Every little girl dreams of a wedding in a picture book.
Or of course, when times change, so do dreams.
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 would be played and vows would be taken. At the reception there were laughter, hugs, kisses and best wishes for the young couple. Then a honeymoon trip to a distant island before we settle in Newnan, Georgia together.
But the coronavirus pandemic became a reality and that changed things.
“Houston and I realized that we couldn’t have a large gathering of people so it wouldn’t be possible to have our wedding as planned,” said Ashlyn. “Some couples we know postponed their weddings or got married in the courthouse. Although April 4th was nothing special other than 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 wasn’t going to be the wedding they’d planned.
Plans for the wedding 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 after day the disappointed disappeared,” said Ashlyn.
The disappointment subsided, but stress took place.
“It’s been very stressful for a while,” said Ashlyn. “Something seemed to change every 24 hours. But we relied on the Lord to make our wedding the way it should be. We knew we had to be flexible; It was a learning process.
Cards had to be sent out so that family members and friends would 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 positive,” 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 be married in sacred marriage. The venue has been moved outside and there will be a much smaller gathering than planned. Smiles and thumbs up replace hugs and kisses, friends and family and friends practice social distancing.
But the happy couple will be close if they stick their lives together in their own picture-book wedding, as planned 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 has been a cheerleader and member of Phi Mu. His major was risk management and communication. They will be based in Newnan, Georgia, where he works in the insurance business. The couple’s wedding party is TBA.