How We Met
I met Matt in college. We both attended a Music Arts program together and played in a variety of bands together during our time there.
We formed a great friendship during our first year in the program together. By the end of our time there we were inseparable, and we were able to graduate from the program together in the summer of 2014.
How They Asked
Both being musicians, myself a piano player and he a bass player, we love to play together. We are both parts of an incredible band which is a Supertramp cover band. Supertramp is one of my all-time favorite bands, I grew up listening to them and still listen to all their records. Of course, we both love their music, and together with our friends made an incredible tribute. Of course with COVID happening last year, we had to cancel our sold-out shows that were booked for March 2020. We were able to re-book our sold-out shows for the end of August, but had to spread the shows out over 2 nights. 2 shows a night both nights on Friday and Saturday. We rehearsed and perfected our sets, we had our outfits so that we looked like we were living in the ’70s, and were so excited to finally have our hard work pay off and to perform for our friends and families. Little did I know that Matt was also in the process of planning a proposal more perfect than I could have ever dreamed. The dates our shows were rescheduled for just happened to fall in line with his grandmother’s birthday, and when he realized all of these little things falling into place he knew that our first opening show would be the perfect chance to do it. I am terrible to surprise, I ruin surprises and I have never had somebody successfully surprise me and I have no idea about it. Well…I had literally no idea to expect this. We started our first show on a Friday night. The way we had our shows set up was 2 sets of music, and in between both sets, our band leader Devon would play and sing 2 songs by himself – of course, all Supertramp songs, with the band members leaving the stage for those 2 songs. As we finished our first set of music on our first opening night, Matt looked at me and said “come over to the middle of the stage”.
I was very confused, but I thought maybe he wanted us to stay on the stage to watch Devon play to support him. That’s when I realized that Devon was just continually playing the intro to his first song “If Everyone Was Listening”. I knew that song well, so when he kept repeating the intro that’s when it clicked into my mind that something was happening. Matt grabbed my hand and walked me to the center stage, and as a dramatic emotional person, I immediately started sobbing when I realized what was about to happen. From the very beginning of our relationship, Matt has always kept a theme going for special occasions. He always told me that a girl deserves three things on her special day; something delicious, something beautiful, and something meaningful. He has weaved this mantra throughout our relationship, and through the good and the bad, that mantra has stood the test of time for us. As he approached the mic, with me sobbing, and all of our friends and family in the audience, he started the same theme. “A girl deserves three things on her special day.
Something delicious” – which was a glass of red wine that he pre-emptively ordered myself and him at the beginning of the show, I love a good glass of red. “Something beautiful….all our friends and family here to watch us play, and something meaningful….the music that we love so much, that means so much to us, that we’ve put our heart and souls into learning” Being a sold-out show, the reactions from the crowd were amazing, laughter, gasps, hooting and hollering, I couldn’t have asked for a better moment.
Everything was moving in slow motion, and through my sobs, I soaked at that moment as much as I could. That’s when Matt said into the mic “but there’s one more thing…..” and pulled out a little white box and got down on one knee. I yelled “yes….obviously!” before he could get another word out because there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man. He then of course finished his sentence “Ashley Justine Cates, I love you, will you be my wife?” and then the bar exploded with cheering. It was the greatest night of my life.