Ashley Cook & Phil Barkhorn
February 19, 2017 in Denver, Colorado
Ashley Cook and Phil Barkhorn met at Washington University in St. Louis during Phil’s freshman year and Ashley’s sophomore year in college. Their first significant encounter took place when Phil was standing in the corner at “Study Hall,” waiting to drive his friends home. Ashley took the initiative of approaching him and asked, “Why are you being such a sour puss?”
“This is very telling of our relationship, because I am more outgoing and Phil is more reserved,” Ashley explains. “Thankfully, he was able to muster enough small talk to maintain a two-minute conversation. Phil later told me that he thought I was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, and I confided that I thought he was amazingly handsome and that his 6’4” frame was so appealing to me.”
Almost nine years later, Phil sent Ashley a calendar invite for January 28th, telling her to save the date for a work dinner with spouses and significant others. After a busy NYC workday, Ashley arrived at the restaurant, where Phil met her with a large bouquet of flowers. As Ashley kept repeating, “Oh my God, is this really happening?” her soon-to-be fiancé got down on one knee and popped the question. A photographer, who was acting as Paparazzi, then handed Ashley a custom copy of a US Weekly magazine that Phil had made with her mother and sisters. Across the top, the headline read, “PHIL POPPED THE QUESTION, AND ASH SAID YES!”
The next morning, the newly-engaged couple flew to Colorado to spend time with Ashley’s family and begin the wedding planning process. “Having a mom as an event planner is beyond lucky,” Ashley describes. “There are so many weddings that have a similar feel to one another, and I wanted our wedding to feel distinctive and to represent who Phil and I are – both, individually and as a couple.”
When the big day arrived, the ceremony was held at Boettcher Concert Hall, home of the Colorado Symphony. A live 13-piece string orchestra from the Colorado Springs Symphony played a mix of EDM, pop and oldies. Afterwards, a cocktail hour was held in a tent designed with a Restoration Hardware ambiance, combining twinkle lights, barn door facades, and lounge areas with throw rugs and tree trunk cocktail tables.
With the bride being a scarf designer, her inspiration for the reception décor was to incorporate a wealth of texture. Each round table was made of a different surface – marble, wood, glass and mirror. The space was accessorized with gold and silver metals, as well as a floral combination of succulents and wisteria. Guests were also delighted with a moving projection of a Japanese wisteria garden, which was used as the backdrop for a talented band, and coordinating dessert swings that were lowered from the 20-foot ceiling.
The newlyweds had the exact celebration they’d hoped for, with guests dancing all night and an afterhours popcorn bar with a sign that read, “PHIL UP ON POPCORN AND DANCE YOUR ASH OFF.”
“We will always remember our incredible, memorable and fun wedding, and the fact that so many of our family and friends came from near and far to celebrate with us,” says Ashley. “We feel loved, fortunate, and so happy to be married – and we love our new roles as husband and wife.”
>Written by: Lauren Malamala