Ashley Miller & Mark Davis

August 18, 2018

Private residence, Old Lyme

Photos by Greg Lewis photography

officiant: Rabbi Steven Mason 

planner: Creative Concepts by Lisa, Hamden

dress designer: Laudae

dress boutique: Everthine Bridal Boutique, Madison

veil: Melinda Rose Design

shoes: Jimmy Choo

bridesmaid dresses: Show Me, Your Mumu

dj: Mike Moscato/After Hours Events of New England, East Windsor

caterer: David Alan Hospitality Group, Berlin

florist: Flowers by Danielle, Trumbull

cake: JCakes, North Branford

makeup/hair: Timothy Pamment Salon, Madison

invitations: Minted

lighting: Vivid Events, Brookfield

tent and rental: Chase Canopy Company Inc., Mattapoisett, Mass.

photo booth: Photo Booth Planet, Chloe, VW PhotoBus

Ashley Miller didn’t just travel 3,631-plus miles south to meet Mark Davis. She traveled 7,972 feet up, up, up above sea level.

Ashley and Mark met at the top of Machu Picchu in Peru on Dec. 31, 2014. Their high-altitude New Year’s Eve encounter was not planned; each had ventured to Peru alone — Ashley on a break from business school at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and Mark, who is from the UK and had just left a job in engineering, two weeks into a planned year-long trek around the world.

“The moment I saw Mark there was this light about him,” remembers Ashley, who quickly discovered that “he was the funniest person I’d ever met.” After spending a few days getting to know one another in the land of the ancient Incas, Ashley headed back to Baltimore to finish her MBA and Mark resumed his journey. Three months of texting and FaceTime followed until their second “date,” on April 1, 2015 … in New Zealand.

Of this, “We joke that it was the longest second date in history,” Ashley says — and we’re pretty certain they’ve earned the title. The date went so well, in fact, that they decided to load up their backpacks and continue it by exploring New Zealand together. And then Australia. And then Thailand, Singapore, India and more before ending their journey in London 13 months later so that Ashley could meet Mark’s family.

Is it any wonder that a sign displayed prominently at the globe-trotting couple’s Aug. 18, 2018, Old Lyme wedding read, “And so the adventure begins”?

Ashley had wanted to get married at her parents’ beach house in New Jersey, but Mark took one look at the big, ol’ historic home on Lyme Street that Ashley and family had moved into when she was in the third grade and was instantly smitten. “I think Mark was drawn to the history behind our quintessential New England town,” Ashley hypothesizes.

“Our goal for the day was to keep things mellow and for everyone to have a great time,” Ashley says. “We didn’t want the day to be about just us; we wanted it to be a celebration of our friends and family” — including the British contingent who’d made their way across the pond to attend.

And so vows were exchanged beneath a chuppah draped with garlands of silvery greens and planner Lisa Antonecchia of Creative Concepts by Lisa in Hamden helped the go-with-the-flow couple execute a quietly elegant day infused with earthy, natural tones that the bride deems “timeless.” In a nod to both heritages, an oversize American flag hung from the front porch, while Ashley’s dad surprised his new son-in-law with a giant Union Jack displayed on the barn. Mark’s desire to have favors that were made in Connecticut resulted in a Pez bar with more than 100 colorful dispensers and gallon buckets overflowing with every flavor of Pez imaginable. Chloe, a lovingly restored vintage VW PhotoBus (another well-seasoned traveler), even paid a visit.

But did it rain? It most certainly did. “It rained so hard that trees were falling down,” Ashley says. But it didn’t take away from the day “one bit,” she says without hesitation. “Things are going to go wrong, but you just need to roll with it.”

As for that next adventure: “The deal we’ve made is to never stop traveling,” Ashley says. “You learn so much more by getting out there and experiencing things. It’s important to live your best life.”