Although they didn’t realize it at the time, Ashley Huerter and Alex Hazard were at the same point in their lives, both in their early 30’s and waiting for “something.” Both are natives of Kansas, which is also their home. Alex has more of a country background, while Ashley knew very little about life on a farm.
But when they met at a concert in 2016, a mutual breath of fresh air rushed into their lives. A first date came about a month later after they connected on Facebook. They each had a child, and both of them took pride in being good parents. Their common and different interests became a good balance in their developing relationship.
Ashley had visited Amelia Island once before, having learned about it through a relative. She relayed her island experiences to Alex, and they both visited in the spring of last year. They especially enjoyed historic downtown Fernandina Beach, where they spent a lot of time walking and exploring.
They liked the restaurants they discovered and the relaxed, seaside atmosphere of the island, and they happened upon a copy of Amelia Island Weddings Magazine. By this time, they knew they had found exactly who and what they were waiting for, so they decided to plan an island wedding for themselves on Thanksgiving weekend last year.
A family friend helped them with obtaining all the services they would need for their big day. During their April visit, they sampled several cakes and chose Nana Teresa’s for their perfect wedding cake. “It was beautiful and delicious,” smiles Ashley.
Everything soon began to fall into place for the couple’s wedding plans. Ashley searched for just the right dress, and was about to give up when she found just what she was looking for in her home state. Destination Amelia was on, and many of their guests would be arriving from other areas of the country. Ashley’s parents drove in from Kansas, transporting her dress halfway across the country. All the wedding guests of every age found fun activities to enjoy during the weekend, and everyone commented on the convenience and variety of options available.
“Our flowers for the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, and reception were created by Ken at Dottie B’s, and they were amazing,” says Ashley. Arte’s Pizza catered their rehearsal dinner at the Historic Harborfront Hampton Inn & Suites. “Everyone enjoyed the setting and raved about the food. Working with Sabrina at Arte’s was a great experience.”
A close personal friend and photographer, Jenna Edds, was happy to travel to the island to capture their memories. They took photos throughout the area, on Amelia’s pristine beaches and in the historic downtown. The wedding ceremony took place at St. Michael Catholic Church and was performed by a family friend of theirs, Reverend H. Patrick Malone, also from Kansas.
Ashley and Alex had their reception at the Ocean Club of Amelia Island, and the couple emphasized that working with Nigel was easy and enjoyable. “Nigel gave us good direction and oversight, and everything was just right for our reception,” say Ashley and Alex, “And the staff were all attentive but not intrusive.” Island Sound DJ provided music for the reception, and the guests were on their feet all night.
The couple and many of their guests stayed at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. They loved the gorgeous views at every turn, the private yet vibrant atmosphere of the resort, the mild fall weather, and the beautiful beaches. Alex recalls the entire experience as more perfect than he could have ever imagined.
Happily settled in Kansas, Ashley and Alex treasure family, cooking together, music, and visiting wineries and breweries both at home and in their travels. And Amelia Island is at the top of their return visit list.