Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It All Goes Back to the Tie-Dye

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It All Goes Back to the Tie-Dye

Article excerpt

Byline: Robyn Brody

When Ashley Simon met Charles LaPrade, they both showed up wearing tie-dye shirts. That colorful coincidence was an instant connection that just kept getting stronger. It was June 2012 and they were both attending a mutual friend's birthday celebration weekend in South Carolina. Ashley and Charles immediately noticed each other and not just because of the shirts. As Ashley remembers, "Pretty quickly we felt that we were soul mates. It was just way different than any interaction with another human being I had ever had before." Charles felt the same. "We just kind of clicked."

Charles grew up in Jacksonville, graduated from Episcopal High School and then moved to South Carolina to attend Wofford College. Ashley was living in Texas, but had plans to move to South Carolina, another reason they felt like it was all meant to be. While things were going well in the early stages of their relationship, Charles was getting ready to live his dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail, meaning he would be gone for six months. Ashley was very understanding and even found a way to meet up with him once a month along the trail. While Charles was hiking, he had plenty of time to think of his future and he knew he wanted to spend it with Ashley.

On New Year's Eve of 2015, Ashley and Charles were at a party with 18 of their close friends. When the clock struck midnight, the couple kissed and then Charles got on one knee and proposed. They were able to celebrate the moment to the cheers of their friends. Ashley described it as magical. "I was completely shocked. There is a video of it and my mouth was wide open."

Ashley and Charles were married on May 27 in the gardens of the historic Kilgore-Lewis house in Greenville, S.C. As their 187 guests arrived, they took part in a ring-warming ceremony where they touched the bride and groom's wedding rings. …

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