The room was jumping; the band was blasting and Ashton Meem and Russell Wilson were celebrating with one amazing reception.
The action took place at the Country Club of Virginia on Jan. 14, 2012. Against a dramatic winterscape of 20 full-size trees and edgy lighting from Blue Steel Lighting, the reception for 300 guests soared off the charts as Big Swing and the Ballroom Blasters took to the stage.
Every detail was perfection: from the red velvet and cream cheese cake baked by Pastry Chef Ben Howell at CCV to Ashton’s sayonara flourish, changing into a winter white jumpsuit to bid adieu. “Liliya Korenman of Couture by L.K. Design created it,” Ashton explained. “Women used to leave weddings in a formal suit, and I wanted to do that with a twist. It was reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn and the ‘70’s.”
As her dazzling celebration proved, Ashton has a great eye for style and detail. “I plan to start my own boutique event planning company that specializes in weddings,” she continued. “Planning my own wedding was so positive.”
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The only child of Molly and Lang Meem, the St. Catherine’s School student graduated from North Carolina State University where she joined her hubby-to-be, major athletic talent Russell Wilson.
The son of Tammy Wilson and the late Harrison Wilson III, and brother to Harrison Wilson IV and sister Anna, Russell showed his star-quality promise at Collegiate School playing football, basketball and baseball. After transferring to the University of Wisconsin, he earned a degree in Business Education and Administration.Now the quarterback is completing his final credits for a graduate degree there — while awaiting news of the upcoming NFL’s 2012 Draft choices.
“The good Lord will lead me in the right direction,” he declared.
One right direction was straight toward his love, Ashton. “We met briefly in high school,” she remembered. “Then again at a summer party and after that started seeing each other.” When Ashton left for the University of Georgia, they kept up the long-distance romance until Ashton transferred to Russell’s university.
Early on, they talked about marriage and then on August 1, 2010 Russell steered a blindfolded Ashton into the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, N.C. and up to the Presidential Suite. “I had arranged for everyone in the lobby to be quiet,” he explained.
White rose petals were strewn about, Ashton’s favorite Champagne and chocolate strawberries beckoned from the dining table. The doorbell rang and in ran Penny, the couple’s Pocket Beagle.
“She’s prissy,” laughed Ashton, who was surprised to see their pet sporting a new rhinestone collar.
“Still it didn’t click,” she continued. “I read her dog tag, ‘Hey Mom, Dad has a question he wants to ask you.’”
Ashton looked over only to see Russell on bended knee. “It was amazing! My parents were outside too, with their dog!” she exclaimed.
Nine groomsmen and nine bridesmaids lined up at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church for the 8 p.m. ceremony. Soon the bride appeared, stunning in her gown from J.Crew Bridal in NYC. The Rev. Louise (Weezie) Blanchard guided the two through their heartfelt vows.
Afterwards, the newlyweds floated into CCV for a reception that partied on until 1:30 a.m.
“Our honeymoon plans are on hold,” said Ashton. Russell, ever the professional, is training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for the NFL. The NFL draft is at the end of April — and certainly we all wish this son of Richmond and his beautiful bride the best of luck.