How to Design a Personalized Wedding – Tips from Wedding Photographer, Ashley Maton

When it comes to your wedding, discovering ways to make the occasion personalized is a fun yet challenging aspect of wedding planning. At Wedding Words, we believe the best way to personalize your wedding is by having your own unique wedding vows.

But thanks to Ashley Maton, natural light wedding photographer and owner of Bow Tie Collaborative, we now have some new ideas for how to personalize your wedding.

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Ashley has shot over 100 weddings and her goal is to create a personal and special experience. From dogs being included in the wedding ceremony to a bride making her big entrance on an ATV—Ashley has captured countless creative moments.

Through our interview, she’ll share her tips for how to create a more personalized wedding.

How would you describe your photography style?

I am a natural light photographer. I describe my work as having an airy and dreamy quality. My couples seek me out because they like the romantic, light feel of my work.

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How can brides make their wedding day more personalized so it feels like them?

Think outside the box and don’t feel tied to tradition. You want to have a special dance with your grandparents, do it! Make your reception a reflection of who you are and don’t feel tied to tradition.

What are your favorite ways you've seen couples customize their wedding ceremony?

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One of the most memorable weddings we did last year was a charming backyard wedding and tented reception that captured true southern and casual elegance. This particular couple was not flashy and wanted a more intimate, casual wedding and that’s what they created.

This was a real first for my husband, Bill, and I. Not only did we photograph their gorgeous day but we were actually the only two witnesses when the couple tied the knot. They decided to do a private ceremony down by a creek and it was only the officiant and us. It was a beautiful ceremony. The bride even arrived driving an ATV.

The reception was a fun backyard barbeque in an elegantly decorated tent. The DIY touches really added to the charm of the day. 

Another fun customized wedding we photographed at the Oaks of Salem, in North Carolina, was a true family affair.

However, in this case the family included their fur babies!

Hannah and Mike’s dogs were part of the bridal party and they definitely were a huge hit. They even managed to make it down the aisle, although they did take the opportunity to greet and lick all the guests they could.

Anytime you see dogs in people clothes you can’t help but giggle—am I right?

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They had lots of beautiful and fun details but I think our favorite was the gorgeous array of cakes. Hannah’s sister made all her cakes and they each had unique flair. You will see in the photos just how talented she is. She even had two cakes that were the image and likeness of their dogs. So well done!

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We love when our Bow Tie Collaborative couples show their own flair and customize their weddings. We really encourage this during the engagement sessions too.

How do you feel about couples doing custom wedding vows versus traditional wedding vows? 

We see a mixture of both traditional and custom wedding vows. I feel like both are lovely—just do whatever makes you happy!

What advice would you give couples who are looking to make their day more special? What should they focus on? 

That’s an easy one—couples should focus on each other and their guests.

By the time you get to the wedding day, everything should be in place. Leave the worrying up to the wedding planner and enjoy your day. The more relaxed you are, the better your pictures will look too.


Thanks Ashley for sharing your wedding personalization tips!

Are you a couple who is considering custom wedding vows as a way to personalize your wedding?

At Wedding Words, we collaborate with engaged couples to write their unique wedding vows. Get in touch to see how we can work together to make your wedding day more personalized.