It takes love to make a relationship work, but it takes a little something extra to make a relationship survive college, moving and professional sports. Ashton Meem, a 2006 St. Catherine's grad, and Russell Wilson, a 2007 Collegiate grad, have been together since 2006.
Russell attended N.C. State University and played both Division I-A football and baseball. In 2010, he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies; after his first minor-league season, Russell returned to N.C. State for his junior football season. That August, he proposed to Ashton — with the help of their Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle puppy. The dog was wearing tags that read, "Hey Mom, Dad has a question to ask you." Last summer, Russell transferred to the University of Wisconsin to complete his final year of football eligibility and work on a graduate degree.
The couple celebrated their commitment through it all with an 8 p.m. black tie service at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in January. "My favorite moment of the wedding was when Ashton walked down the aisle with her dad, Lang Meem," Russell says. "To see her just light up the room and light up a huge smile on my face made me just think about our wonderful future together." Ashton's cousin Lia Gayle and one of Russell's best friends, Owen Spencer, each read Bible verses during the service.
The Country Club of Virginia reception that followed had a party atmosphere, complete with dancing, heavy hors d'oeuvres and drinks. Icy pale blue lights with amber tones, flower arrangements and bare, painted trees gave the room a feeling of being outside in the forest on a cold winter night. Guests enjoyed Russell's favorite food — macaroni and cheese — served two ways (lobster and three-cheese), sliders with fries and onion rings, mini chocolate chip cookies, and a champagne bar. Ashton left the reception in a custom winter-white jumpsuit created by Liliya of Couture by LK Design that was a little Audrey Hepburn and a little '70s.
In April, the couple received good news: Russell was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks.
Ceremony: St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Reception: The Country Club of Virginia
Gown: J. Crew, with alterations from Couture by LK Design
Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale
Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting Design
Cake and Catering: CCV
Band: Big Swing and the Ballroom Blasters
Flowers: Flowers by Natalie