Ashley, Simply Elegant's trusted leader and founder, wears many hats - planner, entrepreneur, friend, therapist, daughter, mentor, sister, and now... bride! We are SO excited to see all of the amazing things life has in store for her and her fiance, Nathan, who recently joined Simply Elegant as our Operations Director!
Nathan shared some of their love story with us and their beautiful engagement photos by Kelly Brown Weddings.
How did you meet?
We initially met in highschool. Ashley was 2 grades younger than me, so dating was clearly out of the question. There was always this chemistry I had with her that made her so easy to talk to in the hallways and before sporting events. We never dated, but I can remember various times throughout my life that I always wondered what she was up to. We, like everybody, were on Facebook. We both befriended the police liaison officer that worked at the school every day. Through that, one summer night, Ashley sent a simple "Hello" message and we hit it off. I worked up the guts to go out and meet with her and a bunch of her friends, apparently I crashed a bachelorette party. We ended up dating and eventually making our relationship official on the 4th of July (fireworks for the anniversary, NICE).
How did you propose?
Ashley has always been too smart to surprise. So the day I bought the ring she knew. I decided to have fun with it then. Turns out we spontaneously decided to go to a Twins game that evening. I found out they were doing fireworks after the game. That was perfect, playing on the theme of 4th of July and fireworks from our anniversary. Her mother and sister were also there so it was going to be extra sentimental for her, just having them there to witness.
The fun I decided to have came in the form of teasing her with an empty jewelry bag which the purchased ring would have been in, I just tossed it on her lap when we got into the car to head to the game. "What is this!!" She exclaimed while she fumbled with it, then opened it with a confused look on her face. The bag void of the sparkly ring she had anticipated. I smiled and said, "I dunno." Then drove quietly to the restaurant where we were to meet her mother and step father before the game.
While parking the car, I pulled out the small cardboard box the ring box should have been in. She pushed me away slightly to prepare for the moment, to no avail. Since the box I had was empty. I got a little chuckle out of it, but I could tell she was a little tortured by the act. Knowing that she'd continue being anxiously yet delightfully tortured through dinner and the game gave me a little smile too.
The game was wonderful, the Twins lost of course, as they seem to do early season. But it was still the best Twins game I'd ever attended. After the ninth inning the seats cleared out, only the fans wanting to catch some fireworks lingered, about half. This was the most anxious moment of my life. To propose in front of a fireworks display, around dozens of people I had never met, and her parents, suddenly puts alot of pressure on a guy. I didn't feel this before. But the show started, I gave her sister and mother a look to signal it was going to happen now, then I knelt in the row and proposed under the stars and the fireworks.
She knew it was coming the entire time. But she still cried like crazy. That's a great sign!
What are our favorite things about each other?
Ashley is a motivated and kind woman. She's as genuine a person as you'll run across, never slow to lend a hand in any situation, and she does it with an infectious smile that brightens your day. She's extremely intelligent and intuitive. She's strong enough to put up with my sometimes scattered thoughts and keeps me more organized. And she has beautiful red hair and freckles!
Nathan loves to cook for me, sometimes new and interesting dishes that are surprisingly delicious. He's always willing to help. He is genuinely one of the nicest human beings on the whole planet. Sometimes he gives me more grace than I may deserve, and always sees and believes the best in people. He's always cool, calm, level headed and easy doing, "down to do whatever". His smile radiates happiness, and he has amazing hair, especially with that touch of gray.
We definitely compliment each other completely!
Share a fun story about the two of you.
Early in our relationship the subject of Ashley's very much beloved teddy bear came up and how it was in pretty rough shape. She began describing what it used to look like. And in my mind I was picturing a very specific teddy bear that I was familiar with. I mentioned that I was given a similar bear when I was very young. I mentioned what it said on the tag of my bear (24K Polar Puff), and Ashley flipped out! She couldn't believe I had the same bear.
It was such an unbelievable coincidence because in years prior, she and her Grandma Marge (G is what Ashley called her) were looking for a replacement bear for Ashley, who's bear had become worn out with the very constant hugs and snuggling that Ashley had given it throughout the years. Ashley and G had searched in stores, at flea markets, even the internet provided no results. It became a small life goal for the two of them to find a new bear. Sadly her grandmother had passed before their goal was met.
We both feel that it was more than mere coincidence that I owned the exact bear Ashley and her Grandma were looking for. God and Grandma were definitely involved. Thanks G!
What do you like to do together?
Ashley and I go on walks regularly and talk about anything from serious issues to random thoughts about animals or pop culture. Quite often we go out to restaurants. Ashley picks the same thing on the menu nearly every time, whereas I love trying new menu items or a flavor I've never had before.