Real Wedding Wednesdays: Ashley Russell and Brian Otler

Emma Frankart Henterly

Brian and Ashley Otler first met in the digital realm, though it wasn’t through your typical dating site. No, the couple’s first interactions were via a group chat started by a mutual friend.

“When I first moved to Columbus, I only had a few friends that lived here,” Ashley explains. “Sam decided to start a GroupMe chat for several people in Columbus that allowed everyone to chat about random things while bored at work. Brian happened to be in this group chat. He was funny (and handsome) and immediately caught my attention.”

Ashley and Brian met face-to-face at a party thrown by Sam. “I walked up to him and started chatting with him while we both had a drink,” Ashley recalls. “We ended up saying our goodbyes that night, but I knew I wanted to get to know him more.”

Brian disguised his proposal as a celebratory dinner to honor Ashley earning her master’s degree. Over dinner, he presented her with a large box, which contained a blanket printed with photos from their two-year relationship.

“I absolutely loved it!” Ashley says. “I was so happy, I totally overlooked the two photos with him holding a box with a ring in it. I started to turn around and the next thing I saw was Brian on one knee, asking me to marry him. … I was so happy our family and friends could share in that moment with us.”

One year and nine months later—or 658 days, says Ashley (not that she was counting)—the two married in a ceremony officiated by their friend, Elder Kevin Aldridge.

The Details

Wedding date: May 29, 2016

Wedding colors: Coral, pewter and white

Attendants: Eight bridesmaids, eight groomsmen, a ring bearer and a flower girl

Bride wore: Maggie Sottero gown and a veil from Henri’s Cloud Nine, shoes from Macy’s and jewelry handmade by her mother

Hair and makeup: Makeup by Apryl and KI Essence Hair Studio

Groom wore: Tux from President Tuxedo

Rings: Ashcroft & Oak

Rehearsal brunch: Due Amici

Ceremony: Vue Columbus

Reception: Vue Columbus

Caterer: Metro Cuisine

Cake: Short North Piece of Cake

Florist: Petals & Leaves

Photographer: Martin Digital Photography

Video booth: Martin Digital Photography

Videographer:  Martin Digital Photography

Consultant: Lucretia Williams of Distinct Event Planning

Invitations: Alternative Hitches Fine Paper

Reception tunes: DJ Mr. King

First dance: “Smile” by Leon Timbo

Registries: Crate + Barrel, Macy’s and Bed Bath and Beyond

Favorite gift: Waring double Belgian waffle maker

Transportation: Columbus Coach

Guests stayed at: Westin Columbus and Doubletree Downtown

Honeymoon: Sandals Ochi Beach in Ochos Rios, Jamaica