Ashley and Ryan

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How We Met

My freshman year of college I was all about meeting new people.  I attended a young life event and made a lot of new friends, including a guy named Ryan who was from the same area and lived in the same building as me. We both had significant others back home, so there was no pressure for anything to happen. Throughout the year, we only really talked if we were both in the dining commons and no one else was around to sit with. He was extremely shy, so small talk was about all we ever got to in the amount of time it took to eat a meal. Sophomore year, he ended up being in my physics class. We said hello on the first day of class, chatted about our summers and that was that. The next day, at our school’s first chapel service of the year, I went in looking for my usual group of friends, but none of them were able to make it that day so I grabbed a seat in the front row of the bleachers. I never really minded sitting alone, but just as I set my things down, Ryan came down from the top of the bleachers and asked me to come sit with him and one of his teammates. So I did. Chapel together quickly became a our weekly ritual. We would attend the service, grab lunch afterwards, and study for physics together. We became really good friends. As it turned out, both of us had been on very rocky terms with our significant others through out the summer. I came into the semester broken up with my previous boyfriend, and shortly after school started back up, Ryan ended things with his girlfriend as well. Neither of us was looking to jump into anything right away, but the more we hung out, the more obvious it became that we owed it to ourselves to see what this “thing” between us could become. And the rest, as they say, is history.

How He Asked

Ryan and I have been talking about getting married for quite some time now. We both love the movie Up, and so we always joked about having an Up themed wedding. For months, every time we went somewhere special, a little part of me thought he was going to propose, which was then followed by slight disappointment when he didn’t. Our 2.5 year anniversary was no different. He told me he wanted to surprise me with a fun day trip and to be ready by 8:30 am that day. So, me being the impatient, overexcited girl that I am, looked over at his pockets as soon as I got in the car to see if I could see the ring box. To my disappointment, I did not. So I had my letdown moment but knew we would still have a great date day! We finally arrived at the Philly Zoo and I was so excited I jumped out of the car and ran way ahead of him. We had more pictures of me with the fake animal statues going into the zoo then the actual animals! We went through a few exhibits and then we came to a fork in the path… one road clearly led to more exhibits, while the other seemed to lead to a fence. Ryan was holding the map and suggest we go the fence route. I galloped along the path, turned the corner and saw the hot air balloon which I thought they had gotten rid of! Going on a hot air balloon ride was high up on our bucket list, so I begged him to take me on it (not knowing he had been planning it all along) He played dumb and said he had to “see how much it would cost.” I was so thrilled when he said we could go on it, I jumped up and down for the entire wait time! When we got to the highest point, I looked around in awe of the view, and hopelessly trying to spot the giraffes. Meanwhile, Ryan was behind me handing a fellow passenger his phone to take pictures. He touched my shoulder, and when I turned around he asked “Are you ready for our next adventure?” and got down on one knee and pulled out the ring! (which was NOT in the box! Risky move, but it saved the surprise! He knows me too well) It was better than any proposal I could have dreamed of! The whole day was an adventure and I wouldn’t have had it any other way! I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend!

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