Ashley and Dominic

How We Met

Trust us when we say, the greatest thing you will ever do for yourself is to simply listen to what you actually want from life. “You may not end up where you thought you were going, but you will always end up where you were meant to be.” The future that we were both separately creating may not have had a clear path or a certain next step. But we both knew how it would feel and that is what we followed. Sometimes people lose a lot of things, but in that process, they almost always find their true selves, and in that same process we found one another. The most beautiful part is neither of us was even looking when we found each other. Our paths originally crossed months before, but life had other plans. Thankfully this same life led us back to each other one random night of Volleyball. The heart does not wear a watch – it’s timeless. It doesn’t care how long you have known someone. What the heart cares about is resonance.

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Ashley's Proposal in Off Key Tikki in Patchogue, NY

Ashley and Dominic's Engagement in Off Key Tikki in Patchogue, NY

The resonance that opens it, the resonance that enlivens it, the resonance that calls it home. And we found that within one another the moment we were open to allowing the transformation. It took drowning out all of the opinions, all of the ways in which others were telling us how to live and love, and exist in this world. It was not easy, it never is; because this what they don’t tell you — that finding your own version of happiness isn’t this comfortable, miraculous thing. It can get confusing, it will be hard. It’s difficult to be the person who does things differently, who chooses to walk away from life, or love, or hope that they once wanted. It is never easy to be the person who changes. But, its the greatest gift we can give ourselves. It will push you towards figuring out what your own personal version of happiness looks like; and when you grow on your own terms when you figure out what actually matters to you, and what actually ignites your heart.

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You become the person you have always wanted to be, rather than the person you were always told to be, and that is beautiful. Because when it comes down to it — life is about finding happiness. Choose the kind of love that feels right, the kind of love that makes you understand why it didn’t work out with anyone else. Choose the kind of life that makes you so damn happy you kept fighting for the things you wanted, for the way in which your heart asked you to believe in more. Choose yourself, unapologetically and without guilt. Choose to let go. Choose forgiveness. Choose to turn your losses into lessons. Choose to move forward, into the kind of story that fulfills you, into the kid of person that holds your heart just as carefully as you hold theirs, into the kind of happiness that exists only in your kind of perfectly imperfect person. Falling for each other wasn’t falling at all, it was like walking into a house and suddenly knowing we are home. Here is to the both of us, being undeniably ourselves, because without that we would have never stumbled into one another. “He’s more myself than I am, whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

How They Asked

There is only ONE thing this indecisive girl has ever been more certain about in her ENTIRE life and that was the answer to the question she was asked on February 1, 2019. This was the night Dominic asked Ashley to marry him. Ashley was under the illusion that this night was planned to celebrate her Dad and Dominic’s birthday. Cue to several minutes after Dominic and Ashley walked into the restaurant, a 20-minute slideshow started to play on the screen. Everyone was directed to gather around to watch.

At this very moment, Ashley went over, sat on Dominic’s lap and, as she always does, began recording the slideshow onto her Instagram story. Unbeknownst to her, the video started out as a “Happy Birthday” slideshow, and then moments later the following words came up on the screen “The Moment We’ve all been waiting for..” like pictures and videos of Dominic & Ashley started to play. Which then turned into several clips of Dominic describing their love story & taking us back to where it all began – on the Long Beach volleyball courts. Dominic also included snippets of videos that he collected from everyone who loves them; family and friends sharing their adoration for Dominic and Ashley.

Each had a similar explanation for how the universe was meant to cross their paths. This reason is what led them all gathered together for this unforgettable and special night. Ashley was in utter disbelief during the whole slideshow (as pictured above). And at the end of the slide show, Dominic told Ashley to turn around to dance with him. He had surprised her with her favorite acoustic guitarist from Long Beach (Evan Kuriga) playing one of their favorite songs; they then danced to: “Like the magic in your favorite song, you just can’t put your finger on. You’ve got this thing about you.”

Surrounded by all their family and best friends, the song ended and Dominic got down on one knee and asked Ashley to marry him. Little did I know I was holding the hand that would one day slip a ring on mine, wipe my tears, and plan our kind of perfect surprise proposal. I will forever be speechless over this moment, this life & this person, Dominic. “He makes it easy to stay in love – I bet the whole wide world just wishes they were us.”

Our Video

Special Thanks

Sarra Snider
 | Photographer
Jared Lieberman
 | Videographer