Ashley and Charlie

How We Met

Our story began February 26, 2014 – I was vacationing in the islands when…who am I kidding, I was a junior in college, bored, and found myself on Tinder. I swiped right on this really hot guy with a football picture and another holding a sweet blonde haired little girl. We matched and I immediately screenshot and sent a text to our mutual friend listed and asked for his opinion. I should have known that he would have his back, they played football together (and little did I know, we’re practically neighbors). He responded, “Yeah, he’s a great guy!” I took his word and got excited when he sent me a message.

“So, you know my boy, Westall (another mutual friend who was kin to a co-college cheerleader friend)?” I confirmed that I knew him but not “really.” Small talk began and we quickly discussed our plans for the future and current goals. It wasn’t long before he asked for my number and we began texting. He asked me out a few times but I was nervous to meet him – Tinder was new and I didn’t actually know him. To this day, he jokes with me that I rejected him multiple times…one, in particular, to see the blood moon together. Nevertheless, he pursued and I agreed to meet him at a pool party in Greenville, NC where he was in school. I thought if anything, it would be more of a group hangout than a date with someone I had only texted and talked to on the phone.

I can’t remember what I had to do but I only had an hour to hang out – and I drove two hours to get there…puppy love, right? It was very casual and I drove back home what felt like as soon as I got there. We continued “talking” but pretty soon I left to study abroad in Costa Rica. He drove me to the airport and I remember thinking how awful timing it was to leave.

While I was abroad, we stayed in touch. We FaceTimed and he would play the guitar for me and my friends (swoon!). There were many times I didn’t have WiFi and sometimes when I could chat, he was at football. I returned home in July and could not WAIT to pick things back up where we left off. When I arrived back home, he was waiting along with my family (my really, large family) holding my dog and under a “Welcome Home” sign. I can’t begin to explain how it felt to come back to that…and to this day, I am so thankful that something inside me told me to screenshot our Tinder conversation. The pickup line, “so you know my boy, Westall” remains a household joke.

How He Asked

Everything I ever dreamt of for a proposal was surpassed on January 20, 2018. I am one of those girls that have imagined my wedding since five years old. My (now) fiance is an introvert, I’m an extra-extrovert so when I thought about a proposal I assumed it would be something small and intimate. The more I thought about it, I was excited to share that moment together…I think that’s why the proposal was such a shock to me.

Charlie (my fiance) and I are both history buffs. He surprised me for Christmas in 2016 with a calendar that had “Washington, DC” marked on a weekend in February. I was SO excited. As time got closer, we checked the weather and saw that it was supposed to rain all weekend. We decided to reschedule since we would be miserable walking. Fast-forward to my birthday in February 2017 when I opened a “Washington, DC” picture frame. We were finally going! I don’t actually remember what happened but life got busy and we never went…

January 2018, Charlie left for a work trip for a week to Pennsylvania. Before he left, he wrapped a box and put a note on it that said: “DO NOT OPEN UNTIL THURSDAY.”

Talk about torture…I convinced him to let me open it right at 12 am on that Thursday. I opened the box to find a spaghetti squash (LOL to throw me off), an Airbnb receipt, and a plane ticket (for the next day) to Washington, DC. I. Was. Stoked.

He took a train into DC and we met at the Airbnb. We had the BEST Italian dinner of my life and enjoyed a quiet evening at home. The next morning we ventured out to a few of the museums. Charlie asked if I wanted to watch the sunset over the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial…uh yeah. It was funny because I wasn’t quite done exploring when we started walking that way. I kept asking if we could go in one last place and he declined. When we got to the Lincoln Memorial Charlie disappeared. I decided to go ahead and walk up to the monument (with whom I share a birthday) I hadn’t seen since 4th grade. Not too long after, I met Charlie at the top of the steps. I took pictures of the beautiful sunset and took in the moment. He started to get “extra” lovey and I felt like this may be the very moment I had prayed for.

Nothing could have prepared me for the moment when he got on one knee. I was absolutely speechless. In fact, I was crying so hard that I couldn’t open my eyes. I told myself, “OPEN YOUR EYES, LOOK AT THE RING!” but they were shut tight. He stood up and I shook my head YES! Cheers came from all around and it was like the paparazzi had been waiting for us. There were camera lights and clapping and yelling…a serious dream moment.

To make things even more perfect, he turned and said: “check this out…” Right before my eyes was my college BFF (and talented videographer), Anesia. He had flown her (!) to Washington, DC, rented her a car, and had her capture the beginning of our forever. No words.

I’m still smiling ear to ear – I cannot wait to be Mrs. Coggins.

Our Video

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Special Thanks

Anesia Baugh
Videographer