When Will Seaton proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Ashley Schaus, he knew he had to include her sister Hannah as well.
Hannah, 15, has Down syndrome and Ashley, who is seven years older, is a very protective big sister. “I told him we were a package deal when we started dating in 2010,” Ashley explained to ABC News.
The couple met at a car show in Spencer County, Indiana. From the beginning, they invited Hannah on dates. Over the years, “the three of us became best friends,” Ashley told ABC.
When Ashley and Will started talking about marriage last summer, they discussed how to include Hannah in some way.
“We had talked about getting an engagement ring for Hannah,” Ashley told local station WFIE. “Just as a friendship, you know. Best friends forever. He would always be there to protect and love her.”
Will popped the question in March 2016 during a family photo session, although the story has only recently gone viral.
“I didn’t even cry when he proposed to me,” Ashley told the station. “He got down on one knee and asked Hannah to be his ‘best friend forever.’”
Will presented his delighted BFF with a simple ring that Ashley and Hannah’s grandmother had given to him.
Then he asked Ashley for her hand in marriage.
This is how she described the proposals on TheKnot.com:
On a beautiful day in March of 2016, Will proposed to not only me, but Hannah as well. Hannah has always been a huge part of our life.
From day one, I made it clear that Hannah and I were a package deal. With her having Down syndrome I always felt the need to protect her. Will not only accepted Hannah, but loved her unconditionally the same way I did.
He cares for her protects her, makes her laugh, & everything in between. I could not ask for a better Husband to be, to not only love me, but to love us. Will asked Hannah to be his best friend forever & me to be his wife. By far the best day of my life.
Will and Ashley are going to be married in October, and Hannah will be an integral part of the ceremony.
“We came up with the term ‘best sister,’” Ashley told “Inside Edition.” “She’s more than a bridesmaid but not obviously a bride.”
Hannah will wear a white dress like her big sister and will dance with Will to “Best Friend” by Harry Nilsson.
“The happiness level is infinite. It’s not like she’s stealing anyone’s thunder,” Ashley said.