Ashlee and Luke


The first time I saw him was on a naval vessel. I was new and didn’t know anyone. I walked into the room and saw him just sitting there. I didn’t say anything to him because he looked as if he didn’t want to be bothered lol. But a few weeks later while working together we became friends and as time went on we became best friends. We always hung out and told each other everything, even gave relationship advice. We traveled all over the world together making many memories that we never would of guessed would lead to our life together. We were friends for 5 years before I had to leave the ship and transfer to another command. It was hard to keep in touch due to the time difference of him being in Spain to me being back in the United States, we pretty much lost touch. About 8 months later I found out through a mutual friend he was now stationed in the same state I was, and he actually contacted me a short while after I found out. We hung out became real good friends again but something was different. He then later told me that he has grown closer to me then ever before and has feelings for me. I embraced his feelings and we started to date. We fell in love and went through our ups and downs but remained strong and here we are now, to be married in the fall.

how they asked

It all started when I was asking him to one day have professional couples photos done. So one day in April, I came home and he said he has a gift for me and the gift was a pair of Christian Louboutin (red bottom) heels. I was so surprised and so excited. He continued to tell me that he bought the heels for our couples photo shoot he booked for June at the botanical gardens. I was even more excited and over joyed that he planned all of this for us. Fast forward to the day of the photo shoot, before we left he says he has a little gift for me, which was a single rose dipped in 24 carat gold called the eternity rose. Now, I’m so blown away and loving this because I love gold jewelry and my favorite flower is a white rose, so both of them together was amazing to me and so thoughtful. We then left and arrived at the botanical gardens, where we met our photographer Mrs. Ryann Winn. Before we started I was told we could not take photos in the rose garden until noon because of a private event happening and we had to wait until it was over. I was totally ok with that so we took amazing pictures in other areas of the garden. We were having a great time taking pictures and just having fun. It was almost noon when we decided to take a break then head out to the rose garden.

We were on our way there but outside was a sign in front of the entrance saying ‘closed for a private event’ but there was a woman standing not to far away signaling that it was ok to go in. We walk in and Ryann recommends that we start taking photos under the rose trellis structure in the middle of the garden. As we’re getting closer and closer to the structure I see his mother come from behind one of the pillars on the right and my mother come out on the left. I stop walking and I’m in complete shock. Then my aunt came out and so did his father. I immediately start to cry because for one I haven’t see my mom in a while and it was just her birthday the day before and I was so happy to see her and because it was just such a great surprise to have all of them there. By this time I still don’t even think anything of it other then our families have come to visit and spend this great time together and my amazing boyfriend made it all happen.

So after all the crying and hugging and taking a couple family photos, Ryann suggested that we just finish up our couples photos. We get into position and started posing but then Luke started to tell me how much he loves and cares about me. He then turns to his mother; she opens her purse and hands him a little black box and then gets on one knee to ask me to marry him.

I’m of course crying my eyes out while definitely accepting!!! I was so happy and so overwhelmed for the man of my dreams to ask me to marry him in front of our families not even realizing that Ryann has been taking pictures the whole time and has captured the whole moment.

It was perfect and amazing. For Luke to think and plan all of this was very impressive, thoughtful, caring and I’m so very thankful for him. I was later told that the ‘ closed for private event’ sign was actually us, we were the “event”. It was amazing to learn all the hidden secrets that happened around me and didn’t have a clue. It was beyond wonderful.

Special Thanks

Ryann Winn Photography
 | photographer