We’ve all been privy to playing puppy dog alongside an often-reluctant trainer at a new job – following him or her around day in and day out until we are deemed capable to be let off the leash. But for James Slonneger, following turned into falling – in love, that is – with his trainer Ashleigh Hohn.As pharmacy technicians for Carolinas HealthCare System, Ashleigh was tasked with training James, which meant spending eight-hour days side-by-side. “After the first day, I was smitten!” says Ashleigh. “I asked James if I could eat lunch with him, and it soon became an everyday occurrence.”The couple talked about spending time together outside work, but James being a single dad posed a bit of a challenge. They thought of a few places that were kid-friendly and soon found themselves at Chuck E. Cheese’s. “Emma and Dylan had a great time while James and I planned our first date do-over!” Ashleigh says. In time, Ashleigh and James began talking about marriage, although she didn’t expect a formal proposal. “I was sitting downstairs after the kids went to bed, and he was pacing around nervously. He definitely caught me by surprise!” “Dylan ultimately made the decision on the ring,” says James. “When I got home, it was burning a hole in my pocket, and I knew I just couldn’t wait. The following day I was nervously trying to compose the perfect proposal with the perfect ring for the perfect woman. My nerves got the best of me, and I impulsively got down on one knee and asked her to marry me!”The planning began, and Ashleigh and James chose Chuck Eaton to capture the moments of their big day. “He’s pretty freaking awesome!” exclaims Ashleigh. “He seated our guests, attached my veil, buttoned my confusing bustle, made sure we ate and calmed our anxious nerves. He’s so much more than a photographer!”The ceremony and reception were held at The Historic Beaver Dam House in Davidson. A barefoot Ashleigh walked down the aisle toward her husband – “I originally wore flats, but they were getting caught in my dress, so I kicked them off and stayed barefoot the rest of the night!” – before celebrating with family and friends beneath a tent provided by Classic Party Rentals. The couple honeymooned for seven days in Negril, Jamaica – a gift from the bride and groom’s parents. Ashleigh notes that married life isn’t all that different from their lives before: “James and I bought a house a year before getting married, so we’ve been playing the married couple for a year now. But now it feels more official – all four of us being a family.”A family that is about to grow: At the time this story was written, Ashleigh excitedly announced she and James are expecting their first child in October. “James’ daughter keeps begging me to have a baby!” she joked just a few weeks ago, proving that sometimes, wishes really do come true.
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