool table sales and repair company based in Parkville. His parents, Sue and Rick Shanklin, live in Nottingham.

Their story: In the fall of 2004, Ashley was driving on Belair Road when she passed a person standing on the sidewalk dressed in a costume, advertising a nearby Halloween Adventure store where Chris was a manager at the time. Ashley, who was looking for a new job, drove to the store and applied to be one of those costume-wearers.

"I think the first time that [Chris] ever met me, I was dressed up on the corner as Snow White," Ashley says.

A few weeks later, they went on a first date, although the couple disagree about what they did. Ashley says their first date was casual — they got Slurpees from a 7-Eleven and drove around. But Chris considers their "official" first date to be a few days later, when they took a trip to Jason's Woods, a haunted Halloween attraction in Lancaster, Pa.

Ashley and Chris celebrated 10 years of dating on Oct. 17, the day before the wedding.

The proposal: Chris proposed on Nov. 18, 2012, at a concert for The Dirty Guv'nahs, the couple's favorite band.

During their favorite song, Chris excused himself as the band made an announcement that an "old friend" wanted to say a few words to the audience. The band introduced Chris, who appeared on stage.

"I thought to myself, 'My God, he gets to be on the stage with my favorite band and gets to sing and dance with them,' " Ashley says. "I was kind of like, 'Gosh darn it.' "

She says she had no idea what was coming next. Chris pointed Ashley out to the audience and said he needed her on stage. When she got up there, Ashley says all she could think about was having fun with the band. Before she knew it, Chris got on one knee and proposed.

"It was the biggest surprise of my entire life," Ashley says.

The couple live in Nottingham.

Venue: About 135 guests attended the ceremony and reception held at The Mansion at Valley Country Club in Towson.

Flowers and decor: Ashley chose a fall theme with a purple, white and orange color scheme. Pumpkins lined the outdoor ceremony aisle. Centerpieces were created using flowers and pumpkins with table numbers carved into them.

Perry Hall Florist made bouquets using green kermit mums and an assortment of ivory hydrangeas, roses and carnations.

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Fabric from Ashley's mother's wedding dress and a crystal necklace passed down from Chris' mother and grandmother were incorporated into Ashley's bouquet.

Her dress: The bride wore a strapless A-line ballgown with a ruffled hoop skirt, sweetheart neckline and draped bodice from Francesca's Bridal Salon in Nottingham.

Bridesmaids' dresses: The women wore dark purple floor-length chiffon gowns from Francesca's Bridal Salon.

The junior bridesmaid, Chris' niece, wore a similar dress from Amanda Ritchey Bridal and Beauty in Parkville.

Men's attire: Chris and the groomsmen wore black tuxedos from the Tuxedo House in Timonium.

Music: Santana Entertainment of Charlestown in Cecil County played music. Ashley and Chris' first dance was to "Blue Rose Stroll" by The Dirty Guv'nahs.

Food and dessert: Valley Country Club provided a garden salad, steak filet and chicken Chesapeake for dinner.

Hamilton Bakery in Baltimore made a vanilla cake with strawberry filling and buttercream icing for dessert. The cake topper featured miniature Natty Boh and Utz girl figurines.

Favors: Guests received caramel apples atop wooden crab mallets engraved with Ashley and Chris' names and the wedding date.

Special touches: For the rehearsal dinner, Ashley wore a dress that was made from her mother's wedding gown.

Two shelter dogs from Ashley's workplace were part of the ceremony.

Ashley's father-daughter dance was to "That's Amore" by Dean Martin. She and her father asked guests to surround them on the dance floor and sing along.

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