I have known Ashley “B” for 20-odd years, since we were kids. We both grew up on the same street in Torbay, and have been friends ever since. There’s 4 of us who have been best friends all our lives; Myself, Ashley “B”, Ashley “W” & Sarah. Through the many games of spotlight, red rover & make believe, we grew up into young women who have seen each other through a lot. We all stood by Ashley’s side when she married the love of her life. We were even involved in her proposal-that’s how close we are! When I lived in Halifax, those 4 girls visited without hesitation. When my dad passed away, they spent endless hours at the hospital & funeral home to be by my side. And when they have lived away or needed me, I’ve done the same for them. That’s real friendship. The four of us share a unique relationship & bond. It’s not many people who can say they’ve been best friends for about 25 years & will always be friends. My dad always used to say that the friends you grow up with, you stay with. And it is very true. We still all live within a 2km radius of each other, near that same street we grew up on in Torbay & I don’t anticipate that will ever change! Of course, as we get older, times get busier and we don’t see each other every day like we did growing up. We still see each other often & at the end of the day, our bond is one that will never be broken. Even when things are about to get busier, because we will have a very little new best friend, any day now!!
I have known Matt since the two started dating nearly 10 years ago! He quickly grew to become one of my best friends too-over many trips to visit them when they lived in his hometown of Winterton & over countless games of Mad Gab. He fit in with our tight knit crew perfectly, and on the day they got married we told him “You’re not just marrying Ashley, you’re marrying all of us!” Ashley & Matt were made for each other. They mold together better than anyone I’ve ever known. Like any relationship, they’ve been faced with obstacles along the way (like Ashley teaching in St. Anthony for two years!) but it only made them stronger. I could not ask for a better husband to take care of my best friend for the rest of her life, and Matt hit the jackpot when she met Ashley-I’ve never met someone more full of determination & caring as she is. They are perfect for each other & their love knows no bounds.
So, let’s just say, Matt set the bar high for any proposals from our future hubbys. Knowing how close we all were, he wanted to involve us in the proposal. He had a photographer friend (namely, me) who he wanted to photograph every moment. So he & I got to work on the big plan. He mapped out a photo scavenger hunt of places that were important to them-but he made it seem like it was just your average scavenger hunt. We’ve done a few photo scavenger hunts in the past, so this was not out of the ordinary for us. I started a group chat with everyone, said I wanted to do a “Christmas scavenger hunt”, that my mom was going to prepare the list so I didn’t know what was on it & made sure that everyone was on board. Once everyone had agreed, Ashley included, Matt suddenly “had to work”, so Ashley & I became a team of our own, while Matt prepared for the big moment. We met at my house, where I distributed the “Christmas Scavenger Hunt” compiled of the places Matt had provided me. We all went our separate ways, and met on our childhood street for the first clue. Everyone played their part, snapping pics, pretending to play along. Then it was off to the races! The others just went on their own to help Matt prepare, while I took Ashley to all locations, pretending I didn’t already know the answers & racing to get there, photographing every step of the way. I had to be sneaky, because many times, I was asked “Can’t I take a picture of you this time?!” It ended on Signal Hill-behind the tower. Where all our friends stood with balloons & Matt stood with flowers. Ashley & Matt’s three dogs were also there-of course! Matt got down on one knee & asked the love of his life to marry him. We got to see it all & I was lucky enough to photograph it all. To say it was an honour, would be an understatement.
Flash forward two years & we are helping Ashley plan her big day. Dress fittings, shower planning, stagette planning, we were there every step of the way. We, amongst other family members, stood in the bridal party, alongside Ashley & Matt while they said “I do”. The day was perfect & fun from beginning to end. It was nice to be able to enjoy their big day & be in front of the camera for a change!! Like any other wedding, there was a kerfluffle of commotion while the girls did their hair & makeup, while, I assume, the men relaxed with a beer. My friends and I started out the day with dropping off a case of beer & a card for Matt to enjoy while the groomsmen got ready. As us bridesmaids got ready, we gave Ashley her gift-a couples willow tree ornament & a slideshow of our friendship. Over 20 years of friendship summarized in a 10+minute slideshow. For those of you who know Ashley, you know she does not cry-happiness, anger or sadness. At least not in front of people. But this? This made her cry. First time in all our lives I think we saw her cry! As we surrounded them at the altar, we witnessed the biggest moment of their lives to date while they started their new adventure together. When Matt saw his bride for the first time, he was moved to tears. He’s a little more likely to shed happy tears than his wife 😉And as soon as he did, well forget it. We were all crying. To witness the love those two share was amazing. Little did we know, that less than a year later, they’d be about to welcome their newest adventure into this world.
Ashley & Matt are due with baby boy late May/early June!! I’ll never forgot when they told me that they had news. I instantly knew there was a bun in the oven! They asked me to do their birth announcement photos-that only immediate friends and family would know until the photos were posted on facebook. Naturally, I was delighted to be a part of yet another milestone for them & said yes without hesitation!
At their baby shower, they announced that the gender would be a baby boy ❤ A few days later, I offered to do their maternity portraits. As you can tell, no fun was had at all. I was delighted to get some beautiful images before little bean arrives. That little boy has already been showered with love by everybody in their lives & we’ve already got to work on spoiling him. That little guy will learn to love Disney as much as I do 😉 We are all so excited to have a new little addition to our friend group!! Baby boy will have an endless supply of love & babysitters. I cannot wait to meet him, I already love him. You guys have so patient, caring & loving with all those around you, especially your fur babies. Dogs are children too, and you guys have done a fantastic job of raising your 4. I cannot wait to see how they interact with the little one, and how you raise him into a young man. In addition to your two amazing, excited sisters, he’s got 3 “aunties” who cannot wait to meet him. Congratulations Ashley & Matt-we love you!