The day started like an ordinary Saturday morning, me waking up to feed and walk the dogs, while Ashley started to clean the house. Little did either Ashley, or the dogs, know that this day was going to be far from ordinary.
We first met at Cabrini College and if it weren’t for Cabrini we probably never would have crossed paths. Ashley is from Voorhees, NJ and I’m from Abingdon, MD; a distance that would have kept us in our own worlds if it had not been for Cabrini. Our first date was to Maggiano’s Little Italy at the King of Prussia mall. The moment our table was called, I unconsciously stuck out my hand and grabbed hers like we had been dating for years, and we haven’t looked back since.
Over the years the Philadelphia Art Museum has become one of our favorite outings. It’s a place that gives Ashley a great amount of joy, and for me I love to enjoy the quiet and occasionally take in the art work too. We casually stroll through the halls, take in the masterpieces on display, and seldom get lost in its many corridors.
On this day, I told Ash that I had a special day trip and dinner planned for us because we had both been working hard and wanted to take advantage of the beautiful day. Ash was instantly excited and we both hurried to get done and on our way. All I told Ash was that we were spending the day in Philly and that I wasn’t going to give any hints as to where we were going. Well, like Ashley always seems to do, she uncannily guessed that our first stop would be to the Philadelphia Art Museum. We took a few hours, strolled the halls, gazed upon some priceless works of art, and had a great time trying to understand some of the more obscure pieces as well.
Once finished I told her that we actually had a few hours before our dinner reservation and that we had started our day sooner than expected. Nonetheless, I acted as if I had just thought of a little place that we could go that would fill in the time. In true Ashley fashion, she was enthusiastic as ever and off we went.
We have never been to the Philadelphia Magic Gardens but the second we parked in front of the building she grew particularly excited because, unbeknownst to me, Ashley has always wanted to visit the Magic Gardens. As we entered the Gardens Ashley was immediately struck with the awe inspiring beauty and creativity that the Gardens entails. We made our way through the building part of the Gardens and then headed to the larger outside portion. We again took our time and explored every nook and cranny of the incredible art that was surrounding us. As we made our way down one walk way we came upon a larger area where there was an easel with a cloth draped over top. Tied to the bottom right hand corner was a string like bracelet that Ashley immediately recognized.
A few months into dating, Ashley wanted to show me what the “shore” was, otherwise known to me as, the beach. I’ve since learned that the shore is not only a title for the area of land, but another world itself. It’s a place that Ashley has always enjoyed and seems to represent a zen like atmosphere. One night while walking the boardwalk Ashley picked out a small Blue and Silver string bracelet for me, and then proceed to tie it on my wrist. The bracelet couldn’t have been more than $2 but it somehow survived and stayed tied to my wrist for the next 6 years. It quickly became a part of me, and after many inquiries from people about when I was going to take it off, I figured that it was going to last forever. One morning a few months prior to this day I woke up and it had fallen off in the middle of the night, I quickly hid it and knew that it was something that I could use for something special in our future.
Ashley quickly looked back at me with a mesmerized stare and I told her to take off the cloth. She revealed a picture collage that I had made with all of the special moments that we’ve shared together. On top of the collage was the saying, “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” It’s a saying that we’ve used on special gifts, notes to each, and at other special moments throughout our relationship. Once she saw it, she turned around and through her now teary eyes looked at me with a look of pure joy. As we stood there I told her every reason why she is my world and how she is easily the best part of me. Then, I took one knee, told her again how I can’t picture my life without her and asked if she, Ashley Nicole Edel, would do me the great honor of marrying me.
Ashley quickly said YES, and after a large round of applause that had since formed around us at the Gardens, we kissed our first kiss as fiancés.
The amazingly wonderful people at Ring Shot Photography captured every moment of this incredible occasion. They started taking photos as we walked into the Magic Gardens, captured breath taking photos all throughout the proposal, and then we even had an absolutely unbelievable on the spot engagement photo-shoot. The entire team at Ring Shot Photography was incredible to work with and hiring them was one of the best decisions I’ve made. The entire process, from planning, to receiving the final pictures was easy and effortless on our part. The best part was that Ashley was so excited that I had arranged this and now we have an amazing catalog of photos to look through and share.
Our day was not over though… As promised we had dinner reservations and after our incredible photo-shoot we made our way to the restaurant. In another effort to bring our relationship’s history into this special day we ended the evening at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Center City. As soon as we parked and made our way into the restaurant I knew that this was the perfect way to conclude our special day. Ashley was just now starting to compose herself from the ecstatic state that she had been in for the past few hours, but those emotions came rushing back in when we arrived at our table. Waiting for us were the people that shaped us into the people that we are today. Waiting with beaming smiles and open arms were both Ashley and my parents. It was one last surprise that I set up that I knew would mean the world to Ash, and by the immediate smile from ear to ear and her teary eyes, I knew that I had planned correctly.