For their outdoor ceremony at Running Deer Golf Club, Katie and Ash chose to have a ring-warming ceremony. “We passed our ring box around at the ceremony to our guests before we came down the aisle,” says Ash. “Everyone did a quick wish to us.” During the ceremony, Ash’s cousin did a reading. “It was the closing argument during the Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage,” says Katie. “It was kind of a reminder like ‘Hey, value your marriage because this is not something we could have done 10 years ago.’”
Katie Hunzinger and Ashley Booth met on Tinder and bonded over their shared love of rugby. Katie played Division 1 rugby in college and later refereed, while Ash played recreationally. But before their first date could happen, Katie was set to referee one of Ash’s games. Needless to say, Ash was nervous. “I was thinking, ‘She’s going to judge me,’” Ash says. Nerves aside, the sport brought the two closer. “I am introverted,” says Ash, “and Katie is very extroverted, so I think we balance each other out.” Katie grew up in Chicago and Ash is from Philadelphia. “Our lives and social commitments revolve around visiting friends and family,” says Ash. Fast forward to their wedding and, “there were many generations of rugby there,” says Katie about the teammates and referee friends present. They incorporated the sport into their big day by using a rugby ball as a guest book that everyone signed.
The couple had a trip planned for April 2020 to North Carolina but had to cancel because of the pandemic. “This ring was burning a hole in my pocket,” says Katie. Instead, they took a day trip to the beach in Delaware. Katie attached a GoPro to their dog, Kilo, and proposed. Then in June 2020, Ash proposed to Katie during a visit to Katie’s alma mater, Wake Forest University.
Ash and Katie chose Running Deer Golf Club in Pittsgrove for its rustic yet glam atmosphere and, most importantly, because the couple felt that the venue was queer-friendly. “The private events director, Miranda, treated us not any different than anyone else walking through the door,” says Katie.
For their big day on November 20, 2022, Ash and Katie’s 23-person wedding party (including two ring bearers and a flower girl) wore sage green or dusty lavender. At their 185-guest reception, the couple surprised other newlywed guests (who had been married at courthouses during the pandemic) with the opportunity to have their first dance. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the room,” says Katie. The couple had an all-night buffet and an outdoorsy-looking wedding cake—it resembled a tree trunk with their initials carved in a heart and featured raccoon figurines because Katie loves the animal.
For their outdoor ceremony, Katie and Ash each walked down the aisle flanked by their parents. As a special touch, the couple chose to have a ring-warming ceremony. “We passed our ring box around at the ceremony to our guests before we came down the aisle,” says Ash. “Everyone did a quick wish to us.” During the ceremony, Ash’s cousin did a reading. “It was the closing argument during the Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage,” says Katie. “It was kind of a reminder like ‘Hey, value your marriage because this is not something we could have done 10 years ago.’” They made their entrance into the reception to Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl.” They also shared a final dance of the evening alone to Lady Gaga’s “Always Remember Us This Way.” “It was a nice way to decompress and savor in one last moment,” says Katie.
They both travel often for work—Katie, 30, is an assistant professor of exercise science at Thomas Jefferson University and Ash, 31, is a director of operations for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania—so they haven’t planned a honeymoon yet. For now, they’re home in Delaware.