Ashley and Matthew

How We Met

We met when my (Ashley) older sister invited me out to a night with her friends, and Matt happened to be in that friend group. After that night, Matt and I were together for a few months before we went their desperate ways when I went back to school.

That November when I came home for Thanksgiving, I went out with Allison and ran into Matt. At the bar, Matt was saying hi to all of his friends but didn’t come say hi to me. I went right up to him and said you can’t say hi to me?! And since then we have been together.

How He Asked

It all started in the winter of 2016, when Matt asked Ashley’s two sisters, Allison and Amber, for their approval. February 2017, Matt asked Ashley’s parents, Robin and Stuart, for their blessing. Having received the approval and the blessing, Matt started making plans for the proposal. Two things he knew for sure: 1) it had to be very special, and 2) he knew Ashley would want all of her family to be there. With help from Robin, Matt decided on a “The Bachelor” themed proposal. What started out as an ordinary day turned out to be anything but ordinary. The behind the scenes plans were set for Ashley’s surprise proposal on March 18th.The day started out with her family taking Ashley to see the newly released live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. In Ashley’s eyes, the day seemed really fun and completely normal.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Nelson Park at Lake Decatur

Proposal Ideas Nelson Park at Lake Decatur

After the movie, the family gathered in the movie theater lobby and talked about their plans for the rest of the day. Someone in the group received an “unexpected phone call” saying the family was invited to dinner at the Country Club. Everyone went home to get ready for dinner, or so Ashley thought. Matt was actually with Ashley’s cousin, Brandon, preparing the proposal location. Robin quickly dropped off Amber, Ashley, and Allison at home so they had time to get ready while she ran an errand. Robin’s “errand” involved picking up Ashley’s Aunt Lisa to finish decorating the perfect proposal location by the lake. While Ashley was getting ready, she noticed she was the only one getting ready for this dinner. She wondered why her two sisters, who usually take forever to get ready, were letting her have all the bathroom space to herself. Of course, Allison and Amber both knew what was going to happen next, so they tried to keep her distracted for the time being with music, laughs, and well.. typical Grubbs girls entertainment.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Nelson Park at Lake Decatur

They made her change her outfit for “dinner” at least 10 times, knowing they already had a special dress picked out for her for this occasion. During this time, a limo was en route for Ashley. The doorbell rang, and being the only one ready, Ashley had to answer the door. She opened the door to find the limousine at the end of the driveway and the driver handed her the first date card. The card read “Let’s take our relationship a step further, Love Matt”. Ashley was so surprised and so excited she was ready to rush out the door with no shoes on her feet! She rushed upstairs to grab her shoes, and that is when Allison and Amber surprised her with a new dress and dress coat. As she got into the limo, she honestly didn’t know what to expect or think…but she sure hoped that this was the day. She was so oblivious she didn’t even realize her mom and sisters were in the car next to the limo racing to the exact same spot! As she arrived at the location, she looked up to find Matt on top of the hill surrounded by yellow flowers and she realized at this moment that Matt was going to propose.

Where to Propose in Nelson Park at Lake Decatur

Ashley's Proposal in Nelson Park at Lake Decatur

Ashley and Matthew's Engagement in Nelson Park at Lake Decatur

The limo driver opened the door and her cousin Brandon, aka Chris Harrison, was at the bottom of the steps to welcome her and tell her Matt was waiting for her. Once Ashley made it up the steps Matt had a little speech for her and got down on one knee and proposed! After embracing the moment Ashley was happily surprised when she turned around and saw Matt’s parents, Bonnie and Ron, and Ashley’s parents, Robin and Stuart, and her sisters, Allison and Amber.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Nelson Park at Lake Decatur

And, yes, there were tears. Matt had also hired a private photographer to catch every moment of the proposal. Holly Birch was the photographer and captured the moment, and even did a photo shoot with the newly engaged couple. They got back into the limo and were given another date card for a dinner reservation. They went to their favorite restaurant in Decatur, TapRoot. After dinner, they thought they were going back to Ashley’s parent’s home for a celebration. They were actually on their way to the Decatur Conference Center. Ashley’s Aunt Lisa and Uncle Dave surprised Matt and Ashley with an engagement party with all of their family in attendance! They couldn’t be more grateful for those who helped to make this a perfect and special day. Truly unforgettable.

Special Thanks

Holly Birch Smith
Photographer