Two and a half years into our relationship Ryan did what any proper gentleman would do when he wants to spend the rest of his life with someone; this is how it happened.

Ryan and I had been talking about getting married for quite some time. I always told him that if he ever proposed I wanted it to be on a random day and that I didn’t want it to happen in front of a lot of people; I didn’t want strangers to know before our family and friends. I had been feeling like a proposal was coming… I honestly felt like it would happen around our two year anniversary, but it didn’t and by February of 2013 I had all but forgotten about it happening any time soon. That was until the week of Valentine’s Day. Ryan and I both had to work on Valentine’s Day, which was no surprise and we were to celebrate the weekend after. A few weeks earlier our photographer posted online that she was doing Valentine’s mini sessions; we decided that’s what we were going to do for Valentine’s Day instead of gifts. So there we were making an appointment for the Saturday February 16th. Ryan was the one setting up this appointment, and sadly he made the photo shoot for 7am; which meant that on my day off I had to wake up at 5am to wash my hair, dry it, fix it, put makeup on, get dressed, and be out of the house by 6:30. For those of you who know me well… I am NOT a morning person!

But back to my story, the week leading up to our mini session Ryan and my mother started acting really weird. First, on Monday my mom called him at 8 am… which I found weird but didn’t question. Second, I asked my mother all week if there was anything I needed to know or if something was going to happen that weekend. Of course she said she knew nothing and no idea what was going on. But the final straw that made me KNOW that something was going on was on Friday; my mother told me that if anything happened the next day to call her. You know that would tell anyone that something was going on. Either way, after work I went and got my nails fixed (just in case) then went home so Ryan and I could head to the beach. We spent the night at my parent’s beach house so we wouldn’t have to wake up at 4 am to be ready and at the beach by 7 am. We stayed up late talking about our future and about how and when he would propose. This entire conversation still never clicked with me as to what was going to happen the next day.
The next morning I wake up very grumpy… I was not a happy camper to be up so early and getting out in the cold, Ryan on the other hand was excited and very much awake. We get to Holden Beach at 7 am and follow our photographer to the location. It was literally a broken down barn/shed slightly off the road. I kind of wondered how these pictures would come out, but our photographer is amazing so I knew to trust her judgment. We starting posing and trying not to act weird or laugh uncontrollably like the last time we took pictures. About 4 or 5 pictures in Ryan turns to me and tells me that he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me, next thing I know he is down on one knee with a box in his hand asking me to marry him. I was speechless… another thing that NEVER happens! I accepted of course and couldn’t be happier. We continued to take pictures, so I now have pictures of the best day of my life. Ryan did a wonderful job planning all of this, especially behind my back! I called my parents, which of course they knew; Ryan had asked them both for the blessing and permission to marry me. His parents were also aware of what was going to happen. It seems like everyone knew except me. I then called my best friend, because she had to know before Facebook knew; I think she was just as excited as I was.

I think the best part of this whole day was on our ride home from the beach. As I sat in the passenger seat of Ryan’s car, literally staring at this gorgeous ring on my finger, he proceeds to tell me that this ring is no ordinary ring, this ring is special because it belonged to someone very near and dear to my heart. As he told me this story I couldn’t do anything but cry; my family has been through so much tragedy over the years and there are so many people who I wish could have shared this moment with me. Those same people will never get to witness me marry the one man God placed on this earth for me, or the birth of my children… all of the huge milestones I want to share with the people who mean the most to me. I now wear a ring on my left hand that once belonged to someone who meant the world to me and given to me by someone who means the world to me. I must say, I truly have a very wonderful fiancé.

I am a very lucky woman to have found someone as wonderful as Ryan to spend the rest of my life with. Someone who is thoughtful, selfless, kind, funny, loving, and so compassionate; he is an amazing  fiancé. I am beyond excited to be marrying my best friend and love of my life.

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