We tried and tried to write this story, but then realized that their love story as told by Brian in their Wish Application was so much better than anything we could write:
“8,005… That is the number of messages sent back and forth between the two of us on the popular social media site, Facebook. 8,005 little reasons that created a much larger picture.
Ashley and I met at a very interesting point in my life. I had been home for almost two years following a nine month tour in Afghanistan, still suffering from some emotional stresses and haunting memories, not to mention an almost debilitating disease known as Active Ulcerative Pancolitis that was an unfortunate result of my deployment. I was down in a dark hole and unsure if I would ever come out.
All photos by Deja Views
I stumbled upon this free website called OkCupid.com and decided to give it a try. I mean come on, it’s not like I would actually find anyone worth my time… right? I waited and waited, hoping someone would catch my eye, but for the longest time nothing seemed to spark my interest. Then, one day as I was searching through a few profiles, I came across this picture of a girl with the most amazing green eyes I had ever seen. I clicked on her profile and read through everything: this was her! I hesitated for a moment, thinking she’s not going to answer, why even bother, but I did it anyway and hoped for the best. Within an hour, I couldn’t believe it, she actually answered me!
We started talking on a regular basis for a few weeks, sometimes all night and into the early morning hours. Finally, after a few weeks (we started very slowly) she decided it was okay to add me on Facebook; I was ecstatic! I looked and looked but couldn’t find her. So, I told her how to find me… nothing! I was starting to think she might give up since locating me was taking almost a week. Then I got a message from her with a link to her page. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.’ That was the very first thing I said to her on Facebook. From that moment, it was a complete whirlwind of emotion and utter happiness. We officially started dating in August of 2011, and soon after that I met her amazing two-year-old son Kaiden, who is now one of the two centers of my whole world.
We spent as much time as humanly possible with each other. She quickly became a very important member of my family and I seemed to be a big portion of hers. Things were going great, but I wanted more. So, on Valentine’s Day (the exact same day her grandparents became engaged) of 2012 I got down on one knee in the middle of a restaurant in Schaumburg, IL and asked her to be my wife …She said yes!
That is all it took, just six short months, and I was sold. I loved her and that little boy of hers more than anything I have ever had in this world, and now I knew I wouldn’t let them go. In just six short months we had fallen so deeply in love that we didn’t even realize it was only six months. Now, after nine amazing months together, we sit in her living room looking back and know that we wouldn’t ever change a thing. I cannot wait to see her walk down that aisle.”
Ashley and Brian, together with these generous vendors, we are SO honored to help you start your new life together!
Venue: Chicago Marriott O’Hare
Planner: Shannon Gail
Photographer: Larry with DéjàViewsUSA
Cinematography: I Do Films
Offiiciant: Rev. Jim Rehnberg
Florist: ZuZu Petals
Music: O’Dea Entertainment
Lighting: Chicago Speaker Rental
Hair & Makeup: Laura B Salon
Invitations: Natural Impressions