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4 Aug

Bridal Bliss: Ashley, Daughter Of R&B Greats Terry Lewis

Bridal Bliss: Ashley, Daughter Of R&B Greats Terry Lewis

Love can find you in probably the most unexpected of places — your DMs, for instance.

Although Ashley and J.R. would meet in person for the primary time in 2019, that they had been social media friends for seven whole years. In that point, J.R., a Hollywood casting director, sought out Ashley’s expertise as a former news anchor for a show he was working on. Ashley, daughter of R&B greats Terry Lewis (of the Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis production team) and Karyn White, of “Superwoman” fame, is a creator and community manager for Pinterest. Once the project was up and running, they still managed to remain connected, doing what people who find themselves friends on social media are likely to do, which incorporates liking one another’s posts and customarily rooting for each other from afar.

But that was the extent of what might be between the 2 for a while, as they were each in relationships. It wasn’t until Ashley was back in the marketplace and made aware of a dating show he was casting that things modified. As it will end up, J.R. had had something greater in mind for her than a spot on a series on the lookout for Mr. Right. He desired to be her Mr. Right.

“I slid in his dm to let him know that my relationship had ended and asked if he had any shows for me to audition for on the time,” Ashley recalls. “He responded, ‘You’ll be wifed up in seconds in these streets!’”

Soon after, J.R. decided to call Ashley and ask if he could have the possibility to take her out on a date while visiting Atlanta, where she lives, from his native L.A. She obliged him, jokingly sharing that she ate him out of out of house and residential while at Chops in Buckhead, much to his excitement.

“As soon as we met in person we immediately hit it off,” she tells ESSENCE. “We ordered steaks, lobsters, lobster mashed potatoes, spinach, mainly all the things on the menu. I ate my plate, his plate, and any considered a leftover. You need to’ve seen the look on his face. He said, ‘That is what love at first sight looks like.’”

He wasn’t kidding.

“From day one, she was the girl of my dreams,” says J.R. “During our first date, I felt I used to be having the perfect conversations with probably the most incredible woman I had ever met.”

He adds, “The following day, I called my mom and said, ‘I’m going to marry this girl.’”

Two years after that first date, in the autumn of 2021, he took the step to really “marry that girl.” He did so on a stage in front of hundreds of individuals, which he says was all “God’s plan” based on the way it got here to be.

“I received a call from my friend, Vanzil Burke, owner of Burke Management, who had received a call from our friend, Curtis King, Owner of The Black Academy of Arts and Letters in Dallas. Curtis wanted us to go to his annual event, The Riverfront Jazz Festival. I told them that I couldn’t attend because that exact weekend, I used to be planning on popping the query,” J.R. recalls. “Curtis called and offered his stage during [headliner] Erykah Badu‘s performance. I then called Ashley’s mom and asked her to surprise the audience and her daughter that night by bringing her up on stage so I could propose. If it weren’t for Curtis, Vanzil, and my now mother-in-law being behind the scenes to drag the proposal off, I’d still be on the drafting board.”

Lower than two years after that emotional moment, and following the marriage planning struggles that plagued many a pair in the course of the pandemic, Ashley and J.R. triumphantly said “I do” on May 20, 2023. It was a star-studded affair in Long Beach, Calif., with Ashley’s mom performing “Love Saw It,” which is J.R.’s favorite song by her, on the reception. Fellow R&B great Cherrelle also sang the classic “Saturday Love,” and each comedian Luenell and Jerome Benton of the band Morris Day and the Time, who’s Terry Lewis’s brother and Ashley’s actual uncle, hosted the follow-up to the ceremony.

And while the famous faces were nice, and the exchanging of vows was beautiful, nothing beat attending to see their families turn into one because the bride and groom joined together, for all times, in love.

“It was amazing seeing everyone come together for the primary time and rejoice the start of our next chapter,” Ashley says. J.R. agrees.

“This was the primary time our two families met, and it was beautiful to see how all of us became one big completely happy family,” he said. “This was the perfect day of my life to date.”

Learn more about their love story and the way their unforgettable day got here together in the newest Bridal Bliss!


Photographer: @wanderlustcreatives 

Florist: @villafloraldesign 

Cherry blossom trees: @exoticblossomsbyval

Telephone booth: @event.engineers

Hair: @hairbyjazmeen and @darendacheree_smiff 

Makeup: @missdrini

Venue: @ovationsquare

Cake: @aheartsbakeddesire

Catering: @cateredbyraquel

DJ: @chromequeen

Dress and veil details: @ritavinieris and @thewhitedresscouture 

Groom’s dinner jacket: @tomford 

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