Surprise Christmas Engagement Celebrated at an Azalea Garden Ceremony

Amanda Asberry + Jason Hine | Apr 8, 2017

It took three meetings over six years for Amanda and Jason for the timing to be right. As luck would have it, Amanda was always in a relationship every time their paths crossed for mutual friends so she wasn’t looking for anyone new. However, third time was truly the charm because Amanda had literally become single that night. At the end of the evening, Jason used the classic, “I lost my phone, can I use yours?” line to get Amanda’s number. They went on two dates the next week and about a month into dating, Amanda knew that Jason was the man she was going to marry!


According to Amanda, Jason can’t keep a secret to save his life so when he started planning the perfect proposal, he kept dropping subtle hints that she picked up on. While on a family vacation to the Dominican Republic, Jason kept suggesting to Amanda that they take a sunset walk on the beach and she knew right away what was up. When he asked Amanda’s mom for permission to marry her, she told him that Amanda knew and that if he wanted it to be a surprise, he needed to change his plan! Fast forward to Christmas Eve, Amanda and Jason (along with Amanda’s mom!) were enjoying the holiday with a family dinner at Jason’s parent’s house. After a delicious dinner, Jason asked Amanda if she wanted dessert and took her plate into the kitchen. Naturally, she said yes but when she made an effort to help by bringing other plates into the kitchen, Jason excitedly exclaimed, “Get out of here, I got it!” Amanda sat back down at the table and after what seemed like an eternity, Jason came back out into the dining room, covering the cake with his hand as if it were a candle. Amanda found it strange and caught a glimpse of something sliver which she assumed was Christmas tinsel. To her surprise, when Jason set the plate down, what she thought was tinsel was actually a gorgeous engagement ring! She of course said, “Yes!” and they spent the rest of the holiday celebrating their perfect Christmas engagement!


When it time to plan their wedding, Amanda and Jason knew they wanted a ceremony in a garden (because how romantic!). They loved the idea of being surrounded by new life and fresh blooms so when they found WRAL Azalea Gardens in Raleigh, North Carolina, they knew they had found the place they wanted to be married! Hanging mason jars filled with baby’s breath lined the aisle and white wooden chairs created a pretty springtime essence. In keeping with the couple’s simple yet eye-catching vision, a rustic ladder dressed with simple greenery and baby’s breath at the start of the aisle held a chalkboard sign asking for guests to take part in the “unplugged ceremony" which allowed Amy & Archer Photography to capture everything perfectly. Amanda’s mom walked her down the aisle to the tune of a violin solo, Amanda’s lifelong wedding dream. The bride looked like vision in her flowing A-line gown with its delicate lace straps (her favorite part!) and flower applique detail. Jason’s son, Liam, was the ring bearer and looked absolutely adorable cueing up Amanda’s walk down the aisle to become his stepmom!


After the perfect garden ceremony, the celebration moved to downtown Raleigh at the historic Virginia Dare Ballroom, an exquisite hidden gem overlooking iconic Fayetteville Street. The diamond marble flooring, vintage chandeliers and massive round-top windows exuded the elegance and grandeur of the 1920’s. To allow the natural beauty of the ballroom to shine through, the couple kept the décor simple with small centerpieces, candlelight and greenery accents.


A family friend of the couple provided the “good ol’ comfort food” – including a delicious mashed potato bar, a French fry spread with every condiment imaginable, BBQ sandwiches and some favorite finger foods – that Amanda and Jason wanted. The food paired with personalized cocktails that fueled the guests for the fun evening ahead. The dessert table was a focal point in the room with signature crates, fun signs and delicious treats including doughnuts and a small red velvet cutting cake.


After dinner, the newlyweds celebrated on the dance floor, singing and dancing the night away with their favorite people. The reception ended with the classic tune, “Lean on Me,”a s everyone gathered in a circle around Amanda and Jason while singing along – it was definitely one of the couple’s favorite moments of the day!


Congratulations, Amanda and Jason!

Dreaming of the perfect place to marry your lifetime love?  Click HERE to see some of the best venues in the Triangle!

Creative Team

Duck Donuts

The Virginia Dare Ballroom
WRAL Azalea Gardens

Ashley Vause Events

Amy & Archer Photography

Elaine Harrison Makeup Artistry

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