Toby Asel & Brad Dible
For most of a decade, fate seemed set on keeping Brad Dible and Toby Asel apart. Just as Toby was leaving Columbia to attend Vanderbilt University in 1999, Brad was arriving in Columbia to attend the University of Missouri. Four years later, in 2003, Brad began veterinary school at MU, and Toby moved to London to work in aviation insurance; in 2004, she moved to Atlanta for the same line of work. Finally, in May 2007, Brad graduated from vet school and moved to Wentzville to begin his practice — and three months later, Toby moved back to Columbia to begin law school at Mizzou.
Despite missing each other in Columbia, their paths finally crossed in 2007 with the help of future groomsman Grant Mechlin, a childhood friend of Toby’s and a college fraternity brother of Brad’s. Toby’s father had even spent time with Brad on hunting trips with the Mechlins before Brad and Toby met. The two got to know each other as friends and then began dating in the summer of 2010, after she graduated from law school and moved near St. Louis to begin practicing law.
On Thanksgiving weekend 2011, Brad arrived at Toby’s apartment in a T-shirt and jeans for a casual date night. He managed to sneak a new sparkling collar on Hanley, the puppy he had given Toby in May, and then he let Hanley run to Toby. As Toby bent down to look at the new collar, she found an engagement ring. She turned around and found Brad down on one knee.
That wasn’t the end of the surprises. After Toby said “yes,” Brad let her know he had brought some dressy clothes to change into for dinner and had a limo waiting outside.
“It was the perfect proposal,” Toby says.
Brad and Toby were wed on Aug. 4, 2012, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Deacon Al Williams from St. Joseph Catholic Church in Clayton officiated.
A top wish in planning the wedding was for the day to express both the bride’s and the groom’s personalities and interests. This called for a blend of soft romance with a love for hunting and the outdoors. So while Toby’s wedding gown and veil were very feminine and soft with English netting and Alençon lace, the men accented their tuxedos with shotgun shell cufflinks. And while the wedding took place in a Catholic church filled with flowers in soft blush and creams with pops of green and coral, guests stayed in the Stoney Creek Inn where guest baskets included, among other things, camo koozies.
“I wanted Brad to feel it was his wedding, too,” Toby says, “and he and his groomsmen got a kick out of all the touches.”
For her attire, Toby chose a Priscilla of Boston gown with a dramatic sweetheart neckline and a flowing A-line skirt with romantic Alençon lace. She wore her hair pulled up in soft curls with a floor-length veil of English netting and accessorized with diamond earrings and an antique diamond bracelet borrowed from Vincent’s Jewelers in St. Louis. Her bouquet was a hand-tied English garden collection of various roses with Queen Anne’s lace and hypericum berries. Attached to the bouquet was a blue butterfly brooch from her paternal grandmother, as well as a rosary from her maternal grandmother. Toby also tucked a five-pence into her shoe, received from a bridesmaid who had lived with her in London.
“I loved those little sentimental touches,” Toby says.
Toby’s bridesmaids wore floor-length Amsale gowns in various designs but all in the same blush shade. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were similar to the bride’s.
Brad wore a black tuxedo by Vera Wang with a cream shirt, vest and bowtie. His boutonniere matched the bridal bouquet with roses, Queen Anne’s lace and hypericum berries. Brad’s groomsmen also wore black, Vera Wang tuxedos but with black vests and bowties. Their boutonnieres featured watermelon roses, green hydrangeas and antique roses.
Inside the sanctuary, there were large altar bouquets of flowers in soft pinks and creams; the aisle was lined with tall pew candles wrapped in cream silk with ribbons and small bouquets in soft green, off-white, watermelon and soft pink.
The traditional Catholic ceremony featured piano, violin and flute music. A highlight came when Toby’s uncle sang “Ave Maria” as Brad and Toby lit a candle in memory of all eight of their grandparents.
Gorgeous flowers covered the reception grounds at the Country Club of Missouri and filled the venue, from an arbor in the garden dripping with greenery and roses to massive centerpieces in the food room; centerpieces on each of the tables featured branches and greenery and tea lights dangled from the chandeliers.
Upon arrival, guests enjoyed cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres on the back patio as a jazz band played. Food stations and bars were set up throughout the venue.
“We wanted food that would appeal to everyone, so we had everything from tenderloin to pasta to sushi,” Toby says. “Later in the evening, we cut the cake, there were some amazing toasts, and the dance floor opened up. It was packed by the time Brad and I made our exit. It was an absolute ball.”
The cakes were another example of the blending of Brad and Toby’s personalities. The five-tiered round wedding cake included beautiful cream roses with a bouquet topper of hydrangeas, roses, curly willow and amaranthus; the groom’s cake was a detailed sculpture of a buck resting on leaves.
Brad and Toby made their getaway in an ATV decorated with tulle, antlers and a “Just Hitched” sign that Toby’s dad made with wood from the family farm. Their honeymoon took them to St. Lucia for a week, where they stayed at the Sandals Grande resort. After arriving on the island, Toby expected a 2½-hour, rough mountain drive to reach the resort, but Brad surprised her with a helicopter waiting at the airport.
“So we were at the resort in minutes and got to see the whole island,” Toby says.
Today, Brad and Toby live in Bentonville, Ark., where Brad practices veterinary medicine and Toby practices law.
Toby is the daughter of Don and Jodie Asel of Columbia, and Brad is the son of David and Gloria Dible of Rogers, Ark.
The Businesses That Helped Make The Day Special
Bridal Gown & Veil:
Bella Bridesmaid, Town & Country, Mo.
The Clip Joint
Love Tree Studios
Lisa Thill Franck (flautist), Rachel Aubuchon (pianist) and Julia Freund (violinist)
Kent’s Floral Gallery
The X Band, St. Louis
All About Cakes, Montgomery City
Blakeman’s Fine Jewelry, Rogers, Ark.
Cabela’s; Macy’s; Crate & Barrel; Williams Sonoma