How we met: One stormy night, the church I attend was having a college activity night at a couple’s home in a town nearby. My friend (now one of my bridesmaids) talked me into going after I repeatedly told her, “No, it’s horrible outside with possible tornadoes!! Let’s just go next time.” She wouldn’t take no for an answer, so we headed out.
Once we arrived, I made my way around the garage saying hello to people I knew when I found myself by two guys I had never met. So, I introduce myself and we exchange the awkward “hi, I’m so-and-so….nice to meet you…okay, bye.” I quickly find my friends and the festivities of boiled hot dogs, ice cream, and Bible Study begins. Through out the night I notice one of the guys I had just met glancing at me. He manages to find a seat beside me for Bible Study and afterwards begins to talk. We chat about random things and he ends up asking for my Twitter name so he can follow me…on that note, whoever was sitting around the decision table & thought that calling it “follow” was a good idea wasn’t thinking of these conversations.
Anyway, I give him my Twitter name and he immediately tweets about me and how I’m freaking out about the Tornado warning. The weather gets worse before it gets better, but as soon as it clears up, everyone begins to leave. Shortly after I got home, I had a message on Twitter from that same guy, from Cody Goff.
It’s hard to believe what started out so randomly quickly became something with so much purpose. What do I mean by purpose? I mean that the night Cody sat beside me and asked for my Twitter name was not a coincidence. God knew that we would need each other in the year that followed–especially the weeks that followed. A few weeks after we met, we went on our first date. Cody went all out to impress me–and he did. We didn’t go on your normal first date, we went to a paint your own canvas boutique where he had planned for us to have a room to ourselves. Time flew by and then we went to a rooftop dinner, stringed lights included. And what’s a date without dessert? We went to a local shaved ice place and enjoyed more conversation. Ask me what I remember most and I would say our conversation at dinner. Ask Cody what he remembered most and he would say: texting his dad our picture and getting a reply of “she’s pretty” and then making it home and being able to tell his mom all about our date, including his statement, “Mom, I think she’s the one.”
Those two things probably wouldn’t have meant that much to most people, but a few days later Cody left to be a camp counselor. At the beginning of his week at camp, his world was turned upside down–he had received word that his parents were in a serious car accident on their way back from vacation–the one they left for the day after our first date.
After only knowing him for a few weeks, he was comfortable enough to call me that night and ask me to pray for his parents. The 24 hours that followed were hard and filled with the saddest news I have ever heard–his parents didn’t make it. My heart broke in places I didn’t know I had. I remember going to a friend’s house and just crying. I was confused. Why did it bother me so much? Yeah, this news would be sad had it been anyone, but why was I taking it so hard? I didn’t know the answer, but I knew God had a reason for putting me in Cody’s life when He did, so I promised to be there for him. In the moments of being there for him, I was able to see a glimpse of the strongest man I will ever know. Cody still found joy in small things, made a slideshow of his parents, and spoke at their funeral.
I have heard countless stories of his parents, and know that even though I never met them, they would be beyond proud of the man Cody has become. They raised their little boy to be a man that loves with all of his heart, treats women with respect, values family, and knows the power of faith in God–and I get to be his forever.
how they asked: Every girl dreams of the day the man they have fallen in love with gets down on one knee and asks the weighted question—”Will you marry me?” Will he write you a poem? Will he do a song and dance in front of thousands of people? Will he ask you tucked away on a romantic date? Will he take you to your favorite place on earth and say how you are his favorite? I’m not sure, but I know the man of my dreams asked me to be his wife in the most perfect way I could have imagined. This is the story of Cody Goff and Ashliegh Henard.
It was Labor Day weekend and Cody’s family was traveling from Nebraska to spend the weekend in Arkansas with us! We had plans to go to dinner that night, but that afternoon I was scheduled to have lunch with a friend, MaryAnn, after she had text me earlier that week being really persistent that we hang out on Saturday. As I was talking to her on Friday she mentioned that there was something she wanted to do after lunch, but she wouldn’t tell me until the next day when we were eating. That night, as I lay in bed, I thought to myself—if she asks me to get my nails done, Cody’s family didn’t just come for a 3 day weekend…something is going down!
So there we were finishing our meal and she says, “So, I want to go get our nails done! I’ve had a long 3 weeks at my new job and I want to pamper myself and it’s no fun to do alone!” I had just done my nails 2 days before, so I insisted that I was fine! Of course she wouldn’t take no for an answer, “no, it’s my treat!” she said. She finally settled on letting me get my toenails done instead.
While we were enjoying our mani and pedi, she asked where the family was eating that night. I admitted that I had no idea and immediately asked Cody. He told me the name of a really fancy place in our downtown area and that his sisters would be wearing cute dresses. I looked down and realized I was way under-dressed. So, MaryAnn and I ended up going shopping to find a dress! We found one (on SUPER sale, lucky day!) and made a few more stops until it was pushing the time for me to meet Cody and his family for dinner.
I arrived at the downtown restaurant and walked in to ask for our table. When I went inside, I didn’t see them so I gave Cody a call. He told me that they wouldn’t take our number of people and to go to the restaurant next door and I would see them as soon as I walked in. So, I walked over, opened the door, and the building is completely empty. I realized soon after that I had walked into the side door, so I began walking to the front counter to ask for our table. The waiter took me to a large group of people and I remember saying “Umm, I don’t know any of these people…this isn’t them.” I walked back to the front of the building and it suddenly hit me—
This is the old Michelangelo’s.
This is where Cody and I had our first date.
Oh, there is his best friend in a dress shirt and tie waiting for me in the foyer.
Oh my gosh, it’s tonight!
I walked out to meet his friend and he tells me how fun the night is going to be and how there are multiple surprises for me. He then escorted me to the elevator and we made our way to what will be the sweetest proposal I could have imagined…
When I stepped out of the elevator, there was a big projector screen set up and a video started playing–our hiking trip, our trip to Branson with his family, our night of putting up my Christmas tree, our fishing trip where I caught my first fish…and finally the line that read “I can’t wait to see you! Meet me on the roof top!”
I was escorted to the roof top (exactly where we had our first date!) and was met with an illuminated “Marry Me” sign that he made himself, a photographer, and the sweetest man on earth. He got down on one knee and asked to me to marry him—of course I said yes!
We took a few more pictures and then went down to the restaurant to eat. There was a private room all set up for us–candles everywhere and a small table, complete with a table runner made of our pictures (thanks to his sisters for creating that for us). We picked something to share and talked about the day, life, and how God brought us together.
After eating, Cody said the photographers were still upstairs to get some cool night lighting shots, so we made our way back to the roof top. Once we got off the elevator and turned the corner, I heard a loud chorus of “SURPRISE” and there stood a room full of people that Cody and I love. That entire night, not one tear had formed in my eyes, but once I started hugging my mom and grandma, I lost it. I am so blessed to have had the people that we care about most be there to celebrate with us.
Between the great food, the wonderful petit fours, beautiful decorations, and our friends and family, we spent the rest of the night talking and laughing.
It was truly an amazing night that I will never forget. I cannot wait for my forever with Cody Goff.
Living & loving my fairytale,
Future Mrs. Goff
Photography by Sterling Imageworks