September 15, 2019
Ashley & Jason are a pure delight to work with and their love is as bright and sunshiny as this Roots Farm sunflower field in Waxhaw, NC, where we held their photo session. Jason is a private music instructor (guitar, voice, drums, piano, ukulele) & Ashley is a library assistant (almost librarian). Their favorite things to do together are nature walks/hiking, going to see the pups and kitties at PetSmart, slap boxing, eating (out, in, we don't discriminate) and attending concerts.
Jason contacted me when he saw the fields blooming. They live near the fields and also love small town urban areas so we planned 2 shoots for them – one in the field and one in downtown Matthews for later in the fall.
Their love story in their own words…
(Ashley) I had just moved back to the Charlotte area after living in Raleigh for seven years, and one of my coworkers asked me to come to a birthday party at her house. I decided I needed to make friends in the area so I went. She had informed me ahead of time that there would be single guys there, but I told her I wasn't interested as I was in another complicated relationship at the time. I walk into the party and the first person to talk to me is my coworker's roommate, Jason. He was essentially the entertainment for the evening, since he's very much an extrovert and always the one doing karaoke. My interest was immediately peaked, and after he came to the cafe I worked at a couple days later to see me (of course he lied and said he was there to talk to his married roommate), I began to fall in love with him. I realized that it would be the biggest mistake of my life to let him slip through my fingers, I think I had realized that I had finally met my soulmate, so I made the very easy decision to break it off with my boyfriend. The next day, we went on our first date and had our first kiss while "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None the Richer was playing. A couple of months in, we had exchanged "I love yous".
The Proposal!... Nine months later, he proposed! He told me it was going to be an "end of house" party, because he and his roommates were moving out of their house. When I arrived, there were rose petals on the ground and string lights all around the backyard. Our song, ("Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley) was playing in the background. Many of our loved ones were there, but they stayed inside to give us privacy. When he got down on one knee, he said, "I've already said everything I wanted to say, and I'll probably say it 100 more times, so all I'm going to say is 'will you marry me?'" He presented me with a Beauty and the Beast inspired engagement ring! I said yes, we then danced together and drank champagne.
(Jason) I had been single for about 2 years and had recently decided I was done looking and would just focus on self-improvement. So we were getting ready for this party for my roommate and a friend's birthday when my roommate told me she had invited one of her coworkers, "who was pretty cute", but wasn't sure if she'd come. She already told me that her coworker had a boyfriend which didn't matter because "I wasn't looking".. About 30 minutes in the doorbell rang and soon after my roommate said "Everyone, this is Ashley."
I thought, "She IS cute. But NO! She has a boyfriend! I...must...resist." Well, I did too good of a job. I kind of ignored her until the end when I walked her to the door and told her to come back anytime. I couldn't stop thinking about her for the next few days and immediately asked my roommate when they worked together next. I came in, lied and said I was there to see my roommate after she asked if I was there to see her, which she took seriously and dropped ice all over the floor in embarrassment. I, naturally, was oblivious. I knew she was just about to get off work so I stayed and spoke to my roommate until she did, smoothly swung around a chair for her to join us at our table, my roommate left and we talked for hours. We scheduled a few more times to hang out and every time she got cute with me, I would say, "did you break up with your boyfriend yet.” One night I was hanging out with a friend and I got the text from her, freaked out, and picked her up for our first date the next day. We talked about EVERYTHING, I drove her back and stealthily queued up "Kiss Me" (it was a thing) and kissed her. A few months later "I Love You" just fell out of my mouth over the phone at 1:30 a.m. on her way home from me and every day between then and the proposal was just me finding the ring and getting up the nerve.
I asked them to tell me the 3 best qualities of their partner:
His Godliness: Never have I met a man who has encouraged me in my relationship with God as much as Jason has. He not only supports me in my search for God, he points out (in a loving way) when I'm deviating from how a Christian should act.
His Selflessness: Jason puts everyone else's (especially my) needs ahead of his own.
His Intelligence/Sense of Humor: He is one of the smartest people I know and matches my sense of humor perfectly
Her thoughtfulness: Even when I think she's not listening, she is. She thinks long and hard about everything I say. She'll bring up something I said in passing weeks or months prior to let me know she understands what I was talking about and applied it.
Her Kindness/thoughtfulness: She will always bend an ear when someone needs one or go WAY out of her way to help or bless someone. (Probably why she's such a great gift giver. She constantly thinks of others.
Her Intelligence/Sense of Humor: Oh, she said this one about me already? Well DUH! We laugh until we cry together at least once every time we see each other. She either gets my humor completely or doesn't at all in the funniest possible way. She is also incredibly smart. She will instantly think of potential problems in a situation or she'll bring up the perfect solution immediately. So...just 3? Are you sure?
Ashley & Jason describe their relationship as: “We're each other's soulmates. I never understood that term until I met Jason/Ashley, but now it makes total sense. Neither one of us could imagine a future without the other. We may not be completely sure about what we want out of life, but we're absolutely determined to find out together."
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