Photo credit:  Kelly Sweet Photography Photo credit:  Kelly Sweet Photography

We are so excited to be kicking off wedding season with the gorgeous couple we’re featuring on today’s blog! Check out our little Q & A that we did with the bride, Ashley, where she shares with us a few tidbits about her proposal and the details and themes of her wedding day: how does a proposal in the exotic Gardens By the Bay in Singapore sound to you? So romantic! We will have more from Ashley’s wedding on our blog next week when we’ll walk you through the vision for her wedding using the mood board the VoE team designed for her.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and check out our Insta Stories tomorrow for behind the scenes of Ashley and AJ’s beautiful day. You don’t want to miss it!

Name: Ashley Babinchak

Your Fiancés name: AJ Franchi

How’d you meet? Through a mutual friend, at a bar in East Lansing!

When did you know he was going to be your husband? I had a gut feeling he was the one after our first date, I was beaming. It was the best first date I had ever been on filled with great conversation, cheesecake and adventure.

How did he propose to you? Please share your story:

In July of 2015, we flew to Asia for a two-week vacation. On our fourth night in Singapore we visited Gardens By the Bay. We went to see a light show and then explored the park’s many pathways, eventually coming to a “prehistoric” trail. I could sense AJ getting ready to propose as he began talking faster and circling the path’s prehistoric objects (rocks, fossils, stumps) saying things like “wow Ash, isn’t this rock soooo cool?!” I was thinking “he’s not really going to propose in the dark next to a random object…is he?!” and began to walk more quickly in an attempt to get back to the beautiful lighted trees. My attempt was unsuccessful as AJ got down on one knee, pulled the ring out of his pocket, and asked me to marry him in front of a stump of petrified wood. We joke about the setting now but it was a beautiful moment and I, of course, said yes!

When and Where are you two getting married? What made you decide on that time of year & venue? 

Planterra Conservatory, May 6th, 2017. We loved the venue the second we saw it. I’ve always loved plants and nature and it was the perfect blend of elegance and lush nature vibes. The date was chosen based on what the venue had available, no specific reason! However, I did know I wanted a spring or fall wedding because of the pretty colors in Michigan.

What is your theme/color scheme? 

Whites, greens, soft pinks, and gold. Lots of plants and candles!

Where did you find your inspiration for the wedding? (blogs, magazines, Pinterest) Everywhere! Spent countless hours on Pinterest and looking at Planterra’s wedding photos.

What did you love most about planning your wedding?

I loved planning the ceremony and picking our floral selections. The ceremony is so personal and making it fit us, our story, and our personalities was really fun for me. As for the floral, I just love plants and flowers and think everything is so beautiful.

What were some challenges? 

Finding a wedding dress was the hardest decision for me. I had never really thought about what I wanted my wedding dress to look like and I was all over the place trying everything on! Not being able to take pictures at most bridal shops and not having sizes that fit didn’t help either- it was quite the challenge!!

What does marriage mean to the both of you? 

Commitment, honesty, adventure, and love. Marriage means facing challenges together and celebrating our successes as a team. It means taking care of one another in all ways and being a source of strength for your partner when they’re having a bad day. It means being each other’s biggest fans and supporters throughout life.

Whats next for you two? Any big exciting plans? Honeymoon in Greece and then doing nothing!! After 2 years of finding and building a house, getting a puppy, taking on new challenges at work, and wedding planning we are ready to relax and enjoy married life.

What is one thing you would like to tell future brides about planning a wedding that you did not know when you started this process a year ago? Anything you would have done differently? Do you. Make sure you’re making decisions that reflect your personalities. Whenever I got stuck on a decision I would try to remind myself if the choices felt like “me” or if I was trying to look like a pinterest pic.   Also, hire a great photographer and hire them to do both your engagement and wedding photos. Hiring a photographer to do both will get everyone comfortable with each other so there’s no surprises on the big day. A great photographer can make everything look amazing and your pictures will last a lifetime!