Kelly was such a beautiful bride at her and Blake’s scenic lake-side wedding! They took their photos at such unique locations! We’re loving the guys at the baseball field in particular. The brides blush wedding dress and the matching shawls are stunning. Take a look at the couple’s lovely wedding photos by Nylon Saddle!
Not only is Ashley a Simply Elegant Planner, she is the company’s owner! Yes, she is the head of our happy little wedding planning family. Simply Elegant is the result of her blood, sweat and tears-of-joy, and we couldn’t be more grateful!
And she is a bride herself! Check out her engagement photos here!
What made you interested in becoming a wedding planner? I really enjoy helping others. The positivity surrounding a wedding draws you in. I really wanted to be a part of the happiest day of people’s lives. I enjoy helping people and taking stress off of people’s shoulders.
What is your background? My father is an entrepreneurial business coach. He always taught me to add value to others. The idea for Simply Elegant came about when I found a need for couples of all economic backgrounds to have access to a wedding planner. We’ve modeled our business after this idea of value-added accessibility and the idea that absolutely everyone can benefit from a planner on their wedding day.
What do you like to do in your free time? My free time typically consists of going out with family, friends, and my fiancé Nathan. I enjoy sitting around a table and playing board games, sharing delicious food, and having wild conversations. I’m also a huge fan of taking time in my mornings to relax and wake up and spend quality time with Nathan, who isn’t really a morning person, so he needs my help getting started!
What are a few fun facts about you?
I studied psychology at Hamline.
I never get to the end of books, I always begin another one first.
I often got into trouble in school for talking too much.
My parents are my heroes.
Minnesota is my favorite place on Earth.
As soon as I get home I put comfy, snuggly clothes on and give Nathan weird looks when he doesn’t. We call them house pants.
I have a high pitched voice I use only when talking to my cat, Tibbers.
I believe everyone should do something they love. Which is why I created Simply Elegant.
We love so many details from Heather and Grant’s romantic outdoor wedding! The golf cart looks like so much fun and the table settings were stunning! Enjoy looking through their beautiful photos, courtesy of Barclay Horner Images.
Simply Elegant Planner: Katie / Photographer: Barclay Horner / Rentals: Aprés Party and Tent Rental / Caterer: Gastrotruck / Floral: Serendipity Flowers / Wedding (Cheese)cake: Muddy Paws Cheesecake / Makeup & Hair: Lisa Reinhardt Hair and Makeup Artistry / Gold Cart Rental: RM Golf Cart
Ashley, Simply Elegant’s trusted leader and founder, wears many hats – planner, entrepreneur, friend, therapist, daughter, mentor, sister, and now… bride! We are SO excited to see all of the amazing things life has in store for her and her fiance, Nathan, who recently joined Simply Elegant as our Operations Director!
Nathan shared some of their love story with us and their beautiful engagement photos by Kelly Brown Weddings.
How did you meet?
We initially met in highschool. Ashley was 2 grades younger than me, so dating was clearly out of the question. There was always this chemistry I had with her that made her so easy to talk to in the hallways and before sporting events. We never dated, but I can remember various times throughout my life that I always wondered what she was up to. We, like everybody, were on Facebook. We both befriended the police liaison officer that worked at the school every day. Through that, one summer night, Ashley sent a simple “Hello” message and we hit it off. I worked up the guts to go out and meet with her and a bunch of her friends, apparently I crashed a bachelorette party. We ended up dating and eventually making our relationship official on the 4th of July (fireworks for the anniversary, NICE).
How did you propose?
Ashley has always been too smart to surprise. So the day I bought the ring she knew. I decided to have fun with it then. Turns out we spontaneously decided to go to a Twins game that evening. I found out they were doing fireworks after the game. That was perfect, playing on the theme of 4th of July and fireworks from our anniversary. Her mother and sister were also there so it was going to be extra sentimental for her, just having them there to witness.
The fun I decided to have came in the form of teasing her with an empty jewelry bag which the purchased ring would have been in, I just tossed it on her lap when we got into the car to head to the game. “What is this!!” She exclaimed while she fumbled with it, then opened it with a confused look on her face. The bag void of the sparkly ring she had anticipated. I smiled and said, “I dunno.” Then drove quietly to the restaurant where we were to meet her mother and step father before the game.
While parking the car, I pulled out the small cardboard box the ring box should have been in. She pushed me away slightly to prepare for the moment, to no avail. Since the box I had was empty. I got a little chuckle out of it, but I could tell she was a little tortured by the act. Knowing that she’d continue being anxiously yet delightfully tortured through dinner and the game gave me a little smile too.
The game was wonderful, the Twins lost of course, as they seem to do early season. But it was still the best Twins game I’d ever attended. After the ninth inning the seats cleared out, only the fans wanting to catch some fireworks lingered, about half. This was the most anxious moment of my life. To propose in front of a fireworks display, around dozens of people I had never met, and her parents, suddenly puts alot of pressure on a guy. I didn’t feel this before. But the show started, I gave her sister and mother a look to signal it was going to happen now, then I knelt in the row and proposed under the stars and the fireworks.
She knew it was coming the entire time. But she still cried like crazy. That’s a great sign!
What are our favorite things about each other?
Ashley is a motivated and kind woman. She’s as genuine a person as you’ll run across, never slow to lend a hand in any situation, and she does it with an infectious smile that brightens your day. She’s extremely intelligent and intuitive. She’s strong enough to put up with my sometimes scattered thoughts and keeps me more organized. And she has beautiful red hair and freckles!
Nathan loves to cook for me, sometimes new and interesting dishes that are surprisingly delicious. He’s always willing to help. He is genuinely one of the nicest human beings on the whole planet. Sometimes he gives me more grace than I may deserve, and always sees and believes the best in people. He’s always cool, calm, level headed and easy doing, “down to do whatever”. His smile radiates happiness, and he has amazing hair, especially with that touch of gray.
We definitely compliment each other completely!
Share a fun story about the two of you.
Early in our relationship the subject of Ashley’s very much beloved teddy bear came up and how it was in pretty rough shape. She began describing what it used to look like. And in my mind I was picturing a very specific teddy bear that I was familiar with. I mentioned that I was given a similar bear when I was very young. I mentioned what it said on the tag of my bear (24K Polar Puff), and Ashley flipped out! She couldn’t believe I had the same bear.
It was such an unbelievable coincidence because in years prior, she and her Grandma Marge (G is what Ashley called her) were looking for a replacement bear for Ashley, who’s bear had become worn out with the very constant hugs and snuggling that Ashley had given it throughout the years. Ashley and G had searched in stores, at flea markets, even the internet provided no results. It became a small life goal for the two of them to find a new bear. Sadly her grandmother had passed before their goal was met.
We both feel that it was more than mere coincidence that I owned the exact bear Ashley and her Grandma were looking for. God and Grandma were definitely involved. Thanks G!
What do you like to do together?
Ashley and I go on walks regularly and talk about anything from serious issues to random thoughts about animals or pop culture. Quite often we go out to restaurants. Ashley picks the same thing on the menu nearly every time, whereas I love trying new menu items or a flavor I’ve never had before.
What made you interested in becoming a wedding planner? I loved planning my own wedding and took care of every detail. I always thought I would make a great wedding planner and would love it. I’m so excited that my dream has become a reality!
What is your background? My main area of expertise is corporate events. I planned training events for a medical device company for over 6 years and have planned many other corporate events throughout my career. I am so fortunate to have met Ashley and am honored to be a part of Simply Elegant!!
What do you like to do in your free time? I love spending time with my family. My husband Jim and I have 2 kids – Lauren is 9 and Maxwell is 4. Being a mom is the best thing ever! I really enjoy having conversations with my kids and getting their perspective on the world. They have a lot to say 🙂 We also have a dog and a cat – so our house is full of activity! I sell jewelry with Premier Designs and do home shows as often as possible. I also take dance classes every week. The ladies group that I am a part of does jazz and tap and we are in the dance studio’s recital every summer! I have amazing friends and try to spend as much time with them as I can.
What are a few fun facts about you?
I grew up in Marshall, MN – so I’m a small town girl at heart.
I am VERY close to my family – my parents visit often – they are the best grandparents ever!
My sister and her family live in California and I try to visit as often as possible (but it’s never often enough)!
I LOVE all types of music.
My degree is in Veterinary Technology and I worked in the field for about 4 years before making the jump into the corporate world.
I love to laugh and try to find humor in everything!!
I am always taking pictures so I can capture special moments…that way those moments can live on forever.
I love wine – especially red.
I am interested in people and want to know their “story.”
I am very organized and I make a lot of lists…I like to check things off when I finish them.
I try to always be “present” and enjoy each moment!!
What made you interested in becoming a wedding planner? It involves my three favorites : pretty things, being helpful, and love
What is your favorite part of the job? I love seeing all of the unique ways each couple personalizes their wedding. My favorite weddings are the ones with lots of personality and I think it’s so fun getting to know quirky things about my couples and then seeing those reflected in their big day!
Tell us about one of your favorite weddings you’ve worked on. I don’t have one particular wedding that stands out (I love them all!), but I have to say my favorite part of every wedding is the father-of-the-bride speeches. I get choked up every time!
What is your background? I studied Art History and Psychology at Minnesota State University and also earned my certification in Wedding and Event Planning through QC School. I started out in the wedding industry working at Carlson Craft, making wedding stationery. I’ve taken what I’ve learned at Carlson Craft to Simply Elegant, and work with our brides on invitations and decor styling. In addition to Simply Elegant, I also work at Luxe Bridal Couture.
What do you like to do in your free time? In addition to Simply Elegant and Luxe, I also work at the Animal Humane Society and I have my own little brood of pets at home! I love to craft and watch girly movies and listen to girly music. When I have the time, I love to travel and see the world.
What are a few fun facts about you? I have been to over 16 countries, but I’ve never been to Canada. I’ve taken China Painting lessons. I’m an only child. I wish I could still dress like I did when I was 6 years old. I’ve had the same best friend since 2nd grade. I don’t like peanut butter.
What made you interested in becoming a wedding planner? I love being part of a wedding day, it’s such a special day! It is so fun to help with the planning and see the whole day unfold.
What is your favorite part of the job? I love getting to know the couple, and then seeing all of their expectations and visions come alive on the big day.
Tell us about one of your favorite weddings you’ve worked on or a funny story from a wedding. There was one wedding where the Groom had accidently spilled his coffee on his new wife’s dress. How she handled it was amazing, she smiled and said that’s ok. Then she and her mother went to the bathroom, put the dress in the sink and washed it off. She hardly missed a beat!
What is your background? I began in the wedding industry on the photography side, with Coppersmith Photography. I still do some wedding photography when I can.
What do you like to do in your free time? I spend as much time as I can with my son Jake, we love zoo trips! I love to go out and take nature pictures. I love to run my dog almost everyday. I also do Muay Thai boxing, it keeps me sane!
What are a few fun facts about you? I have a big family and at holiday/birthday dinners, we almost always break out into song. Mostly Christmas songs or show tunes! I often keep my Christmas tree up until Valentines Day, and I start watching Christmas movies in September