Top
JET LoveWeddings

Ashley Holmes & James Durham

Venue: St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Chicago, IL

Honeymoon: St. Lucia, Virgin Islands

Home: Chicago, IL

Ashley is a registered nurse at University of Chicago Medicine. James is a personal stylist and writer. When the couple survived a traumatic car crash almost six years into their relationship, they both realized how much they meant to each other. So on Christmas Day, eight months after the accident, James proposed to Ashley, ensuring they would never be apart.

He knew he was in love when… 

They survived a tragic motor vehicle accident on March 31, 2012. The mere thought of losing Ashley made him realize just how blessed they were to have each other, and how lucky of a man he was to have her by his side.

She knew she was in love when… 

She realized that their relationship was always ever-escalating. Having a long-distance relationship was quite challenging initially, but every time they would get together things always seemed to get better and better. James is a gentle, thoughtful, selfless and God-fearing man. Since James was living in Indianapolis while they were dating and she lived in Chicago, distance taught them a valuable lesson about prioritization. They had to make it clear to each other that their relationship was a priority.

In 10 years we will…

Both be successful in our business/careers and steps closer to early retirement. James is a personal stylist/wardrobe consultant and Ashley is a health care risk manager/registered nurse. Ashley fell in love with every aspect of wedding planning, and is in the process of pursuing a career in event planning. We are both excited to see what the future holds for us and our family!

Before the groom got married, he wishes someone had told him…

How labor intensive (and expensive) planning a wedding would be.

Before the bride got married, she wishes someone had told her…

That the wedding is only half as exciting as the marriage. In just a few short months, they have grown so much in their personalities and behavior. The wedding planning was stressful, but their marriage continues to get better!

Our favorite activity to do together is…

Work out. After the car accident, we became really focused on our health and well-being. What better way to start our lifestyle changes, than to do it together. We have changed our eating habits, work out together and come up with different activities to do together to “de-stress.” (Ashley will keep trying to persuade James to attend yoga or Pilates with her, but it hasn’t worked out just yet.)

Our nicknames for each other are…

“Sweet” because she is literally the sweetest person he’s ever met. She’s loving, passionate, easy going and truly makes the best out of every situation. Ashley’s nickname for James is “My Husband” because it is a constant reminder to her that he is her partner, her companion and her best friend.

Our favorite place to spend time together is…

At church. We joined Quinn Chapel AME church together in February 2010, and it has truly become a special part of our lives. We have witnessed so many remarkable blessings from God. When we were involved in the car accident, it was a life-changing moment. It became apparent to us how important we meant to each other, and how important our physical, mental and spiritual well-being was to each other. During our marriage preparation counseling, our pastor provided us with a book called: The Love Dare. One of our New Year’s resolutions was to grow together spiritually. We began reading this book together on January 1, 2014. Every week we focus on a different topic and talk about how it can be applied in our marriage. It has truly been a source of daily spiritual encouragement.

Our song is…

“You Mean That Much to Me” by Chrisette Michele.

Our perfect date night is…

Cooking a nice dinner at home together, followed by a movie and relaxation. Sometimes we move so fast that it’s nice to have a day to just relax together in the comfort of our own home.

 

Are you getting married and looking for wedding planning advice?  Check out JET’s Wedding Wisdom column every Wednesday.