Part 1: Ashley and Will's Winchester Wedding
Some people stand by your side for years and leave little marks on your life, while others spend a short amount of time but make more of an indelible impression. For me, Ashley is that indelible-mark friend. Most of the hours we've spent with one another were done sleeping and studying while we shared an apartment for one year at WKU. We were never terribly close, but I could always count on her and I always admired so many things about her. Though she has explained it numerous times, I still have no idea why she chose to start her pharmacy degree at WKU, hours away from her family and this amazing boyfriend we kept hearing about. Ashley was a year behind me in school, so when I graduated, she transfered to UK to start her pharmacy classes. In my mind, she could have started there and been close to her family, but I chose to believe in my Elizabeth-way of thinking that the Lord orchestrated Ashley's WKU time to teach me (and others, I'm sure). Now whether this is true, or not, I have no clue, but remember, she's the indelible type. So lets start here.
In all my observing, I have yet to see a person out-study her or out-commit her. If she says she'll be back in 2 hours from running, it will be 2 hours and she'll be back promptly to begin to study. And if she needs to study and you need to talk about something senseless, she'll stop what she's doing, smile, listen and prayerfully respond. I've never seen her be anything but kind and encouraging and I certainly have seen no moment that could be taken as cross, impatient or too busy. She's genuine and kind through and through. It's no wonder Will waited for EVER to marry her. Now, I don't know Will as well as I know Ashley, but I do know that he was absolutely made for her. I can say that the love they share for one another is pure, intentional and powerful.
I have always watched in awe when 300 people gather in a place to watch two people be married. To be honest, it completely blows my mind that people show up to watch the nuptials of a man and a woman on a Saturday afternoon, bring them gifts, get dressed up and wait to share in their marriage. Except for Will and Ashley. It didn't surprise me in the least that the church was packed. That every person there needed to talk with them both, for more than a minute, because each and every person there shared a deep connection with the couple. There wasn't a dry eye in the house when they joined as husband and wife. There wasn't a space on the dance floor when they celebrated their love. If you could meet my dear friends, you would see Jesus in them.
Ashley's Dad, Kevin, said the morning of the wedding, "Will and Ashley must be living right, because you couldn't ask for better weather." And with a little chuckle, of course, and I couldn't help but chuckle to myself, too. And not just because I have a theory (yes, another one) on wedding day weather, but because he was absolutely right. They are the most warm, loving and kind folks I have had the blessing to know. After my day with the Meurer and Nally families, I found their families to be just as wonderful as they are. That weather was a perfect gift for an amazing day.
I hope you are able to see in these images, the people I'm telling you about. Ashley and Will, it really was my honor and joy to join you. I wouldn't have it any other way and count it a blessing to have been trusted to make picture's we'll show to your grandkids. You know, while Will takes us out for ice cream in his combine. After we eat watermelon on the porch of your new house and trade stories of how long grandma made grandpa wait to marry her.
See you all back here on Thursday for part two. And let me tell you, you don't want to miss a 6 foot man bawling as he leaves the alter with his wife. Enjoy!