ashley and justin photography southern utah elopements best wedding01

Our Love Story – Part 3

After that first date Justin and I became inseparable!  We spent a whirlwind Summer swimming at the lake, playing sand volleyball, and getting into many intense water fights.  He told me he loved me laying on a blanket watching fireworks, and we spent many evenings slow dancing to him singing “Earth Angel” into my ear. 

You know when someone brings out the quirky side of you– maybe the side only you and that person thinks is hilarious and no one else– and you’re cool with that?  That might have been the two of us, and I loved it.  Early that summer, Justin and I were cycling through chess games with his roommates when the conversation took a turn.  He said, “You know, I’ve been home from my mission for 10 months and I thought I’d be married by now.”  Then he looked at me, smiled and said with a wink, “You know, we’re well matched, let’s get married.”

I shrugged cause, you know, he’s a looker, and said “All right!”  The rest of that evening we joked with our friends that we were engaged.  One of Justin’s friends overheard and said to him, “Didn’t you guys just meet 5 seconds ago?” We said, “Sure did, aren’t you going to congratulate us?”

Justin said he starting falling in love with me around then.  Not because I said “yes” (though it probably helped), but because it was such a fun night!

Then a few months later under stars and a big oak tree, as a complete surprise, he got down on one knee, and he proposed– this time for real.  He said I was the smartest, funniest, most amazing girl (his words) and wanted to spend forever with me, to which I said “Yes!”  

It was so sweet and unexpected.  So much that he admitted he hadn’t planned it (Justin writing here: I seriously had no idea what I was doing, I just knew it was what I wanted.  I don’t usually think of myself as a ‘swept up in the moment’ kind of guy unless it’s how I feel when we get Doritos and cottage cheese on date night, but Ashley was the most incredible and beautiful girls I’d ever known.  There’s no way I could let her get away– which was an ever present risk given how gorgeous she was, so it was both the scariest and best thing I’d ever done.  It wasn’t till after she said “yes” that I realized I hadn’t asked her Dad permission.  Sooooo I knew I had to make that right… didn’t want to start an in-law relationship in the hole.  So unlike the first time when it was for fun, this time we decided to keep it a little more down low until I could do this up right.  Sure enough, her Dad gave his blessing, which by the way, took me a few hours to ask because he terrified me.  Most “Dad-in-Laws” probably do, but mine was kinda big and could outrun me.  I’m glad he and Ashley’s mom blessed the whole thing because a week later, after an amazing day of four wheeling in the beautiful mountains, we found ourselves under a huge sky completely full of stars.  Seriously an amazing night sky, we’ve never forgotten it.  That’s when I proposed for real: roses, sparkling cider, parental blessings on both sides and a ring.)  Ash again:  We still joke to this day that Justin proposed 3 times, once for a joke, and 2 others for real. 

We got married in December, and we had absolutely no idea what we were doing.  We decorated in Christmas décor because then we could have Christmas decorations in our house.  I shared a dress with my roommate who was also getting married, but it was perfect.  Under the white icicle lights, near the plastic (really?) tablecloths, we danced, and I still remember how in love I thought I was then.  We didn’t have this perfect Pinterest wedding, but I would have married him in a shed.

Since then, we have had 3 amazing girls, finished college together, gone through some hard times and even more good ones, and we have been laughing in love ever since.  And every year my idea of love grows even more.

That is why we decided to become wedding photographers because we are inseparably, deeply, hopelessly in love.  We would rather hang out with each other than anyone else.  Justin is the person I want to share every funny meme and every ridiculous 80’s music video with.  When we are together, we speak a language no one else will understand because it is riddled with too many inside jokes to count.  Sure, marriage isn’t always roses, but we have loved every minute of it. 

ashley and justin photography southern utah elopements best wedding01

We want to help others capture that story, that moment.  We want couples to look back on their wedding day pictures and feel that love and devotion all over again. 

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