imageHi friends!

So it’s been a little while since I have been on here. And I’m here with a happy post of a BIG life update! On Tuesday, October 17, 2017 I married the greatest man I know! I am just full of love and gushiness right now but as our mini-moon came to a close yesterday I thought it was about time to put down our wedding story for those who have asked. Plus, TJ is at work and I’m supposed to be cleaning the house and doing those grown up things that I would much rather put off to write about L-O-V-E! Shh, don’t tell him!

A LOT of people were shocked to find out that TJ and I had got married. Think the emoji with those heart eyes but replace them with question marks! It’s true, we managed to keep this big secret under wraps for a very long time. Eight months to be exact. But I guess for this story I need to back up a little to explain the how and why of it all. Of course the why is because we loved each other and wanted to get married. But there’s so much more to it than that….

Let me take you back two years to October 17, 2015 where you’ll find a smitten pair on their first date. TJ took me to Universal/Islands of Adventure to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for our very first date. A brave choice for two people who had never met in person. The date obviously went well and Harry Potter has remained a part of our relationship ever since (as if TJ had a choice). I had to work the night after our first date and I called my mom on the way in to tell her that I had gone on a first date (and already a second before I went into work) with the man I was going to marry. Luckily, TJ felt the same way. When I got into work I was greeted with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and that night TJ told me knew he was going to marry me someday. I have been waiting for that someday ever since!

Less than a year into our relationship is when the darkest days of my life took place. The reason I have this blog to begin with. My dad took his life. And TJ was right there with me every step of the way. Every dark, depressing day. On the outside I kept up the appearance that I was ok. But what TJ and I both knew was that it simply wasn’t true. I put on a lot of weight (for me) and I had zero desire to get out of bed. But you all have already read those posts before. So lets skip ahead to the part where I realize that life is short. Now, I realize that my dad chose to take his own life but it still opened my eyes to the fact that you never know how long you have here on Earth or how long the ones you love will be around. Life is just too short to put things off.

I had always expressed to TJ that I wanted to elope. But I also knew that my mother would be so disappointed if she wasn’t there. So I found a little compromise of inviting immediate family only. TJ and I started discussing plans and dates. But for me, there was no other date than October 17. It’s the day I fell in love with him and would forever be my favorite calendar date (a weird thing to have, a favorite calendar date, but I’m “quirky” like that). On February 17 of this year, we went and viewed our venue, The Maitland Art and History Museum. It was this little secret that I was keeping that brought me back to the light. And I will always have TJ to thank for that. He has brought me more love than I knew was possible. As I stood in front of him on our wedding day listening to him try to get through his vows he wrote, too choked up with emotion to even look at me, I just couldn’t help but think I really am the luckiest girl in the world.

TJ proposed to me on Friday, October 13, 2017. He said he wanted to do it in my favorite place, my bed. If you know me, then you know that couldn’t be more true. While we already had the wedding planned and our family was flying in that day, he still managed to surprise me. We have a nightly ritual of climbing into bed for some Netflix shows and hair tickles and I was calling for him to come in the room cause I had it all set up. It was a little later than we normally get to bed because we had stayed up watching the end of the Cubs game. So it was one a.m. on lucky thirteen. I hear him talking and I look over to the side of the bed to see him with a ring box and getting down on one knee. I bawled like a little baby and let him put on my gorgeous fire opal engagement ring he chose. I’m clearly not very traditional and I have some quirks and I had told him I didn’t want a diamond. But I left him on his own to select the gemstone I would end up with. What TJ came up with was an opal because it was the birthstone for October. We had our first date in October, we were getting married in October, so he said this is our relationships birthstone. The thought he put into my ring melts my heart every time I look down at it now. He waited so long to propose because he’s a terrible liar and knew that if we were in fact “officially” engaged then people would ask when the date was and he just couldn’t lie. My sweet man. I on the other hand had no problem lying to all of you. I would say I’m sorry for keeping it from you, but I’m not. I managed to have my perfect wedding day. It was private and intimate. It was about TJ and I becoming husband and wife and making that lifetime commitment to each other. It was everything I wanted. Nothing fancy. Just love.

Of course, in typical Ashley fashion, we celebrated with a Taco Tuesday dinner catered by Tijuana Flats after the wedding. Only fitting since our first date ended with tacos. My wonderful mom helped (aka did it all) and really made it a Pinterest worthy reception. I’m lucky that my best friend Brittany is a notary because she officiated for us and it made it even more special. Plus, turns out the girl is a fantastic public speaker! A sweet friend from work, Melissa, made my bouquet and it’s an absolute masterpiece! I wanted some of the flowers to be made of Harry Potter book pages to incorporate our first date into the wedding. I also managed to slip in some Harry Potter on TJ. His cufflinks were a nod to Lily Potter and Snapes love for her. “After all this time?” was on one and “Always” was on the other. Of course, you have to know the story to understand it. But it was a special kind of love! We were also lucky to have Handmade by AMO make our wedding favors for us. Colorful maracas with our name and date on them for the few guests we had. Turns out, they were a big hit with our nephew Connor! He brings it with him everywhere now! Lastly, I just want to mention our incredibly talented photographer Sahily Scott Photogrpahy. She works in the hospital I work in and not only kept my secret, but captured our day beautifully.

I think I have babbled on long enough. My mushiness can only last so long before even I have to cut myself off. Thanks for reading about our wedding story. I hope your wedding day is/was the special day you envisioned!

Lot of love,

Mrs. Monaghan


2 thoughts on “10.17.2017

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