Timeless Memories: Hernandez Wedding in Ellisville, MS.
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Timeless Memories: Hernandez Wedding in Ellisville, MS

We’ve worked with a lot of couples over our nearly five years in this industry. We take such great pride in our weddings. We truly feel our brides are the best out there and we are so lucky to work with such quality people. There are times you wonder if you’ve become desensitized to weddings and their magic, but the ones we have had the honor to capture always bring something new to the table. Its during those weddings you pray you don’t miss your shot whilst wiping your tears, the ones you feel so caught up in that you forget you are working. Thats what BlackBird lives for.


An example of this type of wedding comes from our own backyard. Ashli Blackwell-Hernandez came to us in December of 2014 inquiring about wedding package prices. She was so taken with our work and couldn’t wait to book us. All of the wedding planning was done long distance.  The reason for her absence was that her future husband was a native of Costa Rica and she was working on getting him to the states.

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Ashli met Alonso in July of 2013 in Costa Rica, She was working as a teacher. Alonso was in a christian rock band called Madero. The two met and instantly hit it off despite a memorable fashion choice.

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“The very first time Alonso and I ever met was on a street corner. I was on the World Race and my teammates and I were waiting to meet a friend in Costa Rica who was going to give us tattoos.  Alonso walked by and my teammates recognized him from ministry we did earlier in the month. They introduced us because they knew at that point that I would be moving back to Costa Rica after the race. It was a cool, rainy day and I was wearing a headband. A cute one, by the way. But Alonso thought it was so hideous and ridiculous. He thought I was awkward and dressed funny, but he “claims” that even with my silly headband he knew I was the one. I guess he was right?!”

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When It came to popping the question, Alonso enlisted the help of Ashli’s students and coworkers.

“I went to school like any other day. I noticed my students were acting really weird. They really love Alonso and ask about him often but today was different. They kept asking if he was “coming to see us” and asking to call him. My Co-workers were also being weird. So needless to say I was a little freaked out. 

“When I returned to the classroom, I opened my door and found a classroom of little people holding signs and screaming “WILL YOU MARRY MR. ALONSO??” Alonso then walked forward, said some stuff that I still don’t remember, and got down on one knee. He was shaking so much that he dropped the ring and a student had to pick it up. I was freaking out and didn’t even notice he dropped it until I looked back at the pictures. Seconds after I said YES and hugged Alonso, someone handed me a cell phone and said, “Here are your parents!” He thought to Skype them in so they could see the whole thing!

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At last the day had arrived. May 30th held the promise of a bright future for the Hernandez’s even if the skies were glum. For Ashli, She had planned three separate “first looks”, a unique way to celebrate the beauty of a bride.

“The first-look with my bridesmaids was SUCH a sweet, special time. I’m told that they all made a pact not to cry but once I came out, my sister lost it and it was a ripple effect. My flower girl, Azah, ran up to me and give me a huge hug. She looked up and me and said, “You look gorgeous!!” Then my first look with Daddy was next and it was just as emotional. He just held me and cried and said I looked beautiful and he was so proud of me.”

“After all the tears were over, I got ready to go downstairs and sneak up on Alonso. I was so excited for him to finally see my dress. We had been passing notes back and forth all morning so I was so ready to be in his presence and see for myself how handsome he looked. “
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(Photo Credit: Ted Williams)
The day even included some unexpected surprises for the couple. Alonso’s mother had tried everything possible to be at her son’s wedding but she would not have a visa until the Monday after the wedding. Alonso’s best man would also be in jeopardy of missing the wedding, but the two had accepted the facts and were content. Miraculously their luck changed just in time for the wedding day.
“About a month or two before the wedding we found out that there was no logistical way that his mom was going to be able to be there in time. None of Alonso’s friends or family were going to be able to make it. His best man is from the U.S. but he’s a missionary in Costa Rica and he just couldn’t pull it off to make it here either.”
“Alonso’s mother had been going through the process of acquiring a visa, but in dealing with embassies in the past, we realized there are no exceptions. With this in mind, we convinced Alonso’s mother to email the embassy just to give it a shot.  By a miracle, they emailed her back on the same day saying that she could pick her visa up. Its completely unheard of. It was purely a miracle.
For the Hernandez’s, their ceremony was rooted in symbolism. From the unity ceremony to the rain that was on its way to Ellisville, the details ran deep and gave an already beautiful story a much deeper meaning to those involved
“Everything in the ceremony had a special meaning. The Bible our pastor was holding belonged to my late grandfather and the belt buckle Alonso wore belonged to my other late grandfather. For our unity ceremony, we braided three ropes that were attached to a board with the words “Bind My Wandering Heart to Thee.” The three ropes represented myself, Alonso and God and the concept comes from the scripture in Ecclesiastes that says a cord of three strands is not easily broken.”
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“I’ve always said I wanted it to rain on my wedding day because I love the symbolism of it. God is refreshing the Earth, washing away the old so that the new can grow, but when I planned an outdoor ceremony, I changed my mind about that whole rain thing. Everyone was praying so hard about the rain, but it was not looking good. As my wedding party entered the ceremony, my vocalist was singing “How Great Thou Art” and when she sang the line that says, “I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder. Thy powers throughout the Universe displays,” a loud thunder rolled. We made it through the entire ceremony and got everyone inside just in time for the rain to start.”
“I wanted to honor some wedding traditions but I also had my own ideas about how to do things. Normally, after the “I do’s” the bride and groom walk out first but I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to stay up front and get a good look everyone and take in the moment. So the exit song started, which was “This Will Be an Everlasting Love” and my wedding party made their way down the aisle. Alonso and I were the last to leave and as we got to the end of the aisle, our wedding party had formed two lines on each side of the aisle and they all gave us high-fives as we came through. It was EXACTLY like I envisioned it and such a blast to pull off.”
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After the gorgeous ceremony the newlyweds rode off in the charming wagon that Ashli arrived in. Fairytale to the end. Next it was on to the party! The couple completed their first dance and were then serenaded by Alonso’s all time favorite artist, in a matter of speaking. Ashli had an Elvis Presley impersonator brought in to surprise her groom and at the end of his song “Elvis” presented Alonso with a guitar that had a very special story behind it.

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“He had no idea but I had a surprise waiting for him. I grabbed the mic and announced for someone to bring out Alonso’s gift. The music started and out walked Elvis. Funny enough, Alonso is OBSESSED with Elvis so having an impersonator there was so much fun. After a song or two, Elvis walked over to where the band’s instruments were, picked up a black electric guitar, handed it to Alonso and said, “Alonso, I believe this belongs to you.” (Of course, in a deep Elvis voice)!”

“It was a guitar that Alonso had been drooling over for a while. He had one just like it years ago but he had no money so he had to sell it. He was VERY excited to get a new one!”

Alonso had a surprise of his own, a performance of a beautifully penned song he wrote just for Ashli. Even Ashli’s father accompanied his new son-in-law on acoustic guitar.


“Alonso’s wedding gift to me was a song that he wrote for me. He wrote it back when we were in Costa Rica so I had heard the song before but he wanted to sing and play it for me on our wedding night. So he and my dad played an acoustic version of it and he sang it to me.”

“The first line of the song says, “She’s high maintenance her daddy said – she requires lots of attention.”
When we were in Costa Rica and Alonso knew he was not going to be able to meet my dad in person before he proposed, he FaceTimed with him to talk to my dad about his intentions. My dad responded saying that I’m high maintenance and I require a lot of attention. He said if he could handle that then he should be just fine with me. Alonso said, ‘Yes sir, I’m well aware.’ He’s written other songs for me but this one is my favorite because it’s upbeat and really portrays the silly side of each one of us. “

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At long last, “Ashlonso” were joined! We were so honored to be part of this special story with some downs, but many more ups. These two really refreshed our souls and gave us a perfectly unique wedding to work on. Best of luck you two!

If you are as captivated with the Ashlonso’s timeless story as we are, please go check out Ashli’s personal blog detailing their story.

This beautiful wedding was held at Brookside Barn


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