While dog walking may not be a highly touted method for meeting other singles, it certainly worked for Ashley Jarol and Robert Michael Scott II. The two were strangers walking their pets on the same street when they first laid eyes on each other. “It was unseasonably cold and she was gorgeous in her oversized coat and boots,” remembers Michael (who goes by his middle name). “And I was struck by how tall and cute he was,” Ashley recalls. While it was fate – and canines – that caused the pair to cross paths, it was Michael who broke the ice… and love bloomed between the two dog lovers soon after. 

For their wedding location, the couple chose Ashley’s hometown of Chicago, where the bride fell in love with the ballroom at a luxury property. With help from her mother, brother, and a professional consultant, Ashley strategized an event overflowing with flowers, and the indoor space was revised to her lush expectations.

“I wanted it to feel like guests were walking into an enchanted garden,” says Ashley, who commissioned a palette of blush and gold that harmonized beautifully with the room’s gilded moldings. Towering displays of flowering branches arranged to resemble trees decorated a raised platform erected for the vow exchange. An Art Deco floral gate provided a lovely backdrop for the stage, and bullion planters overflowing with roses bordered an aisle adorned with a swirling pattern of flower petals. 

“I held the rosary of Michael’s grandmother, and we also gave roses to our mothers and grandmothers,” says the bride of her memorable walk down the aisle. During the ceremony, Fernando Varela sang Italian opera: “It was very special and such an experience to be there,” recalls Michael of the romantic memory. Ashley’s strapless gown featured vertical ruffles that tumbled in frothy layers to her crystal-embellished satin pumps. Bridesmaids were clad in pale chiffon gowns with varying necklines and silhouettes, each beautiful attendant outfitted in the most flattering style for her individual shape. Their bouquets were a blend of white, yellow, and blush blooms accented with fuchsia roses, while the bride’s charming, hand-tied arrangement included a mix of roses, succulents, and stock.

Florals also played a major role in the celebration that followed the ceremony. “Trees and flowers were abound in every section of the space,” Ashley says of her choice of décor. The seating-card table displayed sophisticated stationery and crystal vases that presented beautiful works of brightly colored floral art. A vast wall composed of candy-colored roses separated the reception ballroom from the ceremony area and created a backdrop for the couple’s sweetheart table. The table for two was blanketed in a cascade of coordinating blooms and swathed in embroidered forest green linens. Gold-tipped stemware and gilded chargers graced guest tables, which alternated elegant, low-standing centerpieces featuring dramatic arrangements of flowering branches, orchids, and different varieties of roses atop towering cut-crystal stands. Delicate garlands of tiny white orchids dangled overhead from glittering chandeliers, adding to the otherworldly effect. 

The couple’s 230 guests danced to the strains of a 20-piece orchestra and enjoyed slices of a wedding cake that boasted eight stacked tiers embellished with fresh roses. From start to finish, the wedding of Ashley and Michael represented how beautifully love can bloom, even in the most unexpected places.