Ashley Decker and Maxx Cua met at a party like most college students do; however, their meeting would spark a sweet love story unlike those of their classmates. “She walked into the party and I immediately went up and introduced myself – the old-fashioned way,” says Maxx. “It felt like we had known each other for years.” Within three months of dating, Maxx knew he would propose, and after a blissful courtship, he asked her father for his blessing and began designing an engagement ring to suit his beloved’s style.
When Maxx found out he needed to visit New York for work, he immediately invited Ashley to join. Before a supposed meeting, Maxx asked her to join him for an afternoon of ice-skating at Rockefeller Center. “After a few minutes, he got down on one knee and proposed!” shares the bride of the memorable moment. A photographer caught everything on camera as she happily accepted. The groom-to-be had yet another surprise prepared: he booked reservations at their favorite restaurants in the city so they could spend the rest of the trip celebrating.
During nearly two years of planning, Ashley was surprised by how much she enjoyed coordinating the details of the day with her team of wedding professionals. Since the couple resides in Nashville, they chose to wed in the capital of Tennessee. “We wanted our friends and family to see where we now call home,” declares the bride. “Nashville is such an incredible city and we wanted to share that with our guests.” Loved ones were invited to the festivities by way of a chic black, white, and gold invitation suite featuring a marble motif designed by Nico and Lala.
Prior to the ceremony, attendees enjoyed a Champagne toast in the courtyard of the downtown reception venue before being transported to the traditional house of worship. Since the sanctuary décor is so beautiful as is, simple arrangements of ivory and blush blooms were the only embellishments necessary. Ashley was glowing in a form-fitting gown with a flared skirt as she made her way toward her sweetheart at the altar. The service was officiated by a bishop who baptized the bride and married her parents as well as her brother and sister-in-law. “It was really special for us that he was there to perform our ceremony,” she confirms.
Following the vow exchange, attendees convened at the symphony center to celebrate with the newlyweds. While guests enjoyed cocktail hour, the bride and groom took part in a private dinner and toast. “We were so happy to have that time alone since we did not do a ‘first look.’ The day goes by so quickly, so it was special to reflect and enjoy together,” expresses Ashley. As friends and family entered the concert hall for dinner, they were welcomed with glamorous décor in a festive palette of black, ivory, gold, and silver. Round and square tables strewn with ebony linens displayed both high and low arrangements of snowy blooms. Each place setting showcased an ebony menu card with gold foil calligraphy and a single bloom. A large head table featured a custom mirrored top, which reflected a lush two-tiered floral chandelier suspended overhead.
“We wanted the night to be a celebration from start to finish,” muses the bride. As such, Champagne was a large theme of the event. Mini bottles were sent as save the dates and also placed in welcome bags, a custom cart of bubbly was enjoyed during cocktail hour, a signature Champagne cocktail was served, and oversized bottles were used as table markers. “Music was another theme as the wedding was held in ‘Music City,’” notes the bride. Relatives and friends signed a guitar in lieu of a guest book, which now hangs in the couple’s home, and surprise performers entertained revelers throughout the evening.
A towering seven-layer confection adorned with gold sparkles and the duo’s monogram was on display, and guests enjoyed crafting their own desserts at a cake-shot bar. When it came time for the special dances, the groom’s family surprised the bride by having legendary country star Tim McGraw sing “My Little Girl” for the father-daughter dance. Nolan Neal from The Voice then sang the mother-son dance, and a 16-piece band performed for the rest of the night until confetti erupted, signaling the couple’s grand exit.
More than anything else, Ashley and Maxx wanted their wedding to be a grand party with friends and family from all seasons of life. “It was our goal to give everyone a memorable weekend by making sure they felt as special as we did,” shares Maxx. Ashley confirms that it was all she ever hoped for. “It was truly the best night of my life!” she says. “Our day was absolutely perfect in my eyes. I just wish it didn’t go by so quickly!”