Every little girl dreams of a picture book wedding.

Or of course dreams change too.

Ashlyn Johnson from Troy had her dream and that dream should come true on April 4th, 2020.

Ashlyn and her Prince Charming, Houston Mabray, planned their own picture-book wedding at the beautifully decorated First United Methodist Church of Troy with close friends as bridesmaids and groomsmen. Family and friends would fill the sanctuary. Music was played and vows were taken. At the reception there were laughter, hugs, kisses and best wishes for the young couple. Then honeymoon on a distant island before settling in Newnan, Georgia.

But the coronavirus pandemic became a reality and that changed things.

“Houston and I realized we couldn’t have a big gathering so our wedding couldn’t go ahead as planned,” Ashlyn said. “Some couples we know have postponed their weddings or got married in court. Although April 4th was nothing special, except that it was the day we had chosen for our wedding, Houston and I decided that we were going to go ahead and get married on our wedding date. “

But it wouldn’t be the wedding they had planned.

Wedding plans had to be canceled or changed. There was the venue and then the flowers, the food, the guests, the honeymoon, so much.

“At first I was disappointed, but day by day the disappointment faded,” said Ashlyn.

The disappointment subsided, but stress took place.

“It’s been very stressful for a while,” said Ashlyn. “It seemed that something changed every 24 hours. But we relied on the Lord to make our wedding what it should be. We knew we had to be flexible; it was a learning process.

Cards had to be sent to let family members and friends know that the wedding plans had been changed, “but not the date.”

“Some of them had travel plans in place,” said Ashlyn. “There was more to be done than we thought.”

Changing plans for Ashlyn’s picture book wedding has definitely been a learning curve and a challenge.

“Friends said to us, ‘Oh, I’m sorry,’ but even though nothing went as planned, we’re going to do everything for the better,” said Ashlyn. “We know God’s plan is bigger and better than anything we imagined. Nothing will steal our joy. “

So, on Saturday 4th April 2020, Ashlyn Johnson and Houston Mabray will enter into holy marriage. The venue has been moved outside and there will be a much smaller gathering than planned. Smiles and thumbs up will replace hugs and kisses from friends, and family and friends will practice social distancing.

But the happy couple will stand close together as they tie their lives together as planned in their own picture-book wedding on April 4, 2020.

Editor’s note: Ashlyn Johnson and Houston Mabray are lifetime Trojans. Both are graduates of Charles Henderson High School, he 201 and she in 2014 and Troy University. Houston attended the LBW and played baseball there and at Troy University. Ashlyn is also a graduate of Troy University and was a cheerleader and member of Phi Mu. His major was risk management and communication. You will be at home in Newnan, Georgia, where he works in the insurance business. The couples wedding celebration is TBA.

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