The road from engagement to the altar is not always a straight lane with no traffic as one Boston couple found out, but it is easier with a good partner.
Manoucheca and Ashley’s relationship started her freshman year in college during a night in the dorm with her girls.
“We met when he was just kind of strolling around the women’s dorm, and I noticed him not wanting to come by room with his friend–who was already in our room,” said Manoucheca. “I invited him in and it kind of hit off from there.”
When they met, it was as if called him up from her very imagination. As us ladies will do, Manoucheca described the kind of man she was looking for, and Ashley fit the bill! “One of the biggest things for me when I was looking for a mate was I wanted him to be at least taller than 6 feet, and he had to be able to pick me up,” Manoucheca told us. “He had nice arms and that was the first thing I touched when I met him.”
There was also a moment during their first meeting where he actually picked her up, too!
For Ashley, it was love at first sight, but he adored her from afar for a while. He revealed to us that he first spotted her around campus and instantly developed a crush on her. “I saw her around campus. The first time I ever saw her, it was kind of like a dream come true. Like the Heavens had opened up, and light was shining on her. I was like, ‘I gotta get that one.’” he explained. “It worked out perfectly.”
The physical things aside, Manoucheca and Ashley hit it off really quickly because their personalities synched up.
“The easy part was the fact that right off the bat, we both got along with each other. It was like a friendship thing,” Ashley recalled. “It was so fluid and so easy to get used to. It wasn’t an awkward moment when we first met.”
And as much as Manoucheca liked what she saw (and felt), she came to love the man who Ashley is even more than that.
“He’s so respectful; he never raises his voice. He’s so smart and caring and very affectionate,” Manoucheca said, listing just a few of the inner qualities that make her love Ashley so much. “Being with him has taught me how to be a better person, and how to be better woman for him. He has allowed me to really be myself.”
Ashley popped the question in 2013 and immediately handed over the wedding planning reigns to Manoucheca. “We had two different mindsets,” he explained. “Getting that many people together at one time, and it basically being on us, was taking up our time for us being together as a couple.”
To be fair, many grooms are inclined to do the same, Manoucheca and Ashley found that it actually wasn’t a good idea for them or their relationship.
“I messed up with that. I gave her full control over everything, and I kind of weeded my way out of it,” Ashley recalled.
“She always wanted a wedding. This was something special for her. Let her take over,” he continued, sharing his reasoning for letting her completely run the show. “I didn’t take into account that I’m part of it too.”
“I would include him, but what I didn’t see is that he was falling back,” Manoucheca shared. “I thought that’s just who he was when it came to planning events, but I was totally wrong.”
She took a lead on picking all the details while he became less and less involved with the process. As time went by, Manoucheca realized that she was a bride with a clear vision of what she wanted for her day, but she wasn’t thinking much about creating something they’d both like for their day. For those confused on why that’s a problem, weddings are about the couple, not just the bride. She may be the centerpiece of the ceremony, but there is no wedding if only one person is at the altar.
Before she knew it, he’d faded into the background of her planning frenzy and they were under a mountain of pressure. It got so bad that Manoucheca called off their wedding. She wasn’t happy with what the preparation process was doing to them as a couple.
It’s easy for couples to fall into the same mess, but Manoucheca and Ashley were determined that this would not tear them apart.
“I definitely lost sight,” Manoucheca admitted. “I feel like we tend to forget about our spouses–or our spouses-to-be–and I did not want to lose him. I was willing to lose everything, but not him.”
Had Manoucheca kept down that path she would have thrown a wedding that she might have loved, but she know he wasn’t going to be completely satisfied. “I was going to get a wedding, but it wasn’t going to be a wedding that was going to be good for us,” she said.
In an effort to reconnect with one another, they decided to take a trip to Cancun for an escape that would allow them space to remember all of the things they love about each other.
“We just said, ‘You know what? Our relationship is more important than this whole big spectacular wedding,’” Ashley shared. During that getaway in Mexico they got back to their roots and loving each other just as much as they ever had.
In addition to strengthening their bond, they found a great venue for their new nuptials. Right there,in the place where they got back to what made their relationship so good, they began to plan their wedding again. And this time they did it together.
“I think we finally got it together this time,” he said. “Every decision is made together now.”
“Now, we’re hype together,” said Manoucheca, who revealed that Ashley is very vocal about the things he’d like for their day. He’s not taking his input for granted. “We’re on the same wavelength. We’re on a better wavelength. We’re thinking as a team.”
Although this wedding will be smaller (Manoucheca said their ideal guest list is 60 people at most), it’s going to be so lit. Instead of sticking to a certain structure, they’re keeping things fairly relaxed because they want their big day to be a party that none of their guests will ever forget.
Manoucheca and Ashley will be getting married on June 25, 2016, in Cancun, and we offer our best wishes to the bride and groom.
We know that there are tons more great love stories out there just waiting to be told, and HelloBeautiful.com would love to share them. If you (or anyone you know) would be a good fit for Put A Ring On It, hit us up at email@example.com.