Every couple has a unique story and I love hearing them when I meet couples for the first time. I wanted to share our story in this 7-part series to help you get to know me and Weston a little better. I hope you enjoy reading our story from the moment we met until now!
Weston and I knew we wanted to get married when we started dating, but we wanted to finish school first and we didn’t want a long engagement. We decided that we would get married the summer after graduation on July 13, 2013. (Yes, we set our wedding date before we got engaged haha). I knew he would be proposing sometime after July 13, 2012, but I had no idea when.
On August 5, my family was planning on meeting Weston’s family in Gulf Shores for dinner – nothing out of the ordinary. My dad made up a story about wanting to look for shells on the beach before dinner – again, not unusual and I didn’t question it. We met the Masons at the RV park they were staying at and I got in the car with them because I hadn’t seen Weston in a few days. We drove to Gulf State Park and walked out on the beach. I carried my camera bag and camera out there with me because I wanted to get pictures of us, and naturally, I started taking pictures. I drifted away from our group a little and our moms kept telling me to keep moving. I started walking with Weston and asked him why his mom kept taking pictures of us walking. He said he didn’t know and not to worry about it, so I didn’t.
As we were walking, I noticed a photographer with a really nice camera lens. I was about to go over and talk to him, but I noticed he was in the middle of a photo session, so I decided not to interrupt. We kept walking and my mom said my camera bag was messing up my shirt and offered to hold it for me. I thought it was strange, but I let her take it from me anyway.
I still had my camera and started taking pictures of the sun setting, which was in the opposite direction of where everyone was walking. Then I saw someone waving at me down the beach, so I zoomed in with my camera lens and saw that it was my grandparents. They walked closer and I had no idea what they were doing there because they typically don’t go to the beach. My grandmother said they wanted to buy t-shirts and decided to walk on the beach for a while since they were already there. I thought it was odd, but I didn’t question it.
Our families continued walking down the beach “looking for shells” as a storm started coming in. My mom noticed a cloud shaped like a dolphin and said I needed to take a picture of it (I was obsessed with dolphins when I was younger). I was snapping away and they said Weston and I should take a picture with it. I went to stand next to him and as my brother, Matthew, was taking the picture with my camera, I noticed everyone lining up with their cameras. I was so confused and thought, “Guys, it’s just a cloud. Not a big deal.” They finished taking the picture and Weston got down on one knee and said,
“Ashley, it’s been four wonderful years of memories, but I’d like to make it a lifetime of memories. Will you marry me?”
I was crying so much at this point that I couldn’t say anything so I had to nod my head, “yes!” We hugged and he put the most beautiful engagement ring I’ve ever seen on my hand!
I was completely surprised and then my brother, Nicholas, came over to me with his phone to show me that my Marine-brother, Jonathan, had witnessed the entire thing on Skype! The photographer I almost talked to a few minutes earlier, was actually the secret photographer that Weston hired to document our proposal!
My dream proposal was to have both of our families present, to have a secret photographer, and for Weston to surprise me. I got everything I wanted and more! Read more next week in Part 5!