From the Groom: I don’t know if our relationship could have started off any more cliche than this … we met at our best friends wedding. My best friend married her best friend, and Caroline and I met as we were both part of the bridal party (and no, my best friend didn’t have the foresight to pair us up to let us walk down the isle together… I guess he wanted us to wait until we did it for real 4 1/2 years later).
I may have met the woman of my dreams at my best friends’ wedding, but I certainly didn’t win her heart over for a solid 2 year (it may have had something to do with the handle bar mustache I was rocking at the wedding). Anyway’s, as I struggled to find things to connect to Caroline over the weekend of the wedding, there were a few things that I knew for sure. Her heart was pure, she was filled with compassion, and she loved the Lord, her friends, and her family with all of who she was.
She captured my heart and I wanted to know her more.
Nothing in our relationship has been on the fast track though. From the time that Caroline caught my eye and captured my heart, it took another 6 months, and three direct asks to even get her phone number. Our relationship started despite the fact that we were living 1,000 miles apart from each other, with no end in sight, just hoping and trying to see one another at least every 6-8 weeks in person.
Through every step in our relationship though, Caroline and I have sought both patience and persistence. Patience to celebrate where we are today and not look at tomorrow, and persistence to pursue one another in a way that communicates love and commitment.
The supreme evidence of love is patience. I might as well have that tattooed on my chest by this point. But, where joy comes from is putting myself second and truly desiring to see the best in someone else. This, I have discovered, is the beauty of true love and marriage.
Three years into a wonderful relationship I decided it was time to ask her father for his permission and blessing to ask for Caroline’s hand in marriage. So, on a business trip to Houston, TX, I snuck out to The Hill Country where she grew up and caught some time with her dad. A couple of prime rib steaks, 2 Dominican cigars, and several hours of conversation later, I asked him the most important question of my life (at least for a while) and he said yes.
Less than two weeks later I had the rings in hand and the loving and supporting group of friends who were going to help me ask what would now be the most important question of my life. On a Thursday in June I made my way up to the foothills of North Boulder, CO and found a spot that would be just perfect to ask the woman of my dreams she’d let me spend the rest of my life with her.
I decided that I’d need a good guise to pull off a surprise engagement, so I decided to use her completion of her first year of graduate school as a reason to celebrate…. it worked like a charm. I was able to tell her that I’d planned a sushi date (her favorite) with a bottle of champagne to celebrate with our friends after dinner. We were going to pick up some friends after dinner, have some champagne, and head out for a drink on the town. The only thing was, our friends were very conveniently going to be “late”. Once Caroline and I left the restaurant in my car, I put my phone on speaker, and called our friends to let them know we were on our way, only to “find out” that they were running late and we’d have to change the plans a bit. Caroline was listening in on my conversation and even put in her own input about an alternative plan. Little did she know, she was biting the bait, hook, line and sinker as our friend described directions to arrive at the exact location that I had previously selected to propose to the love of my life. it was perfect.
We grabbed the previously planted picnic basket and the champagne and headed up into the foothills of North Boulder. With some of our dear friends staged in some bushes with telephoto lenses, we were about to get the engagement photos of our lives. The rest of the story can really be told in these photos taken by Brianne Haagenson of Captivated Photography. She really captured this special moment in a way that will allow us to enjoy it forever.
The most important part is that Caroline said yes. We are engaged to be married and are planning a small winter wedding in January in the Mountains of Colorado. We are excited to celebrate that day, but recognize that it is really just one day in the rest of our lives. We are grateful to our friends and our family loving us well yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Photos by Captivated Photography
How We Met: Ryan and Stephanie first met at a Mets Baseball Game fundraiser in July 2010. He was dating someone at the time, but still noticed Stephanie that night. As luck would have it for Ryan, a few months later Stephanie joined the same board as …
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