Real Wedding: Ashley Swafford & Brian Petruzzelli
June 25, 2016
When bride-to-be Ashley Swafford was searching for a photographer to capture her wedding to fiancé Brian Petruzzelli, she had just one request: a portrait in the middle of Boylston Street. “If you can make that happen,” she told shutterbug Jill Person, “you’re my girl.”
When the time came, Person rose to the challenge, ushering Ashley and Brian into the street when the stoplight turned red. At first, drivers were good-natured about it, but after the 20th pose, they let the couple know how they really felt. Ashley, a California native who’d gone to college in Connecticut and spent many summers in Mystic, understood: “That’s the Bostonian charm,” she jokes.
Ashley had always felt a strong connection to New England, but living in Las Vegas, it was hard to find someone who shared her affinity for the region. So when she met Brian at a mutual friend’s party, she instantly connected with the Dedham native. “He had that Boston swagger about him,” she says. “He was a tough guy with a soft side.”
A year and a half after they started dating, Ashley, who travels frequently for work, was grounded by a massive snowstorm in Springfield, Missouri. She eventually got back to Las Vegas—12 hours later. Brian met her at the airport that night wearing a suit and holding flowers. “I used to joke that the airport was the only place I could see her, that I had to catch her either coming or going,” he says. So he did, getting down on one knee and proposing before a crowd. “I said yes,” says Ashley, “once I caught my breath. It was magical.”
The Cathedral of the Holy Cross had “all the pomp and circumstance we were looking for,” says Ashley of the ceremony venue.
The place settings were simple yet chic. “We didn’t want anything to take away from the flowers, the tables, and, most important, the food,” Ashley says.
Boston event designer Eric Czerlonka “knew just how to lay out the room,” Ashley says. Square mirrored tables and 36-foot-long rectangular tables covered in custom silk linen helped create a sleek, sophisticated look that still felt soft and romantic.
Ashley and Brian’s first dance was to Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.”
Orchids and passionfruit vines decorated the tables.
Mandarin Oriental pastry chef Robert Differ embellished the couple’s carrot cake with gold dust and white fondant peonies.
After the ceremony, the wedding party showed their excitement for an evening of dancing and revelry.
Band Night Shift Entertainment
Bride’s Dress Vera Wang; Inbal Dror, Blush Bridal (reception)
Calligraphy Susanne Telage
Flowers Marc Hall Design
Hair Escape Salon Aveda
Lighting Suzanne B. Lowell Lighting Design
Makeup Chanel, Saks Fifth Avenue
Menswear Tom Ford
Officiant Father Kevin O’Leary
Planner Czerlonka Event Design & Management
Rentals Luxe Event Rentals
Wedding Bands Tiffany & Co.
Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Boston Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.