A marriage proposal usually involves the guy getting down on one knee with a diamond ring, but it was a little different when 25-year-old Will Seaton asked 23-year-old Ashley Schaus to marry him.
Ashley grew up in Santa Claus, Indiana, with her sister Hannah, who has Down Syndrome. From the day of her sister's birth, Ashley made Hannah a big part of her life. Ashley's parents told her Hannah would always need her sister's protection and patience. Since then, Ashley has been Hannah's closest friend. She's always ready to help Hannah with homework, have sleepovers, and take vacations with her sister.
“Growing up with Hannah having special needs I’ve realized that she might not get to experience some of the things that I get to experience and I want her to enjoy those things in her own way as well," Ashley said.
In 2010, Ashley met Will Seaton at a car show, and the two began dating. Before committing to a serious relationship, Ashley decided Hannah would not take a back seat in her life. In order to date her, Ashley told Will he had to accept Hannah first.
“She has Down syndrome and diabetes, and I look after her and protect her,” Ashley said. “To be with me, you must accept her and love her as well.”
Ashley's new boyfriend wasted no time becoming best of friends with Hannah. The couple included Hannah on many of their dates and Will would often take her fishing with him.
“He takes me fishing and makes funny jokes. He makes me laugh and takes care of me,” Hannah told ABC News.
“Will and Hannah’s relationship reminds me a lot of my big brother and a little sister," Ashley said. "Will is very protective of Hannah make sure she has what she needs."
One day, Will decided to ask Ashley to marry him, but he had a question to ask Hannah first...
Go to the next page to find out what he asked!
On March 8, 2016, Will decided to propose to Ashley during a family photo shoot. As the three of them walked in a field of beautiful daffodils, Will said he had a surprise for Hannah.
"Before you knew it, he was down on one knee, asking her [Hannah] to be his best friend forever," Ashley said. "It was the sweetest moment in my whole life watching Hannah be so happy and feeling so special."
After Hannah said "yes," Will turned to Ashley and asked her to marry him. She didn't have to think twice.
“At that moment I was just beyond happy for Hannah I didn’t even really think about myself," Ashley said, overjoyed that her sister got to share the happy moment with her.
“We may not know what the future will hold for Hannah, and I hope that someday she finds a sweet boy, but for now, I am so thankful she got to enjoy that moment that every girl dreams about,” she said.
The pair will be married on October 7 in Indiana, but not without Hannah at their side. Ashley plans to include her as a "best sister" in the wedding party, and Hannah is over the moon about it. In addition, the wedding vows will include Hannah, because she will become a part of Will and Ashley's lives.
"They will make promises to each other to always care for one another, share secrets, make jokes and go fishing, as that's one of their favorite things to do together," Ashley said. "Will and I will share our vows and we all three will walk out down the aisle together."
Once they're married, Will and Ashley will live in a house close to Hannah so they can visit her every day.
"I never would've thought that I would've shared my wedding day, my engagement, and my whole life with her, but now, under all the circumstances, I wouldn't have it any other way," Ashley said.
"I want Hannah right by my side throughout everything and someday in the future, whenever Will and I start a family, I know that Hannah will be a big part of helping raise our child."
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