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Donald Richard Matthews III and Ashlyn Elizabeth Brown were united in marriage at 2 p.m. June 26, 2010, at the First United Methodist Church in Starkville.
The double-ring ceremony was officiated by Rev. J.D. Shaw of Starkville. A reception followed in the Hunter Henry Center on the Mississippi State University campus.
Ashlyn and Matt first met at the MSU Dawg Daze barbecue her freshman year, and they began dating the next spring.
The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen William Brown of Winona.
She is the granddaughter of Dr. and Mrs. James Donald Trotter of Starkville and Mrs. Betty Aldridge Brown of Winona, and the late Mr. Billy Hugh Brown.
She is a 2006 graduate of Pillow Academy in Greenwood and a 2010 magna cum laude graduate of Mississippi State University, with a bachelorâ€™s degree in marketing. Miss Brown was a member of Chi Omega sorority and Reformed University Fellowship, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi Kappa Phi, and Beta Gamma Sigma honor societies. She is currently pursuing a law degree at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Richard Matthews Jr. of Farmville, Va. He is the grandson of Mrs. Fred Owen and the late Mr. Fred Owen of Littleton, N.C., and the late Mr. and Mrs. Donald R. Matthews of Hertford, N.C.
He is a 2005 graduate of Prince Edward County High School in Farmville, Va., and a 2009 magna cum laude graduate of MSU where he finished with a bachelorâ€™s degree in banking and finance and an MBA. While attending MSU,
Mr. Matthews was an Orrin Swayze Banking and Finance Scholarship Finalist and a member of the Reformed University Fellowship, Lambda Sigma Honor Society, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He is employed by the First National Bank of Central Texas in Waco.
For the proposal, Matt treated Ashlyn to a special dinner at the Veranda in Starkville, and then allowed her to open an early Christmas present that contained her engagement ring.
The wedding planning began to create a beautiful, memorable celebration.
Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore an ivory strapless gown by Allure Couture. The dramatic, sweetheart bodice was embellished with soft three-dimensional flowers while a ruched taffeta band defined the waist.
The full ball gown featured AlenĂ§on lace appliquĂ©s and softly textured flowers that were strategically scattered throughout the romantic chapel-length train. She wore a two-tiered, elbow-length illusion veil and simple pearl jewelry.
The bridal bouquet was hand-tied with an old-fashioned ivory bustle holding white hydrangeas, ivory peonies, and green hypericum berries. In honor of tradition with a twist, the bride chose to wear new blue suede heels and carry the antique handkerchief carried by her mother on her wedding day.
The brideâ€™s grandmotherâ€™s bible was featured in the guest book floral arrangement.
Serving as the Maid of Honor was Jenni Brown of Winona.
The bridesmaids were Casey Carter of Carrollton; Mallory Legg of Brandon; Brittany Matthews of Farmville, Va.; Lynn Mullen of Winona; and Michelle Peach of Jackson.
Honorary bridesmaids were Anna Buchanan of Brandon; Jennifer Puhr Holloway of Houston, Texas; and Katie Sahler of Raymond.
The brideâ€™s proxy was Lauren Smith Odum of Madison. Isabella Hansen of Madison, Va., cousin of the bride, served at the guest registry table.
The attendants wore floor-length lavender chiffon gowns that featured a one-shouldered empire bodice accented with chiffon flowers. Brideâ€™s attendants each carried a hand-tied nosegay of green hydrangeas, pale pink peonies, and green hypericum berries.
Serving as the Best Man was the groomâ€™s father, Don Matthews of Farmville, Va.
The groomsmen were Reese Berry of Crystal Springs; Bryant Horne of Prattville, Ala.; Shayne Lafoon of Farmville, Va.; Daniel Magee of Columbia, and Jim Phillis of Rocky Mount, N.C.
The wedding director was Mrs. Helene Brignac of Starkville.
The pianist was Paul Brown of Greenwood.
The Flower Company of Starkville created a simply elegant atmosphere for the entire day. Rounded orb vases hung from the church railing with ivory silk ribbon. Each orb held a hand-tied nosegay of white and green hydrangea with green hypericum berries. The family pews of the church were marked with lime green hydrangea bouquets tied in vases to the pews by ivory silk ribbon. The focal point of the choir loft was a large symmetrical arrangement on a large plant stand in an ornate urn. Green belles of Ireland, lavender and purple larkspur, green spider mums, green Kermit mums, and purple cool water roses were focal points in the centerpiece. Two iron hurricane candelabras flanked either side of the large arrangement, and parlor palms accented the choir loft.
Following the ceremony, the brideâ€™s parents hosted a lovely celebration at the Hunter Henry Center at Mississippi State University. Guests toasted the newlyweds with custom-labeled wine and champagne from Prince Michel winery in Virginia, a gift from Lydia and Brad Hansen, aunt and uncle of the bride.
Bridgett Harding catered the event, which featured favorites such as fried green tomatoes and an MSU ice cream bar.
A large arbor holding groups of candle gardens was flanked with asparagus fern and plumose fern garland and used as a backdrop to the brideâ€™s cake table. The food tables were embellished with moss green and lavender silk linens and held two large iron candelabras with votive candles. Floral arrangements of cool water roses, berries, and asparagus ferns trailed throughout the candelabras.
Each guest table was decorated with large square cylinder vases on a square mirror. Green pears and limes floated in each vase. Purple cool water roses, birch branches, lavender and purple larkspur, green hypericum berries, green button mums, and purple statice were in each arrangement.
The three-tiered strawberry and white wedding cake was prepared by Melanie Owens of Starkville and featured vertical stripes of fondant edged with pearls of butter cream frosting. The layers were garnished with green clusters of hydrangea and sat on an antique silver plateau.
The large square chocolate decadence groomâ€™s cake was topped with chocolate-covered strawberries and presented on an antique silver plateau.
The Cake Box of Starkville prepared the confection.
As the pianist continued to entertain the guests, photographer Bethany Gilbert of Laurel projected a slideshow of beautiful photographs from the wedding. After being serenaded by the brideâ€™s sorority sisters, the newlyweds waved goodbye from a classic baby blue 1967 Firebird convertible owned by Tonya and Kris Blakely of Winona.
The groomâ€™s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Richard Matthews of Farmville, Va., hosted the rehearsal dinner at Old Waverly in West Point.
Mallory Legg and Michelle Peach gave an Around the Clock Shower at the Chi Omega house at Mississippi State University.
A Toast Party was given by Mr. and Mrs. Buddy Mortimer, Mr. and Mrs. Barry Blakely, Mr. and Mrs. Mickey Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Corbin, and Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Flowers at the Mortimer home in Winona.
A Bridal Tea was given by the Women of the First Presbyterian Church at the First Presbyterian Church of Winona.
A Honey-Do Party was given by Mr. and Mrs. Seth Kent, Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Dauterive, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ballard, and Dr. and Mrs. Louie Harrison at the Kent home in Winona.
And a Lingerie Shower was given by Lauren Odum and Lynn Mullen at the home of Lynn Mullen in Starkville.
For their honeymoon trip, the couple spent a week in Jamaica. Upon their
return, they are making their home in Hewitt, Texas.