Ashley and Will
How We Met
Will & I met in the 6th grade… He and I became instant best friends at the age of 11 and grew close throughout middle school and high school. Dances, Football Games, English class… He and I along with our group of friends were completely glued at the hip. We parted ways to go to different colleges, he at the University of Nevada, Reno and myself at the University of Arizona. Even from afar, we would Skype each other to say hello and catch up on the latest happenings from Freshman to Senior year.
College graduation approached us and we both decided that we were moving back to Las Vegas. We were both in serious relationships throughout the years, it wasn’t even a thought in our head that we would date, in fact, I considered him like family! But it wasn’t until we both ended up being single at the same time, and after hard break-ups ended that we really started to see the connection between the two of us in a different way than usual. One night while we were out with a group of friends, he pulled me aside and said he needed to talk to me. He started off by telling me that he had always put me on a pedestal to be “the girl he had always wanted to date someday.” It was never really an option before and now after 12 years of being friends, it was possible! After freaking out about it a little bit, I decided that he was totally right. The man that I had always dreamed of is standing right here in front of me.
How He Asked
As a wedding designer and a previous wedding planner, it is very hard to plan something for someone as type-A, perfectionist, control freak like me. I plan everything! So Will thought, what better a way to get her to cooperate and to surprise her if she plans her own proposal. And that is precisely what happened.
A few weeks prior, my dear friend Jodi from J.Anne Photography called me and asked if I would help her put together a styled shoot. We talked back and forth about who would model, what they would wear, what kind of decor and florals needed to be involved, where, when and everything in between! We came to the conclusion that we would have our friends Jace & Olivia be the stand-in “Bride & Groom” as they were just recently married and would be more than willing to go out to the middle of the desert with us for a random photo shoot. Jodi kindly ask me if I would be willing to stand-in as the “bridesmaids and groomsmen” in the shoot along with Will and my little sister, Kelly… with much hesitation, I finally decided to get dolled up and be in front of the camera for a change.
The day of the photo shoot arrived. The girls sat at the dinner table laughing and enjoying being pampered by the team at Your Beauty Call while the boys sat in the living room watching sports. I was so excited for what I thought was to be a styled shoot- just a fun evening with friends, hanging out with our favorite photographer, and pretending to be the highest paid models in town! Little did I know, this Saturday evening was soon to start a new chapter in my love story with Will- my best friend of 15 years.
I arrived at the photo shoot location and was in complete awe of how beautiful it was– the sunset, the desert in its purest form was just breathtaking. After a few group photos and bride and groom shots, Jodi asked if Will and I would just take a few relaxed and candid “bridal party” pictures. We obeyed her wishes and after a few photos, she asked us to face away from each other and on the count of three, she would ask us to turn around and face one another.
I turned around, faced Will, and he said to me, “You know this isn’t a styled shoot right? It’s time.” At that instant, I knew that this was about to be a moment that would forever change my life. For the first few seconds I was in such shock that I had no idea what was really happening, until he so perfectly got down on one knee, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Ashley, I love you. Will you marry me?” I didn’t want to ever forget the emotions of pure love that I felt in that very moment.
After saying “YES!” and a celebratory sunset champagne toast, we headed back into town where I was greeted by a surprise engagement party complete with our friends and family from across the country. For so many people to be involved in helping create such a beautiful moment for the both of us is what truly made my heart sing. It was certainly a day that dreams are made of!