Ashley and Ben
How We Met
We met freshmen year of college at the University of Washington. He was in a fraternity, I was in a sorority. We had just had a crazy amount of snow and school closed for three days. Naturally, that meant an extended weekend, exploring campus and meeting new people. One of my friends at the time liked one of his friends, so she took us over to our frat to spend the afternoon with them. Ben and I got to talking, and the rest is pretty much history. Six and a half years later, here we are!
how they asked
The question everyone keeps asking me is if I was surprised or not. Truthfully, I was shocked and had no idea that he was thinking about popping the question now. While we had seriously talked about getting married because well, we’ve been together for so long, but also, we’ve purchased two homes together, we have also been so happy just being us. Side note…for all you homeowners out there, you know that it’s a pretty huge deal (emotionally, financially, logistically) to purchase a home and isn’t something that should be taken lightly. So, we really felt like in many ways, that was us both making a pretty big commitment to the other person. Even though we weren’t engaged at the time, we both knew we wanted to get married, and we always told people we didn’t feel the need to rush into being engaged.
The other thing that is so crazy to me is that we never talked about rings. Nowadays, I feel like it’s pretty common for the bride and groom to go ring shopping together before he proposes, but Ben wanted it to be a total surprise and I love that he did it that way. It made it SO much sweeter to hear the day that he knew we wanted to marry me on a random day when we were driving to work in March, and he went ring shopping later that afternoon. Anyway, after a few glasses of wine recently, I had shown Haley rings I liked on maybe one or two occasions, but never was it something that we seriously talked about as a couple. We’d both make random comments about getting engaged, dodge questions from friends and family about it, and laugh it off with our signature response, “we’re committed, but we’ll do it on our time.” Little did I know, that was his way of totally throwing me off!
Where it happened + the night of
Last October, we booked a trip to New York City just for a weekend of eating, exploring and traveling. I had been as a kid and a couple times recently for work, but Ben had never been and we thought it’d be a fun new city for us to explore together. When the trip rolled around, Ben told me he had a surprise planned for Saturday night! It didn’t even cross my mind that a proposal could be just around the corner because he plans surprises for me all the time. I actually thought it was like dinner and a musical or another show of some sort.
So, we get all dressed up for my fancy “surprise” on the second night of our trip and he takes us to Rockefeller Center. Um, yes, please! How cool and the views are obviously supposed to be amazing! The only caveat was that it was raining, all damn day. The city was totally sopped in fog and it was super chilly. When we got up to the ticket counter to get our tickets, they said that they didn’t recommend that we go up to the top because there’s zero (and as you can see from the photos, they seriously meant zero) visibility and we should come back a different day. Thinking we still needed to make our dinner reservations and go to our show (duh!), I suggested we just come back the next day so we could see the views from the top. Ben insisted that we go up since we were already there and check it out. Ok, a bit odd, but I was like, “Oh, of course! We’re eating here!” (I had no idea the photographer had already been up there for two hours!)
We get up to the top and no one is there. It’s actually beautiful to be so high and only see clouds, but not the views that you’d expect to see on a clear day. And then, Ben takes my hand and starts telling me how much he loves me…and a ton of other romantic things that we’ll keep to ourselves…and all the sudden he reaches into his pocket to pull out the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen and gets down on one knee. All the sudden, I heard the best four words he has ever said to me, “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” Ah, it couldn’t be real life. I think my exact response was, “Oh my god, of course.”
Our photographer and the security guard were the only two other people up there and they started clapping and cheering for us, and I just kept looking at him…and the ring…and him again. We were engaged!!!!!!!! The rest of the night was so special and it was just the two of us. He made reservations at this really nice steakhouse and we went out for celebratory drinks before, but we couldn’t stop smiling, giggling and dreaming of our wedding.
To my future hubby: I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t know if love-at-first-sight-is-real, but if it is, I felt it with you. I knew the moment I saw you that there was going to be something special between us. After our first date at 18, my life was forever changed for the better. Thank you for loving me unconditionally on my best and worst days, and being my partner-in-crime through it all. Thank you for choosing me to be your forever, and putting me and us first. I love you more than you know and promise to never stop.
Together, we have conquered so much. From sorority and fraternity grab-a-dates, transferring colleges, switching majors eight times, college graduations, getting our first jobs, switching jobs, traveling the world, losing people we love, buying and selling our first home, moving to my home state and so much more, we have been a team every single step of the way and done it all with love, compassion, and support. I can’t wait to marry you and be your wife (!!!!!!!!!!) and continue on this incredible journey together. Here’s to a lifetime of love, laughs, and adventures…let the fun begin!