Professional polo player and model, Ashley Van Metre, says it was love at first sight when she met NASCAR’s Kurt Busch in 2014. “We both felt an instant spark that neither one of us had ever experienced before,” she describes. “I am typically shy and reserved and Kurt was so easy to talk to. It was almost like we had known each other for years.
I think within the first moment of meeting each other, we both knew this was special and that we were going to get married.”
“WITHIN THE FIRST MOMENT OF MEETING EACH OTHER, WE BOTH KNEW THIS WAS SPECIAL.”
Ten months later, Kurt proposed with an engagement ring from none other than Tiffany & Co. The engagement took place at Ashley’s family home in Virginia, after Kurt asked her father for permission to marry her.
A barn was decorated with rose petals and candlelight, and champagne was served along with beef stroganoff – Ashley’s favorite dish. It was the perfect moment with Ashley’s loved ones (and horses) there to celebrate.
An unforgettable two-part wedding was soon in the works, with the ceremony taking place in St. Barth’s and the reception being held at The Breakers Palm Beach in Florida. “We used wedding planner, Jennifer Zabinski,” Ashley notes. “She was absolutely amazing and really made our dream vision a reality. Kurt and I were on the same page for 90% of all the decisions we had to make, so the process was very smooth.”
The ceremony was nothing short of a dream, as the couple said “I do” at Eden Roc with 35 of their closest friends and family. It was an exquisite destination wedding in St. Barth’s, and Lewis Miller designed the floral backdrop for the aisle to create a beachy, ethereal, and chic ambiance. Customized glasses from Tiffany’s were also used, which guests were given to take home as wedding favors.
When it came time for the reception at The Breakers Palm Beach, the newlyweds were in for an epic celebration with a surprise musical guest – Steven Tyler. It was the ultimate surprise as a curtain dropped, revealing Steven playing ‘Dream On’ on a white piano. He ended up performing a full set of 14 songs, making it an unforgettable evening for everyone in attendance.
In lieu of a traditional honeymoon, Ashley and Kurt opted for a relaxing staycation at home. “When you travel as much as we do, staying home feels like a honeymoon because that’s the escape from the normal, so we decided to have a staycation as our honeymoon,” Ashley explains.
“We’ve been on a few trips since the wedding that we’ve called pre-honeymoon trips. We haven’t officially taken one yet because then that would mean the honeymoon is over, right? We are on a permanent honeymoon.”