Joe & Ashtin's Wedding Day / by Luanne Shillingburg

With the beginning of every book there is the anticipation of what is to be found throughout it's pages.  This is the incredible love story of Joe and Ashtin, which began in Ireland over a conversation while chopping onions of all things, is one that could well fit within the writings of Jane Austen herself. 

About the first time they met Ashtin recalls, "One of my best friends was marrying a man from Ireland and as her wedding gift, he flew me over to be her maid of honor. Joe was over visiting his uncle in Ireland who was hired as their wedding photographer/ very close family friend. Joe agreed to be his uncle's second shooter. We started texting when they told me that we would be perfect together. We met at the bride and groom's house about a month later and we haven't gone a day without speaking since then!" 

About that moment when she knew, " he was the one" she said, "We were cooking dinner for the bride's family in Ireland while they were visiting and he was put in charge of cutting vegetables. He kept wiping his eyes while he was cutting an onion trying to pretend like it wasn't making his eyes water to keep up his tough man exterior. I was hooked."

“Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her.”
Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice

Though Joe and Ashtin were an ocean apart; they fell in love.  Though there was distance, they managed visits, always too short, and that ended with the kind of embrace one does not easily let go.  And then there was the moment, when Joe's feelings echoed those of Mr. Darcy, "I never wish to be parted from you from this day on"  and he planned to propose to his beautiful Ashtin.
Remembering that moment Ashtin said, "His parents suggested that we visit Dartmoor the day before he was taking me on a surprise spa day in Bath, England. We hiked to what I thought was the top, and his parents suggested that they meet us at the peak, but Joe should show me the other way that he likes to go. He led me through a thick tunnel of trees and branches and we climbed over a few rocks. When I came out of it I found a blanket laid out along the edge of a cliff rock with champagne and glasses set up. He took me to the top peak and had me take a photo of the view. Shortly after he tapped my knee and I turned around to find him on one knee with the most perfect ring. He said "I know I want you and I know I need you, so Ashtin Mae Rose Scott, will you please marry me?" Absolutely perfect."

Withstanding anxious moments waiting for papers to clear, for dates to be set, invitations to be sent, as in so many a good love story, Joe and Ashtin ended up together in each others arms and were wed on May 24, 2014.  Their Jane Austen inspired celebration was complete with vintage books, and an elegance of the era taking place in the historic Heritage Park in Greenville, Michigan.  Their day was filled with the love of friends and family, and as their new life together begins one can only imagine the possibilities for two young people that even an ocean could not separate.  

While no one ever really knows how the story will unfold, still one can be sure it will be filled with romance, adventure and most of all an unbreakable bond of love.  Joe, who flew to the USA to marry his beautiful Ashtin is such a charming, meek man.  His calmness was his strength on his wedding day.  A happy day that would mark his new beginning, yet also bitter sweet as he said goodbye to his life and family in England.   It was evident that Joe's strength of character was a learned trait.  His parents, brother and uncle were there along side him ever confidant and proudly supportive of his decision. 

“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.”
Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice

They had nothing to worry about as Ashtin's family had already welcomed him as their own.  The love and bond these two had formed in such a short time is a tribute to that of their families.  It made it an honor to be their photographer, as well as a bit of a challenge with a family photo that consisted of over 40 beautiful faces.  

  Here is their story;  their beginning, and in true Jane Austen style, begins with a quote from her novel, Pride and Prejudice,

  “I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”