Ashley and Bryan

188607_680355335686_747745_nWe met October 2nd 2004 at the Jay Z best of both worlds concert. We had a mutual friend and were introduced briefly. He started working with my best friends Rap Group and later became their manager. In 2006 we started working together at Nationwide Insurance and became close during that time. We were always joking and laughing with one another, and he started calling me by my work email name. It became a inside joke and he started visiting my desk everyday just to talk and joke around. Chea has always been there for me even before we started dating. My sister passed away in 2007  and he came to the funeral and would call me just to check up on me.  I  decided to move out of my apartment in Ohio and purse my ballet career in NY. He helped me move out of my apartment and made sure everything was okay before I moved. When I moved to Brooklyn I had two jobs and didn’t get off work until 12am, he would talk to me every night I walked from the train until I got home safely. He came to see my dance students perform and just take me on dates in Brooklyn. We grew really close and decided to start dating seriously. He would drive, fly or take the bus to visit me every two to three weeks in Brooklyn from Columbus Ohio.

In 2009 we had a daughter and named her AmirahLee. He has always been my best friend and biggest supporter. An amazing father and always there for myself and our daughter. From the moment we became friends I knew he was someone special because of his love for everyone and his good heart. Watching him be a father has been the biggest gift in our relationship. Every day I fall more and more in love with him when I watch him just share love with AmirahLee.

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How he asked: Bryan (he goes by his last name Chea) was turning 29 on October 17th 2014. We were relocating to California in November because he got a job promotion on the West Coast. I asked my best friends Nalo, Sonje and Brittany to plan our going away party and make it Chea’s birthday party as well. The party was on his actual birthday so it made it very special. We invited all of our friends and family and I was really excited to do something special for Chea because he always puts everyone else first. The party was going on as usual and then towards the end of the night he asked our daughter and I to stand up with him and give a speech. I wasn’t expecting anything because we always give a thank you speech at the end of our parties. Plus we were moving and it was our chance to thank everyone for being our friends and family over the years.

When it was Chea’s turn to give his speech he turned to me and dropped on one knee and proposed. I was completely shocked and overwhelmed because it was his birthday and he was making it about me. Our daughter knew for 2 months and kept the secret for her dad. It was a very special moment for our family and I was so lucky to share it with everyone I loved.

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Photos by Abby Walters