Ashley and Bradley

Image 1 of Ashley and Bradley

How We Met

Bradley is my high-school sweetheart. We met at church when I was 16 and he was 17. I pursued Bradley (unsuccessfully) for about a year before we decided to go out on a double date to a Mexican restaurant with friends from church. From that date on, the rest is history. After Bradley graduated high school he stayed in town and went to a tech school for two years trying to save money. I graduated a year later and left North Carolina to attend Anderson University in South Carolina. My sophomore year of college, Bradley applied to a nearby university, Clemson, and got accepted!! So we now are 30 minutes away, instead of 3 hours!

how they asked

For my 21st birthday Bradley surprised me with a trip to New York City at Christmas time (A DREAM COME TRUE). My mom and sister were coming with us which made the trip even more exciting! Some of my friends told me they thought I would get engaged in New York but I laughed it off because Bradley and I had talked about getting engaged over the summer. So as the trip drew closer I was distracted with making plans of where we were going and what we were going to do, the thought of engagement never crossed my mind again. The first full day we were in NYC we did every touristy thing we could do. We went to the World Trade Center, Central Park, Times Square, and of course you can’t be in NYC at Christmas and not go to Rockefeller Plaza. So we made our way from Times Square to the Rockefeller Christmas tree around dark.

When we got to the tree Bradley said he wanted to take a picture in front of the tree. So we stood in front of the tree ready to take a picture when Bradley said he had a couple gifts he wanted to give me. Of course I was like, “this can’t wait until after the picture?” or “Can we do it somewhere less crowded?” I was obviously still clueless. He gave me my first present which was full of things from our past, such as a maraca ornament to represent our first date to that Mexican restaurant (and the 50,000 dates to Mexican restaurants). There was a piece of my prom dress in the box, as well as a keychain I got him while we were on a mission trip in Nicaragua.

Image 2 of Ashley and Bradley

The next box was a box representing our “present” life, such as a toy dog to represent the dog we have together, and a Clemson tiger rag from the home football games we attend every weekend (GO TIGERS!). It was at this point I finally realized what was about to happen.

Image 3 of Ashley and Bradley

The next and final box was our “future” box, it contained farm animals to represent the farm we want to live on, an uncut key for our first house, and an engagement ring ornament. When I finished going through the final box Bradley handed me a letter. The letter was written to his mom who passed away many years before. The letter was Bradley talking to her about our relationship, his love for me, and wishing his mom could’ve met me. It was the sweetest thing I’d ever read and when I finished reading it, I looked at Bradley and he got down on one knee and through HIS tears, he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. HOW COULD I SAY NO?! It was bigger and better than ANYTHING I had prayed or dreamed about.

Image 4 of Ashley and Bradley

Image 5 of Ashley and Bradley