During Wedding, Pastor Tells Bride To Step Aside As Groom Proposes To Her Sister

Feb 05, 2021 by apost team

Santa Claus, Indiana, resident Ashley Schaus likely knew that she would be close to her younger sister Hannah Schaus from the day she was born. But with time, Ashley began to understand that her younger sister was not like other children. Doctors diagnosed Hannah with both diabetes and Down syndrome, a genetic disorder wherein a child has an extra copy of chromosome 21. Since then, Ashley and Hannah have been inseparable, and so when Ashley first met her current husband, Will Seaton, in 2010, Ashley let him know that she and her sister came as a “package deal.” That’s why Seaton proposed not only to Ashley but also to her sister, Hannah, in 2017.

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Ashley's parents sat the young girl down one day and explained to her that her younger sister has a condition known as Down's syndrome. Ashley seems to have decided at that moment she would become a champion for her younger sister. According to the USA Today video below, Hannah will always be in Ashley’s care due to her conditions. Ashley seems up to the challenge and seems committed to making sure Hannah never feels left out in any situation throughout their lives.

This was tested when Ashley met and began to date Will. As the pair grew closer, Ashley explained to him that Hannah would be present with her at all times. "I told him we were a package deal when we started dating in 2010," Ashley told ABC News in 2017. Seaton, who went on dates with both sisters to accommodate Ashley’s wishes, seems to have accepted both sisters without hesitation. He seems to understand how important Hannah is to Ashley, deciding that Hannah would be his sister, too.


Seaton and Ashley were a couple for years. The time finally came when Seaton decided to propose to her. Seaton had the perfect proposal in mind. He set up a photo shoot that included himself, Ashley and Hannah in a meadow, as the video below shows. He took to one knee when asking Ashley for her hand in marriage.

Ashley said yes.

Seaton then turned to Hannah. He proposed to her as well. He asked her if she would be his best friend forever. Hannah beamed with joy, as the video below shows. It is obvious she enjoyed being a part of the special moment.

“I was very surprised," Ashley told Fox 6 Milwaukee. "Will is wonderful, but he's rather humble and so this gesture blew me away. She was so happy, and all I could think about was how special this was for her."

Ashley seems quite close with Hannah, as the video below highlights. And Seaton seems to have felt exactly the same about Hannah, with the three becoming “best friends,” according to ABC News’ interview with Ashley. When the special day for Seaton and Ashley finally arrived, Seaton also had special vows to say to Hannah. The promises Seaton made to his sister-in-law will warm the hearts of all people who watch the video of the moment.

“Now Hannah, do you take Will to be your best friend?” the minister asks at the sisters’ wedding in the clip below. “Do you promise to go fishing, and tell him silly jokes, and always care for Will?” he continues.

Of course, Hannah says yes, and the minister pronounces them “best of friends forever,” closing the ceremony by saying, “You may hug your best friend.”

Before the wedding, ABC News caught up with Hannah, who told the outlet that Seaton does, in fact, live up to his title as best friend forever.

"He takes me fishing and makes funny jokes. He makes me laugh and takes care of me," Hannah told ABC News.

Seaton, who gave both sisters rings, also had warm words for his sister-in-law and best friend, Hannah, explained in his ABC interview that she reminded him that “there's a lot in life to be thankful for and that we shouldn't take life for granted.”

At the time, Ashley explained that she wanted her sister to be part of the October 2017 ceremony from start to finish and that she “wouldn't want it any other way.”

"I am blessed to share this day with her,” she added.

Beyond the ceremony itself, Hannah and Seaton also shared a “best friend” dance together to the tune of Harry Nilsson’s fitting track “Best Friend.”

As you can imagine, the video of Hannah, Ashley and Seaton’s wedding ceremony has spread far and wide across the internet. Outlets from Inside Edition to USA Today have covered the story, leading to an outpouring of support from viewers and readers alike.

“Wow, that is so sweet. Lovely story to read this morning. Such compassion,” a user with the screen name Ashmedai wrote in response to the ABC News story.

“What a gorgeous girl!!! Loved her dress,” Zoe Swenson wrote on YouTube. “Oh and I guess the bride looked beautiful (too), not as pretty as her sister of course 😉. There needs to be more people in the world like him. My heart is so happy right now! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️”

One way in which Ashley and Hannah’s story is important is that it might help to raise awareness around Down syndrome, which still carries a social stigma. Down syndrome occurs when infants are born with additional genetic material — an extra copy of chromosome 21 — in the nuclei of their cells, according to the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).

The non-profit further explained that around 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome every year in the U.S., making it the most common chromosomal condition. Since the late 19th-century English physician John Langdon Down officially documented the syndrome, both the scientific community and society have come a long way. Thanks to advances in medicine, Hannah will likely live to age 60, compared to children with Down syndrome in 1910 who were only expected to survive until 9, according to the NDSS. Because children with Down syndrome are living longer, and thanks to associations like the NDSS, the acceptance, people have grown more tolerant and understanding of people with Down syndrome.

And the overwhelmingly positive response to Ashley, Hannah, and Seaton’s story of love and friendship is just more proof that the world is ready to talk about Down syndrome more openly.

What did you think about Seaton's proposal to Hannah? Were you able to keep dry eyes while watching the video? Let us know in the comments, and send this video to everyone you know to brighten their days.

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