Ben and Ashley met in August of 2018, during their first week at Iowa State. Ashley recalls visiting a high school friend’s dorm room when Ben began shining a laser pointer at her from across the hallway. If you know Ashley well enough, you’d probably guess that she became irritated with Ben and let him know that. If that’s what you guessed, you’d be right. However, Ben took this disapproval from Ashley as a sign that he should pursue her.
In the following weeks, Ben and Ashley continued to cross paths as they developed mutual friends in their dorm. On September 8th, 2018, Ben asked Ashley to be his girlfriend (and… she said yes!). Ben and Ashley have been together since then; they graduated together, moved away from Ames, Iowa together, and became pet parents together to their cat, Lloyd.
On April 2nd, 2023, Ben brought Ashley to Chicago for a day of date activities. This made Ashley a little suspicious of a proposal. They started the adventure by going to a musical together at the Cadillac Palace Theater. Afterwards, Ben brought Ashley over to Travoli Tavern in the West Loop for a fancy dinner. When they finished eating, Ben told Ashley that he thought something important had fallen out of his pocket back at the theater.
At this point, Ashley was concerned about what Ben had lost, and no longer was expecting a proposal that day. Also at this point, Ben was communicating with mutual friends over the final details of his grand plan.
When they arrived at the theater, Ben got down on one knee and asked Ashley to marry him. Surprised by the sudden turn of events, Ashley clarified that Ben did, in fact, not lose something at the theater, complimented Ben on keeping the proposal a secret, and said yes! Their friends caught the proposal on video from the shadows. After the proposal, Ben and Ashley got celebratory Starbucks at the Chicago Starbucks Reserve Roastery with their friends.