A Very Vintage Proposal


Johnpaul and I met while working together casting reality TV shows in New York City, strangely enough. We had been friends at work for a while but never took the next step to dating until we went on a weekend away to celebrate our friend Lauren’s birthday in the Pocono Mountains.  We started off “taking it slow” and “seeing what happens” – which turned into us talking about moving in together two weeks later. I guess we just knew right away.

Before we moved to Kentucky, we’d spend all of our weekends in Brooklyn exploring and popping into thrift stores in our neighborhood (and picking up junk on the side of the roads as well).  We were even on an episode of Flea Market Flip where we were able to showcase our love for refurbishing our thrift store finds! When it came time for Johnpaul to propose, it only seemed right that he’d incorporate this passion of ours into his proposal.

In May of 2013, just a few weeks before we packed up a U Haul and moved to Louisville, Johnpaul brought home an antique chair that he said he found on the street and just couldn’t refuse. I basically ignored this chair for several days until the following weekend. We had gone out to breakfast and were (I thought) enjoying a leisurely Saturday morning together. I noticed that Johnpaul seemed very nervous and seemed to be in a huge rush - but since I had no idea why, I still made us stop by Rite Aid so I could stand in the magazine aisle for 20 minutes deciding what to buy. Needless to say, Johnpaul was a wreck by the time we finally made it back to our house.

When we got home from breakfast, he eagerly announced that he wanted to reupholster the chair right that second. I think he thought I'd jump right in and help...but instead I sat on the couch reading my magazine and told him to "do whatever he wanted." Up to this point, I think I had done the exact opposite of everything he hoped I'd do when he imagined his proposal.

 He started tearing into the chair and a few seconds later called me over because he’d found an old tin inside. This tore my attention away from my magazine and I excitedly ran over to Johnpaul and the chair. We opened it and found old pictures and a very vintage-looking letter that I excitedly opened and read aloud. It was such a romantic and sweet love letter that was simply addressed to “My Darling” and was unsigned. The end of the letter pointed me to the wooden arm of the chair, saying there was another letter hidden inside.

When we opened up the arm of the chair (via a hidden compartment), I obliviously snatched up the letter not even realizing that there was a ring box beside it. I opened the letter and it only said “Dear Ashleigh” in Johnpaul’s handwriting – when I turned around he was down on one knee, presenting me with his grandmother’s engagement ring (that he’d customized for me). It was perfect. Helpful tip to guys getting ready to propose: book a manicure appointment for your girlfriend a few days before you pop the question. Johnpaul did and my nails looked great in all of the pictures we took that day. (For the record, this picture is of Johnpaul's hand holding my ring - mine looked much better).

I’d never been the girl to dream about my wedding and I never had any preconceived ideas of what that day would look like. So, when we got engaged, I basically became Crazy Wedding Blog Girl (I like to think in a good way).  Along with Crazy Wedding Blog Girl, I also became Forces Her Fiance To Share Pinterest Boards With Her Girl. Luckily, Johnpaul loves this (for the most part) and he's really enjoyed working together to create a wedding day that feels authentically and truly like us.

Since we got engaged, we've been planning our dream wedding: an outdoor celebration at dusk with great music, great farm-to-table food, and unique touches that make the day far from typical. I can’t wait to share this experience with you and all of the fun (and not-so-fun) things I’ve learned along the way!