In 2004, when Ashley Farmer and Ade Adamson were both college students in Atlanta (she at Spelman, he at Morehouse), the pair found themselves in the same French class, and a friendship quickly formed. "We were friends for years, and even both ended up going to graduate school in Boston, but it took a while for us to start dating," says Ashley. But that long friendship paid off when, in New York City, Ade proposed by filling a day with Ashley's favorite activities. "We started with brunch at my favorite restaurant, went to the Museum of Modern Art, had lunch at a French café in honor of the class where we met, then strolled in Central Park." Before dinner in Brooklyn, Ade proposed to Ashley with views of Manhattan in the background.
The couple returned to the city where they met for their wedding on Labor Day weekend in 2013, inviting 175 guests to the High Museum of Art for a celebration with an artistic spin — and a killer dance party. Keep reading for all the modern details of this museum bash, planned by Michelle Gainey of Lemiga Events and photographed by Ross Oscar Knight.
Ashley's wedding gown was the first dress she tried on: a strapless mermaid gown by Alyne with crystal embellishments beneath the bust and at the top of the train. "When I put it on, it felt right. It's elegant, simple, and timeless," she says. She paired the gown with Jimmy Choo pumps and a graphic bouquet of anemones, as well as a few special accessories. "My mom is no longer with us, so I wore her diamond tennis bracelet and attached a photo of her to my bouquet so she could be with me as I walked down the aisle."
The ceremony took place in the museum's atrium, with plenty of natural light streaming in through the windows. Guests were seated in the round so that the bride and groom would be quite literally surrounded by their love.
The bride walked down the aisle on her father's arm. During the ceremony, Ade's brother read "The Art of Marriage" and the couple sealed letters into a wine box with a bottle of one of their favorite reds.
"Ade's aunt, Rev. Cheryl Adamson, performed our ceremony," says Ashley of the spiritual vow exchange.
Guests headed up to the museum to view the exhibits, including Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, while the ceremony space was transformed for cocktail hour. The couple let the museum's white, airy feel dictate the décor, sticking with all-white arrangements of hydrangeas, roses, and orchids in modern vases.
The reception took place in the museum's lobby. Black vases overflowed with roses, hydrangeas and lisianthus. The couple swapped out standard chairs for a mix of Lucite flex chairs, Louis Pop chairs, and high-back sofas to give the room extra texture.
White couches topped with sequined pillows and pops of chartreuse surrounded the dance floor. "We wanted everyone to be part of the fun, even if they weren't on the dance floor," says the bride of the additional lounge furniture.
In between a soul train line, dance offs, and a bevy of Michael Jackson and Rihanna hits, Ade and Ashley cut into their four-tiered white and silver cake. Each tier was a different flavor, including white chocolate, pumpkin spice, red velvet, and vanilla bean. And if wedding cake (and mini donuts and Cherry Coke macarons!) wasn't enough, the couple also served a three-tiered groom's cake, designed to look like guidebooks for the countries where Ade had lived as a child. You heard that right — that's a cake!
As guests headed from the reception to the after-party, they picked up copies of Nikki Giovanni's Love Poems, one of Ashley's mother's favorite books.
"Weddings are favorite people conventions," says the bride. "Our biggest priority was to have an amazing time with the people we love and to bring them all together, and that's exactly what we did."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: High Museum of Art || Wedding Planner: Lemiga Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Alyne || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair: Indra Tobias || Makeup: Van Michael Salon || Groom's Attire: Ike Behar, from Savvi Formal Wear || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Ascot Diamonds || Floral Design: Edge Design Group || Invitations & Paper Goods: Foglio Press || Music: ceremony - Tony Winston, reception - DJ B-Hen || Catering: Bold American Events || Cakes: For Goodness Cakes || Rentals: We Rent Atlanta, linens & furniture - Nuage Designs, lighting & acrylic furniture - Unique Event Elements || Videography: Jonathan & Kaye Photography & Cinema || Photography: Ross Oscar Knight
Did you love this beautiful museum wedding? Then watch another couple exchange vows at a museum in California below!