Brad + Ashley | Wilmington, NC Engagement Portraits

I have known Brad for a LONG time! In fact, I consider him my oldest friend that I still see regularly and that means a lot to me. Because my dad was in the military when I was younger, we moved around a lot when I was young so I didn’t really get to keep my friends for a long time. My dad retired from the military right before I started sixth grade and we moved to Wilmington, NC. Brad and I met in the sixth grade and I am not sure that you would say that we hit it off right off the bat. In fact, I think there were moments where we downright disliked each other! Haha! Brad took great pride in taunting me on our school bus rides home and I took great pride in putting him in his place in that bratty middle school girl way! 🙂 Brad moved to a different school for 7th and 8th grade so imagine my surprise when I entered the first day of Mrs. Craig’s Advanced Geometry class during my freshman year of high school to hear someone say, “Tara Stroehl!!” and I turned to see Brad sitting across the aisle from me. I don’t know that I was totally excited to see him at the time after the memories from middle school, but we grew to be great friends from that point on. Brad was one of a group of guys I fondly refer to as “The Boys”. We shared a lot of the same classes throughout high school and Brad was always good for a laugh, usually at our physics teacher’s expense. Good ole’ Ms. Skipper!

Brad and I did not go to the same college, but I would often make the trek to Raleigh to visit “The Boys” to see what shenanigans they were getting into. I had some rough years when I was in college, and I could always count on Brad and the other boys when things were rough and I hope that they knew that they could always count on me when things were rough for them too. I am not sure that any of them will ever know how much our friendship has meant to me over the years and I am so grateful that we are still all friends after we have  started our “grown up” lives!

My husband, Dave, loves to say how much he hates Brad! Haha! He doesn’t really hate him, but he wishes he could hate him. Dave doesn’t feel that it is fair that Brad is so intelligent, successful, good looking, has a great personality AND he also gets to be such an incredibly nice guy!  I guess you would say that Brad is a catch! Given the catch that he is, there wasn’t a girl that came along that was able to catch him… until Ashley. I was fortunate enough to be there the first time that Ashley and Brad went out. I knew the first time that I met Ashley, that she would be a perfect match for Brad. She, too, is successful, intelligent, beautiful and INCREDIBLY sweet! She is exactly the sweet, and southern lady that Brad always needed. Brad and Ashley dated for a long time, and we all wondered if the engagement was ever going to happen, but Brad FINALLY got smart and asked Ashley to spend the rest of her life with him and she was smart and said YES! 🙂 When I heard the news of their engagement, I couldn’t have been more thrilled for my oldest friend!

Dave and I met Brad and Ashley (and their wonder dog, Bella), down in our hometown, Wilmington, for their engagement session. Brad has always LIVED for boating, fishing, and really anything water related so I thought it would only be fitting to start the session at the marina before we traveled down to Fort Fisher to finish up the session. Dave and I had a blast spending the afternoon with Brad and Ashley and it was an honor to capture this moment in their relationship as they start their lives together! Congratulations, Brad and Ashley! We can’t wait for the wedding!!

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