Ashlie and Wil

How We Met

May 24, 2016 – a night, and a sunset I will never forget. It was the summer before my senior year of college, I was home for the summer. Working in Panama City Beach, alongside some of my very best friends who had decided to also spend their summer in my home time. We all were living the dream, working on the beach – getting paid to soak up the sun while selling parasail rides to summer tourists. My best friend Tanner had moved down on a whim before even securing housing. He was always one to be very spontaneous, which was why we were best friends! He ended up meeting a group of guys who allowed him to roommate with him. Having been in a relationship every summer, and just removing myself from a toxic one, I was determined to dedicate this summer to spending time with my family and close friends. After work I would head straight home, denying Tanner’s daily invite to come over and see his new pad. A few weeks into the summer and it was very apparent that Tanner had found a new best friend – Wil. That’s all he talked about, how cool he was and “oh man Ash you have to meet him”. One day after work, Tanner to no surprise was talking about Wil again, and I finally said “look, stop talking about him until I meet him” because I’m not a fan of not being able to place a name with a face. Tanner replies “Let me call him we can meet for a few beers”. I gave in, “Fine, but I want to be home by 8”. Tanner calls Wil, and before I know it we are on the way to meet him at the local lagoon bar. Sweaty, tired, and wearing a wet oversized t-shirt as a bathing suit cover-up, I’m on my way to meet this mystery Will kid. We walk up to the bar and pick a booth. The sun was just about to set, and here comes the most gorgeous, handsome man I have ever laid my eyes on. You guys, this is not an exaggeration. “Tanner, TANNER! Look… I need to meet that guy”. His response? “Oh no problem that’s Wil!” My heart was beating out of my chest… THAT. IS. WIL? I couldn’t believe I was meeting him looking at how I was. He walked over and shook my hand. I was so nervous, I didn’t say much and I couldn’t stop staring. The only flaw about him was his Florida Gator lanyard, but we can train that. We played bingo, watched the sunset, and went back to their place to swim afterward. We talked for a while and spent a lot of the night getting to know each other. The more I talked to him the more of my heart left me. I had never felt like this before, truly. There was something about him, I just couldn’t put my finger on it right at that moment, but now I know. He stoled my heart that night, it truly was love at first sight. We have been inseparable ever since.

Ashlie and Wil's Engagement in Deer lake State Park

How They Asked

I had talked for months about getting couple-photos done, but with such a busy summer we never actually made time. One afternoon, Wil and I were lounging around the house and he insisted that I “just get out of the house a while, go shopping”. Not really wanting to leave the house I was hesitant at first, but you guys he INSISTED (little did I know he would be making phone calls to ask my family for their permission) So I left and walked aimlessly around Pier Park, a local shopping mall, for a bit. While I was out I decided I was just going to book our couple session. I reached out to a local photographer, and we set a time and place. I got back home and I let Wil in on the plan, “We’re having photos done next week, and please I’ll do anything if you will just cooperate (LOL!) I know it’s hot, and we’ll have to rush after work, but please.. just give me 30 mins!” “Ok babe”. I spent the next week trying to convince him how fun it would be.

Thursday finally came, and I was getting ready… thinking he was doing the same. I walked into the room and he was SLEEPING! 45 minutes before we had to be there, how would he be ready in time?! I was so stressed, and just hoped we could get it together. We made it out of the door, and on the drive to Deer Lake State Park, Wil didn’t say much except for how hot/itchy his shirt was, and how this better not be more than 30 mins… HERE WE GO! *eye roll*

Well, we got there and in the middle of our shoot, our photographer had us put our backs to each other. I turned around to see him on one knee! WHAT!! My best friend, the love of my life is asking me to be his wife! How blessed am I? He gave me much more than 30 minutes, he gave me FOREVER!

Special Thanks

Amanda Jones
 | Photographer