Although Ashley Castaños and Terrence Brown are from the same hometown and attended the same elementary school, their romance only blossomed when they reconnected eight years before their wedding date. “Our first date was a 12-hour car ride from San Francisco to Indio, California for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2010. Our mutual love of music must have been pretty strong, as we became inseparable ever since,” Ashley smiles. Knowing he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, Terrence popped the question during a lovely day of wine tasting, leaving Ashley completely stunned. “I had been waiting for this moment for so long that I had a hard time taking it all in once it actually happened,” she remembers.

The lovebirds journeyed to two European countries for their nuptials to honor the early days of their relationship when Terrence worked with children in Switzerland and Ashley had a fashion internship in Italy. They tied the knot in Lugano, Switzerland and hosted the reception at an Italian villa, all in the same day. “Being that the villa was only 45 minutes or so away from Lugano, we combined our love for Lugano and the epic venue in Lake Como to host wedding festivities in both countries, Switzerland and Italy,” Ashley explains. The couple requested their guests don their best runway outfits. “We knew one of the main things we wanted to highlight was our shared love of fashion,” says the bride, co-owner of Daughters of Simone – a designer with a bridal collection of boho, vintage-inspired gowns. “Terrence also kept the fashion-forward theme going by designing dark burgundy embroidered tuxedos with embroidery by El Patcha Embroidery.”

Envisioning a unique ambience for their European soirée, the bride believed in breaking tradition. “Throughout the wedding-planning process, I kept commenting on my love of the juxtaposition between super fancy and nonconformity,” the bride reveals. “We bent many rules by getting married in raw nature [and] having a dance party in the pool while wearing our finest attire.” After Ashley jumped in the pool wearing her gorgeous reception gown, many guests followed and enjoyed the unforgettable celebration. “The swim dance party soon turned into a conga line of 60 or so roaring celebrants chanting and howling to ‘Kung Fu Fighting,’” she muses. “Overall, there was a lot of fun fashion mixed with a carefree attitude and warm sense of community.”

Reflecting on her special day, Ashley would not change anything. “Ignore all the rules and create a wedding that is uniquely you,” she encourages. “[We] had so many out-of-the-ordinary ideas for our non-traditional European wedding, and in the end, we were able to create something totally new and completely us.”