Ashley and Jeff. Engaged.
Some fun facts about this zoo-per couple…
When and where is your wedding?
August 17, 2013. Ceremony will be at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in West Hartford, CT (Ashley’s hometown). Reception will be at the Pavilion on Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT.
How did you meet?
Ashley: Believe it or not, Jeff and I met through Facebook. One of his friends and one of my friends were friends with each other. On an application called Sparkey, Jeff saw my photo and clicked on a button that said: This person is: [Hot. Yes, I would date them. Let them know!] Luckily, I did not ignore this message on Sparkey as I’ve done in the past. When I saw Jeff’s picture, I just had to click on the same button.
Jeff: We had fun during our icebreaker stage. We filled out random surveys and–from December 13, 2008–talked to each other on the phone every night. It was an entire month before she decided to surprise me for my birthday–Ashley drove down to Cincinnati, OH all the way from her college in Lewisburg, PA. I guess she must’ve really liked me back then!
Ashley: We alternated months visiting each other (he was in Covington, KY; I was in Pennsylvania or Connecticut). Then we saw each other every weekend while I was getting my second degree in nursing school (Ohio). Jeff got a job closer to where I am, and now we live with our bunny (Bandit), turtle (Louie), and 11 goldfish in a nice little town called Grove City, OH.
Tell us about your proposal!
Ashley: It was just another fine day with my man… or so I thought.
I worked a night shift (7pm-7:30am) before driving down, all tired and disheveled, to Cincinnati on Saturday morning to spend my days off with Jeff. We had been alternating weekends for visiting each other, and it was my turn. I slept for four hours, and then I was energized and ready to start my day. We put on our beanies and headed out to Newport on the Levee, where we enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches at a restaurant called Tom and Chee. After our lovely lunch, we walked hand-in-hand to the Newport Aquarium. It was very impressive with its glass tunnels and the ocean life swimming above our heads. Turtles, sharks, fishes, jellies, frogs, penguins, an octopus, and spider crabs were among the cool exhibits. Jeff and I had a lot of fun there. We picked out a piñata for Jeff’s nephew’s birthday at the Party Source (another cool place to walk around in), and then we returned to Jeff’s place. The lights in the living room (i.e., Jeff’s bedroom) were off, but red sweet-scented candles were lit and three vases of red roses were beautifully arranged on the table. There were two glasses of strawberry daquiris on the table and a dancing/singing toy chick on the floor. Rose petals were all over the place. At first I thought, “This is so romantic, but didn’t we already celebrate Valentine’s Day?” I was completely caught off guard. But when Jeff went down on one knee and opened up a little box that had a diamond ring inside of it, I realized it wasn’t just another fine day–It was one of the happiest days of my life. “Ashley, will you marry me?” Without hesitation, but a tear of joy in my eye, I said, “Yes! Of course, I’ll marry you!” To be honest, some of it was a blur (the good kind); and right there, we shared a warm hug and the sweetest kiss.
Note: The night before I arrived, Jeff showed his roommate Bleu how he wanted everything set up. And while Jeff was texting back and forth to Bleu after our trip to the aquarium and the party store, I didn’t know that he was talking about the engagement setup and receiving pics of the room. It was such a surprise!
Jeff: I hid her ring in my sock drawer for a couple months before I proposed. I’m so glad she didn’t find it; she’s sweet and does my laundry for me sometimes!
What’s your favorite thing about your significant other?
Jeff: I like that she’s spontaneous, adventurous (willing to do about anything), and open to trying new things. I like that she’s a sporty woman…and I love that she’s kind and thoughtful.
Ashley: There are too many favorites! I love that he’s easy-going and very family-oriented. His three little nephews adore him; he’s so good with the kids. I just know he’ll make a great daddy someday. Jeff makes me laugh often. He’s incredibly sweet (or at least he CAN be, and usually is, haha). I also love his one dimple (on the right side of his face) when he smiles.
What makes you guys unique?
Jeff: We’re awesome.
Ashley: Jeff, that doesn’t make us unique! ::shake my head::
Jeff: We love the outdoors (hiking, kayaking, traveling), but at the same time, we could be totally content staying in for the night. We could be completely happy doing nothing, as long as we’re together.
Ashley: I think we’re unique because we made a long distance relationship, which started out on Facebook, work. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s this: If you and your significant other want it to work, you both will go to great lengths to make it happen. That’s what we did. Not once did we ever break up. Lots of driving, plane rides, and phone calls/texts helped get us to where we are now.
Crystal Jo: I think you guys are unique because Ashley is super short and Jeff is super tall. Opposites attract.
How did you find Crystal Jo?
Ashley: I typed in “Columbus Zoo engagement photos” on google. Jeff and I love going to the zoo, so we thought it’d be appropriate to have our pictures taken there. I stumbled upon Crystal Jo’s website. Her work is amazing!