Ashley Chapman & Christopher Gombos
January 13, 2018. Montverde, Florida
Location and Caterer: The Club at Bella Collina Montverde, FL;
Ashley Chapman and Christopher Gombos were first introduced in 2013 through a mutual friend, Stephanie, who both had known for most of their lives. Stephanie had been Ashley’s best friend since the sixth grade, and Christopher coincidentally knew her since she was born – their parents built the first two houses in their neighborhood back in 1981.
Six months after meeting, Ashley and Christopher started to spend more time together and truly connected. They were soon inseparable, spending almost every day and free moment they had together. After nearly four years, Christopher decided to propose on October 27, 2017.
“Based on my previous experiences with Ashley and trying to surprise her with anything, I knew what I was in for,” he describes. “Let’s just say, surprising her with anything can be one of the most difficult tasks anyone could ever have assigned to them. With a lot of hard work and a little help from her friends and family, I was able to pull off an almost foolproof plan, with the minor exception of not having a backup to my backup plan. I planned a weekend full of surprises – all of which were kept a secret for a two-month time span and included the involvement of her close friends and family.”
“Our mini adventure began by checking into our room at the first hotel we had ever stayed together in as a couple,” he continues. “At dinner, I received a phone call from the company I scheduled a hot air balloon ride with (which is how I intended to propose the following morning), informing me that we had to cancel our ride as a result of poor weather conditions. With that being said, I had a contingency plan in place – or so I thought. While still at dinner, I received a text message from the Wheel at Icon Park (which is where I intended to propose if anything were to interfere with my original proposal plans) notifying me that they were having mechanical issues and the Wheel would be shut down until further notice was provided. So now my premature panic turned into full-fledged panic, because her friends and family were scheduled to arrive in Orlando at the Ritz-Carlton, (which is where we stayed the second night of our engagement trip) early afternoon the next day.”
Christopher decided to Google some romantic settings and landed on Lake Eola Park, which also offered Swann paddle boat rentals. While it wasn’t his first choice, he managed to pull off a successful surprise engagement for Ashley while on the lake.
The wedding planning process involved piecing together a beautiful celebration at Bella Collina. “My vision as the bride was to have an intimate evening wedding with all of our closest friends and family,” says Ashley. “Our theme was winter wonderland. All decor was white and ivory with gold accents. We had a seated dinner and served a choice of chicken, filet, or sea bass. Bella Collina provided us with all of the delicious catering. Along with my vision I wanted a lot of candles and lighting. I thought it added so much to the romantic feel. One of my favorite details of the wedding was our vintage car named ‘Stella!’ It was a photo booth inside of a car which then became our getaway ride at the end. The night was everything we dreamed of and more.”
Ashley and Christopher’s honeymoon was the ultimate cherry on top to a perfect wedding experience – a 16-day trip to Thailand and Bali.
>Written By: Lauren Malamala