Ten Years.

So Chris and I have been married for ten years, but I feel like not that much has changed.

Then (The Tails to my Sonic, I’m the HEV Suit to his Gordon Freeman):


Now(The Tails to my Sonic, I’m the HEV Suit to his Gordon Freeman):


(Still the same, but its a summer olympic year)

It took a while to decide whether or not to have an anniversary party. Chris and I are definitely not people who like to be the center of attention (unless he’s busting out dance moves) or be “fancy” (Unless its me. in Germany. Seeing Swan Lake) so we were kind of anti-party until we realized that the move was happening. Then we really saw it as a way to connect with everyone before we left and celebrate all of the things we love about Charleston.

One of the most important aspects of the party was to keep everything as local, meaningful, and close to us as possible. We wanted to celebrate in the city we love with the people we love eating the food we love and dancing to the 90s r&b we love.


The absolutely AMAZING Kelsey DePorte designed our invitations. Having worked with Kelsey for the past few years at the Sustainability Office and becoming really close friends, it meant so much to us to have Kelsey in charge of the design. Our invitations included an 8×10 invite, 12×18 map, and a 2×3 RSVP postcard. I sent the invitations out with vintage stamps, which looked beautiful but my tongue tasted like old glue for a few days.

We wanted the invitation to look like a show poster.
“Let’s make a 12×18 map of your favorite places!” Kelsey totally gets us.
The logo for the pint glasses we had made for everyone. One side had our design and the other, the Holy City Brewing graphic.

Location & Setup:

(All of the photos were taken by Flower Child Photography. My former employee at Best Buy, Meggen now does beautiful photography! I highly recommend her.)

We had the party at Holy City Brewing (probably the best brewery on Earth) with the most amazing people in the world. Just up the road from our house, HCB (and the great people who work there) have been such an important part of our lives that it meant a lot to be able to celebrate there.

Joel, Chris, and Tony built the arbor. Joel said it looked like the Blair Witch Project, which I secretly was unintentionally was going for.
Zach, Josh, and Amy (not pictured) proving that not all heroes wear capes.
Almost all of the plants were grown by Jen, Heather, and me. We wanted to keep the floral arrangements as local and in season as possible.
Jen designed and put together all of the flower arrangements.
All of the old bottles are from my Great-Grandfather’s collection. Most are from Ohio around the early-mid 1900s.

In addition to celebrating with everyone, the party gave me an excuse to wear all of the things I love and wasn’t able to when we got married back in 2006: 1) flower crown 2) yellow shoes 3) obscene eyelashes 4) polka dots

Jen also designed all of the flower crowns as well.
Jen Jones, official MC of the event! Thanks girl.

Ceremony “First we gonna ROCK, Then we gonna ROLL”:

We had a short ceremony officiated by our good friend, Aaron. Walking out to DMX was definitely a dream come true. My niece Caroline was having none of it, though. Ripping off her flower crown (great catch Carmen!) before we even got up to the arbor, I couldn’t convince her to continue with us.

Not happening.
She told me she didn’t want to do this because she wanted to dance. Definitely my niece.
Aaron Holly, what a bamf. Thank you for the amazing speech and understanding the need to include Harry Potter references.
Chris promised that I would always be his patronus, while I swore to be the bee in his bonnet.
So happy everyone could make it ❤
All the way from Ohio, Maryland, and Minnesota!
I see that cheerleader wink Craig.
Extra  ❤ to Heather and Karl for holding the terror twins for us!
My interns who helped set everything up.

Food & The Dreamiest Cake:

Having worked a majority of my Charleston life with local agriculture, we really focused a lot of time and effort on creating a menu based around seasonality, as well as keeping in mind a lot dishes that are just Chris and Ashlyn (wings and perogies). Extra special thank you to Joel Norman and the entire HCB kitchen crew for not only developing an amazing menu with me, but making sure everything was delicious!


Most of the produce and cheese was purchased from GrowFood Carolina, meaning that it all originated from within 120 miles of Charleston–amazing that we have the opportunity to create such a hyper local menu! All meat was from White Oak Pastures, one of only two humane slaughtering plants in the US. Definitely check out their holistic operation and this awesome article on how they transitioned from a conventional to organic farm.

I actually created the menu design myself! Well, with Kelsey’s blessing of course.

Here’s more information on the growers and vendors used for the menu.

Okay, can we just talk about this absolutely beautiful and breathtaking cake?! Perfectly made by the most perfect Charleston Cake Farmer, it had three tiers–each layer a showcasing a different seasonal fruit– showing just why you have to love Charleston’s summer growing season.

When they brought the cake out, I thought I was going to burst into tears (okay so maybe I did).

Yes, Chris, Joel, and I handmade all 150 perogies served. #perogieparty

Music & Let’s Get Our Dance On:

Since we didn’t have music at our wedding, we really wanted to have a great mix for the party. One of our friend’s band, Great Yankee, played a short set right after the ceremony including a gorgeous cover of our favorite song, Apple Blossom.


Now came dance party time. Here’s the complete list of music (a compilation of 90s R&B, random songs, and early 2000 pop) used to populate that dance floor.



Poor Heather
Great Grandma has the dance moves!
Stop judging us Adrian. (Also, how hot is my sister? She just had Baby Jack about a month before traveling to SC!)

Extra Pictures I love:

Caroline finally almost catching Mr. Meowgi
Ike, summed up in one picture.
Josh has sneaky dance moves.
Finally got her to smile.

Extra special thanks and love to all of our friends and family who helped make this party so meaningful and were able to celebrate with us. Extra special thanks to the MVPs who took my shoes off and put them back on throughout the night 🙂 It means so much to us that everyone came out to have fun and one last cheers before we moved to Hungary.



Chris + Ashlyn

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