News Reporter Gets Proposed to On Air
How We Met: The path of love for Justin and Ashley began in the summer of 2013. At the time, both were working in Birmingham, Alabama. Ashley was the weekend morning anchor and reporter at the NBC affiliate. Justin worked across town at the competing ABC station as a photojournalist. The two worked opposite schedules and never crossed paths in the field.
That changed in late July. Both attended a convention for the National Association of Black Journalists in Orlando, FL. One night, after a long day of workshops, Justin and Ashley continued their networking at an after-hours mixer. That’s where they locked eyes. Justin had watched Ashley on the news a few times and always wanted to meet her. This was his moment.
In addition to journalism, each also had a passion for dancing and the moves to back it up on the floor. All of a sudden, Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines blared across the room. It was one of the hottest songs in the summer of 2013.
Both hit the dance floor, but never talked. As the last words blasted from the audio system, Justin and Ashley broke their silence. They thanked each other for a respectful two-step shuffle, and left.
Justin and Ashley returned to Birmingham. To this day, Justin claims he sent Ashley an email to say hello and ask her to dinner. She never received the email. Thankfully, he was persistent.
The next time they spoke was about four months later in November 2013. Ashley received a phone call at work the day before Thanksgiving. It was Justin. She was headed out the door to work on a news story and couldn’t talk. Instead, they exchanged numbers. Later that night, they talked for three hours about family, life, love, careers and the future. Two days later, they had their first date. The rest is history. The only time they’ve spent a part, is when Justin moved to Minneapolis, MN for a new job. He started at KSTP-TV as a photojournalist in September. Ashley moved to the Twin Cities in November. She was hired as the morning reporter at WCCO-TV.
how they asked: WCCO This Morning reporter Ashley Roberts received a big surprise Wednesday, April 15, 2015.
Ashley and her co-workers were discussing high wedding costs during a news segment. The host of WCCO Mid-Morning, Jason DeRusha, introduced a fashion expert and in walked Justin.
Ashley had no idea, but soon realized the big question was looming when Justin appeared in a white suit holding a silver box. Ashley began crying, hyperventilating and squealing in excitement.
“I was never able to finish everything that I had planned to tell Ashley,” said Justin. “She never let me finish,” he jokingly continued.
“But, that’s okay. She knew then and knows now how much I love her and always will. She’s the love of my life and I wanted the entire world to know.”
After Justin got down on bended knee and placed the ring on Ashley’s finger, she sealed the deal with a kiss and her “happy dance.”
The same way they met had now also signaled the start of a new journey and their lives as husband and wife.
Justin had been planning the big day for almost two months. He enlisted the help of Ashley’s news director, morning producers and co-workers. Her best friends, Kalisha Whitman and Natalie Thomas, also helped Justin send out email and text blasts to all of their family and closest friends informing them of the big day. Ashley’s television station live-streams newscasts online and that made it possible for their loved ones to watch the magic unfold in real time.
“One of the best things about the proposal is that my friends and family, especially my mother, were able to share in the moment,” said Ashley.
“This is something we can show our kids one day. Justin is my soulmate. He’s my path to love.”
For the past five months prior to Justin popping question, the two had been planning a trip to Cabo, Mexico with their best friends. Justin wanted the engagement to coincide with their visit. What Ashley initially thought would only be a week away from the blistering cold of Minnesota and fun in the sun, turned into an engagement celebration getaway.
“It was a time to bask in the excitement,” said Ashley.
“He planned everything perfectly. I couldn’t ask for a more considerate and compassionate man to spend the rest of my life with. He truly is a dream come true.”
“I can’t wait to marry this woman,” said Justin. “She is a blessing from God.”
Justin and Ashley have not yet set a wedding date, but plan to exchange their vows in Florida sometime next year.