Real Engagements {Alabama}: Ashley & Paul! –

Ashley and Paul's love story is the true definition of the old saying that goes "If you love something let it go…" Ashley and Paul met in college at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) in 2006. "I was a transfer student from the University of Montevallo. Paul and I became acquainted with one another through our good friend Kendal Thomas. After our initial introduction, Paul messaged me on Facebook and offered to show me around campus once I was settled in. I thought it was the sweetest gesture! I was thrilled and nervous at the same time because I had a huge crush on him! Unfortunately, my nerves got the best of me and we never went on the tour," recalls Ashley. Although, the two never made it on the tour, they still managed to become good friends and shortly thereafter, their relationship began to blossom into something more. "During the fall of 2009, we decided to take that next step and declare ourselves as boyfriend and girlfriend. I was more than happy with this decision because he was an absolute sweetheart and always has been. Much like many young couples, we both grew apart after college, and ventured off to do our own thing. During our time apart, we both grew as individuals and spent that time getting adjusted to the real world and everything it had to offer. Although our brief hiatus helped develop us into responsible adults, something was still missing," said Ashley. Ashley and Paul rekindled their relationship and have been inseparable ever since. The two are planning an "Old Hollywood Glam," themed wedding next March. Check out their "Greek Love" themed engagement session, captured by Elle Danielle Photography!

Engagement story from the bride-to-be:

Paul proposed to me on a helicopter ride. I was totally not expecting it. The day of the proposal, we went and visited my grandmother. After visiting my grandmother, he told me he had a surprise for me while we were driving in the car. I was excited and nervous. Paul keeps me on my toes with all of the different escapades he plans. We arrived at the Birmingham Airport terminal for private planes, jets and helicopters. I kept asking him, "What are we doing?" He smiled and said, "You will see in a minute." I was a nervous wreck trying to figure out what he had planned. A guy name Brian greeted us and asked "Are you all ready?" Paul looks at me and says, "We are going on a helicopter ride darling!" I wanted to hit him! He is such a dare angel. But I smiled nervously and said "Okay, honey!" Coming to find out, Mr. Brian was our pilot.

I was squeezing Paul's hand the entire time and saying "What in the world do you have us doing!" I took a couple of deep breaths and asked the Lord to be with us. The wind was blowing and I did not want any mishaps–NONE . We finally were up in the air and our pilot took us all around Birmingham. The view of the city from that perspective was breathtakingly beautiful. Out of all the years I lived in Birmingham, I have never seen it in that view. It was amazing. I was smiling and still nervous at the same time. After the tour, we landed back at the terminal, but our pilot landed the helicopter farther than it was originally. He told us that he would like to take a picture of us by the helicopter for his Facebook page and website. Of course I gleefully agreed to this photo opportunity with an "ooookay!" We exited and stood next to the helicopter as I got camera ready! Paul looked to the pilot and said, "I have something I would like to say" I looked at him like "What?" He got on one knee and I literally started crying. I do not remember anything else he said. I felt like I was dreaming. I saw the ring and said "Yes!" immediately. It was totally unexpected and I literally cried like a baby and hugged him so tight! He is my prince charming! After the proposal, we rode back to the terminal. I was shaking and excited over what had just happened. We entered the terminal and my family and close friends were all there. I cried again, again and again. Even though I was a nervous wreck about the helicopter ride it turned out to be one of the best days of my life. Absolutely beautiful from start to finish!

What was the theme of your Engagement session?

The theme for the engagement was fairly simple. We did three looks: a casual, formal and a Greek Love look. The “Greek Love is my favorite because it reminds me of how it all began which was in college through Greek life. The formal look is my second favorite because we wanted to set the tone for the wedding attire per our guests.


What makes your love special?

Our love is special is so many ways. I find the saying “If you love something let it go and if it comes back it will mean that much more” to be very true. We have known each other for 8 years. We were friends for three years, dated for there and half years and went our separate ways for a year and a half. We both realized how special we were to each other during our time apart and could not imagine life without each other.

What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?

 Becoming one before God with my best friend and celebrating with our dearest friends and family!

Have you started planning your wedding? If so, share a few details about your big day:

 Yes! I love keeping things simple and chic! We are doing an Old Hollywood Glam theme. I want to incorporate the theme throughout the day from start to finish. I want the guest to feel as if they are in the 1920’s! The wedding will be Black Tie Optional! Colors such as black, white or ivory are welcome.


Congrats to Ashley and Paul! We wish you a wonderful wedding and marriage.


Photographer: Elle Danielle Photography

Beauty – Make-Up:

Rheau of Beauty by Indya Johnson


Keira Michelle, Hairstylist

Toi Bradford, Hairstylist

Studio New York

Curated by our Wedding Features Editor, C.K. Alexander. C.K. is the owner and founder of  Love Ink and Brownstone Bridal. Keep up with C.K. on Twitter here: @Love_Ink

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