Ashley and Michael, a love that began through online dating

A military deployment and a pandemic were just some of the barriers the couple overcame on their journey to the altar.

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Four years after meeting on the dating website eHarmony, Ashley and Michael said “I do” in front of family and friends. Planning a wedding amid a global pandemic presented several challenges, but challenges couldn’t put a damper on the couple’s excitement to start married life.

They shared details from their beginning to the big day.

Bride: Ashley Roseborough , 34, director of public relations

Groom: Michael Roseborough, 38, advanced medical support assistant and U.S. Navy reservist 

Wedding date: April 9, 2021

Wedding venue: Magnolia Woods, Huntersville

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Honeymoon destination: Italy but haven’t traveled due to the pandemic

How they met

Although there were several opportunities where Ashley and Michael could’ve met, it was eHarmony that connected them in February 2017. Dating apps remain the top way couples meet, according to the wedding website The Knot.

“We grew up and graduated from high school in neighboring counties in the Charlotte region, and our moms already knew each other,” Ashley said. “We also figured out that we were both at the Carolina Ale House in Concord on the same night almost one year before we ever met. Small world.”

After weeks of phone conversations, they finally had their first date that March. However, Ashley had to work late, so they adjusted and made simple dinner plans at the now-closed Macaroni Grill. It was a convenient midpoint between Charlotte, where Ashley lived and worked, and Michael’s location in Salisbury. 

“We both love Italian food and that night, we talked and laughed for hours,” she said. “From then on, we saw each other pretty much every weekend.”

“You’re the one”

Asked when they knew each other was “the one,” they responded that the realization came at different times. 

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For Michael, the feeling came following a moment of disappointment. After returning home from military service in 2019, he learned that he didn’t get a job that he felt was a great fit. 

“I attempted to end things with Ashley,” he said. “Thinking it wasn’t the right time, and she had so much going for her, that I should let her go to pursue something with someone else.”

But she didn’t let the relationship go that easily.

“She told me she wasn’t going anywhere and offered to help me with my resume. A few weeks later, I started a new job,” Michael said. “She could have let me go, and I think most females would have, but she stayed by my side.” 

As for Ashley, it was a series of moments with Michael.

“His sense of humor was (and still is) something I love the most about him. He’s helped me not take life so seriously,” she said. “But it’s his attention to detail that really stood out. Early on, he would remember things I mentioned in passing about my day and check in on them. He didn’t forget anything I shared with him.”

The defining moment for her came in December 2017 when Michael was unexpectedly summoned for an overseas deployment.

“I bawled my eyes out like a baby. I couldn’t imagine life without him, yet, I knew that for a year, (minus one week-and-a-half break) that I wouldn’t see him in person,” Ashley said. “I knew if we made it through that experience, with neither of us having gone through it before, we would be together forever.”

The proposal

Michael popped the question as the world was shutting down in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

He knew his grandmother’s house was the perfect place to ask Ashley to be his wife.

“My grandma — rest in peace — had been part of every significant moment in my life and having her presence with me when I proposed was important,” Michael explained. 

While Ashley was distracted by conversations with family members, Michael grabbed her hand and asked for her hand in marriage. She burst into tears from shock.

“Michael caught me totally off guard with the proposal,” she said. “With everything that was happening in the world, that was the last thing on my mind. He definitely pulled off the best act of surprise.”

The wedding planning experience

The couple says that wedding planning was stressful, and the pandemic added an extra layer.

“From cutting our guest list [from 224 to 80 people] to going back and forth with vendors to ensure we could offer a safe event, it was a lot,” Ashley said.

Attempting to look at the glass half-full, they said getting engaged during a pandemic allowed them to “rethink wedding planning” and appreciate this season of their lives. 

The Big Day

When their wedding day arrived, Ashley and Michael recalled their excitement to start married life.

Their ceremony and reception incorporated a rose garden wedding theme — a play on Michael’s last name and Navy nickname (Roseborough/Rose). Additionally, they included a special tribute area for their grandparents and uncles who passed away. 

However, the most memorable moment:

“It was definitely our vows,” Ashley said. “We each wrote them and they provided a mix of very touching, tear-jerking moments, mixed with several jokes and laughs.”

A close second: Their first dance to “Spend My Life With You” by Eric Benét featuring Tamia.

“Time stopped at that moment,” Ashley said.

Advice to engaged couples

Ashley and Michael offered three pieces of advice to engaged couples:

  • “Don’t sweat the small stuff. No one knows what you had planned but you, and just know whatever you miss or forget, your day is still beautiful.”
  • “Remember it’s your day. Do what you want with it. You’ll get a lot of input from a lot of different sources, but it’s your time and money and your choices.”
  • “Before and on the wedding day, get your sleep! Don’t forget to eat!”

Ashley and Michael’s Black Business Vendors

Additional vendors

Katrina Louis
Katrina covers Charlotte's Black business scene for QCity Metro. She's a Miami transplant, pescatarian and lover of the arts. She earned a public relations degree from the University of Florida. Got a news tip? Email her at katrinalouis@qcitymetro.com.

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