Photo courtesy of Bethany Erin Photography.

Ashlee Duncan & Baron Smith

Ashlee Duncan’s first encounter with her now-husband, Baron Smith, was something out of a movie. Ashlee was new to town, living with the Warwick’s, who run weekly swing dances at Sons of Hermann Hall in Deep Ellum. When they put out a notice about a new swing dancer in town, Baron came out and connected with Ashlee over their dance together. Four years later, the pair is happily married.

Ashlee is a George Mason University alumna, while Baron attended Abilene Christian University. Ashlee is a photographer and videographer for Southwest Airlines and Baron works in IT Solutions at EST Group in Arlington.

When the couple was celebrating their third anniversary in October of 2016, Baron took Ashlee on a tour of their favorite dates throughout the years in the metroplex, ending with ice cream and a proposal along the Trinity River in Fort Worth.

For their wedding on September 16, 2017, Ashlee and Baron knew they wanted the natural beauty of the Northern California coastline and were inspired by the environment in every element of their special day. “We also wanted the wedding to be cozy, intimate, and family-oriented,” says Ashlee.

As Ashlee and Baron are both “foodies,” they chose a venue that had a wood fire oven and found caterers that shared the couple’s enthusiasm. The same way Ashlee and Baron love to gather in the kitchen at family events, the wood oven became the hotspot for the evening. They arranged picnic tables in front of the wood oven as a focal point, with classic cozy complements like a good fire and string lights.

Their caterers used all locally sourced ingredients, such as McFarland’s Springs Trout, and served pies for dessert, rather than cake. “It was some of the best food we’ve ever had,” says Ashlee. For decor and floral arrangements, the pair connected with local vendor Abelia Floral, who shared their vision and gave them full creative freedom.

Anticipation grew as the wedding approached, but unfortunately, the week of their wedding, tragedy struck. Baron’s father sadly passed away and the couple contemplated calling the wedding off. What kept them going, though, was the desire to celebrate life as Baron’s father would have wanted them to. “Reminding ourselves of what was necessary versus what we just wanted helped make an impossible week less stressful, and brought our families closer while processing both sorrow and joy,” says Ashlee.

Ceremony site: St. Anthony Catholic Church in Mendocino, CA
Photographer: Bethany Erin Photography
Stationary and Paper Products: Scribbles & Swirls
Bridal Gown Designer: Elizabeth Dye with a veil from mother-in-law’s wedding in the 70s
Bridal Gown Retailer: Loveliest Bridal in Knoxville, TN
Hair and Makeup: Kyna Chilcot
Groom’s Attire: Kenneth Cole
Bridesmaid Dresses Designer: Vintage 1950s
Bridesmaid Dresses Retailer: Flea for All in Portland, ME
Flowers: Abelia Floral
Reception Venue: Greenwood Community Center in Elk, CA
Wedding Cake: Pies by Potliquor in Berkeley, CA
Caterer: Potliquor in Berkeley, CA
Wedding Rentals: Matthew Rowland Events