ICYMI, Ashley Greene and Paul Khoury are officially married! The couple—she's best known for her role as Alice Cullen in the Twilight series; he's a partner at Lokai—wed yesterday in an idyllic grove of redwood trees. They were surrounded by 120 of their closest family and friends, including Eiza Gonzalez and Josh Duhamel, Aaron and Lauren Paul, Evan Ross, Tom Welling, and Sean Faris. The natural setting was fitting for the duo, who met through mutual friends and got engaged in the great outdoors. On December 19, 2016, after a session of acro yoga and a monsoon that derailed Paul's original proposal plans, the couple went on a hike (in the rain!) to the soon-to-be aptly named Bridal Veil Falls in New Zealand. "We hiked top to bottom, and Paul set up his camera for a 'picture' of the two of us but was really filming the proposal," she recalls. "It was such an incredible energy. We were alone amongst a massive majestic waterfall. It was ours."
For their wedding, Ashley and Paul set about finding an equally as special setting—and their top requirement was that it had to be outdoors. "Paul and I both grew up fully immersed in the outdoor elements and were raised to appreciate the beauty in nature," she says. "An outdoor wedding was a must for us." They, with the help of Ashley's mom and Google, searched venues in the California area, ultimately finding Nestldown, a retreat in the redwoods near Silicon Valley. "Paul and I were blown away when we drove up for a visit," she says. "We knew it was the place to start our lives together." With their site set, they turned to Mindy Weiss to plan all the logistics and bring their vision of "a dreamy woodland, inspired by the verdant nature of the venue’s surroundings" to life. The planner was a perfect match for both Ashley, who concentrated on the day's details, and Paul, who was more focused on the overall creative vision and energy. "Paul and Mindy are two peas in a pod, and I was the least stressed-out bride that ever existed because of Mindy," Ashley says, with a laugh.
Keep reading to see how Ashley and Paul's naturally beautiful wedding came together at Nestldown on July 6, 2018. These photos by Sarah Falugo are sure to inspire us all!
After wearing beautiful gowns on the red carpet for more than a decade, Ashley admits that she was initially worried about finding "the one" for her wedding. But when it came time to shop, it was surprisingly one of the first decisions she made. "I found a designer named Katie May who created a 'Barcelona' dress that spoke to me," she explains. "Thankfully, she’s based in L.A., so I worked with her to create a custom gown that was 100 percent Ashley. It was absolutely perfect."
For his attire, Paul selected an Armani suit, a Dior vest, and shoes by Christian Louboutin.
Ashley called on her seven best friends—including Caitie Uhlman, her maid of honor, and Joseph Chase, her man of honor—to stand by her side. Each woman wore a blush gown by Watters, but Caitie's was especially embellished to make her stand out as MOH. Joseph's attire also had a special touch, as Ashley had Windi Williams-Stern line the suit with pink fabric (from the bridesmaids' dresses!) and embellishments from Caitie's dress.
For the ceremony, the couple selected an area on property that was surrounded by redwoods. After all, that's what made them fall in love with the family-owned venue. (In addition to Paul and Ashley's love of nature, Ashley says that, while growing up in Florida, the redwood trees were something she and her mother always talked about one day visiting together.)
Though Ashley says their venue would have been beautiful without a touch of decor, she and Paul opted to make a statement with their ceremony arch. "A circular arch was the perfect choice to represent the eternal and everlasting love that Paul and I were celebrating on our wedding day," she says. Sophie Sikora of Arts District Florals created that and more with pampas grass and pink and blush florals.
The aisle was lined with organic arrangements of pampas grass, eucalyptus, and blush roses.
The bride walked down the aisle with her father as "At Last" by Etta James played. Though Ashley says she was calm throughout the planning process, she admits that she teared up just before the ceremony. "When my father saw me for the first time, he started crying, so I started crying right before we got in the car," she says. (Thank goodness for pro makeup artists, right?!) That said, Ashley was again in tears when she met eyes with Paul. "I was so looking forward to seeing the look on his face—that's why we didn’t do a first look," she says. "But when I saw him, I was like, 'Oh no, it’s happening! Waterworks!'" (She then talked to her dad the rest of the way in an effort to compose herself.)
After all, emotions were something the couple considered when designing their ceremony. "It was a very small wedding, and everyone was emotionally charged so we wanted to make sure there were breaks from that," Ashley explains."That way, our guests weren’t emotionally exhausted by the time we got to dinner and dancing!" To help ensure laughs (and, of course, tears, too), they asked their close friend, Dave Osokow, to officiate. "Dave has a flair for comedy so he kept things light and fun," she says. The couple, with the encouragement of their officiant, also decided to incorporate one of their favorite games into their vow exchange. "We did Rock Paper Scissors," she says. "It's something we do all the time, and it was great." (Paul won, but let Ashley go first to exchange vows they'd written themselves.)
And when it was finally time to say "I do," Paul surprised Ashley with a final personal touch. When asked, "Do you take Ashley to be your wife," he responded with a "hell yeah!" She, of course, answered with the same. "That was another moment that made it ours," she says. "The wedding was ours and it was awesome."
The newlyweds recessed down the aisle to "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" by Stevie Wonder. "Honestly, we were so happy," she recalls. "It was like a bubble of warmth and love as we were leaving, and we thought, ‘OMG we did it!"”
Next, the group headed over to cocktail hour, which the couple designed to be almost as engaging as their vows. Says Ashley, "We wanted to make sure the guests were fully entertained with tons of outdoor games, tours of the property, and mini horses and donkeys!" Guests found their seat assignments for dinner on a grand display surrounded by flowers.
Ashley slipped into her dreamy second gown, by Windi Williams-Stern, for the rest of the evening.
Dinner followed on a lawn nearby, which was perfectly situated between the woods and a beautiful pond. The couple wanted the night to feel comfortable and not too formal so they sat everyone at long tables placed in a U-shaped formation. "We wanted to see everyone and for everyone to feel connected," she says.
Tables were dressed in peonies (Ashley's favorite), orchids, which have a special significance to the couple, and driftwood brought in from Paul's family arboretum, Dawes Arboretum, in Ohio.
Ashley and Paul sat, just the two of them, at a sweetheart table in front of their guests. Their circular ceremony arch made a second appearance behind them in an effort to eliminate waste and reuse the beautiful piece of artistry.
During the reception, the lighting looked so perfect that Paul, who loves photography, suggest they sneak out to the forest for more pics.
After dinner, everyone moved inside for dancing and dessert. The couple did a dessert table so everyone would all have options to choose from. That said, they still cut into a wedding cake, which was two-tiered and covered in blush icing. "I wanted to keep that tradition," says the bride.
The newlyweds selected "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra for their first dance. Music by Sinatra was a given as Paul grew up listening to him with his family. After Ashley's honorary dance with her father and Paul's with his mother, they invited her mother and his father to the floor for a dance with their respective new in-laws.
Finally, after an enchanted afternoon and evening in the woods, Ashley and Paul led the way to their official after-party, at The Continental Bar in San Jose. But that wasn't the end of the wedding festivities, as they still had one more pool party to go! "It’s been like a week of events, but we planned it around the 4th of July so our friends could stay, do a road trip, and enjoy the area over the holiday," says the bride. "And because we did it on a Friday, we’re able to enjoy our guests this weekend and then get back to life on Monday!"
Wedding Planner: Mindy Weiss Party Consultants || Venue: Nestldown || Bride's Dressse: Katie May and Windi Williams Stern || Groom's Suit: Armani || Groom’s Vest: Dior || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Watters || Makeup: Emma Willis || Hair: Joseph Chase || Stationery: Shine Wedding Invitations || Specialty Printed Items: Shutterfly || Floral Design: Arts District Florals || Catering: Taste Catering || Rentals: Theoni Collection || Ceremony Music: Pacific Strings || Reception Music: Big Fun DJ || Photography: Sarah Falugo || Videography: Grover Films