Cassandra and Ryan

How We Met: During my junior year of college I was social chair for my sorority and began making connections with the various sororities and fraternities on campus. I remember meeting Ryan in passing and instantly had the biggest crush on him. Several months later it just so happened one of my best friends Melanie and I needed help on a video project for our campus’s student orientation programs and Mel knew Ryan would be able to assist.

He edited film for us dancing around campus in feather boas and big sunglasses and I remember thinking he will either assume I’m crazy or realize I’m just a sorority girl having some fun! We spent that summer flirting and hanging out and one thing led to another. After about 5 months of talking and having fun Ryan took me on our first “official date”.

I had been a little nervous if there was a reason why we had not been “officially” dating but little did I know Ryan had been planning for awhile and wanted to really do something amazing for me. He showed up to my house in a suit and brought me wine and flowers. After a fancy Italian dinner we drove back to his fraternity house when he noticed this large billboard at the front was covered in tarp.

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He stopped the car and seemed very frustrated making some comment about how that tarp wasn’t suppose to be there …only moments later did I realize that this was all on purpose. He walked to the board and pulled off the tarp..on it was painted “Cass, you’re a total babe. Wanna date?” and his fraternity brothers were looking out from the window and Ryan had a bouquet of flowers waiting for me!!

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I was in complete awe of how much effort he put into this!! It was then I should have realized he had set the standards high for what was to come years later…our engagement!

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How He Asked: After dating for several years in college our paths physically parted ways when I accepted a job in Columbus, OH and Ryan moved to his home town in Toledo. We continued long distance but because I work in Hospitality it was sometimes difficult to make plans on the weekends. Ryan invited me to Naples, Florida in March to hang out while he was there on a business trip. He works in the family business so other members were there as well.

Before dinner one evening his parents asked if we could head down to the docks a few minutes early to secure a reservation. As we arrive Ryan suggested that we walk out to the pier. I was so nervous about missing our reservations I kept hesitating because I didn’t want to disappoint his parents. Finally Ryan convinced me to go. We’re looking out to the ocean on the pier and the next thing I know he is down on one knee!!

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My breath literally escaped me! Little did I know he had hired a photographer to capture the moment.

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I was on cloud nine as we walked hand in hand back down the pier. To say I was overjoyed with emotion is an understatement.

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When we got towards the road again Ryan pointed out a limo and said “you see that? its ours!”

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When we walked over we were greeted by his parents and brother and sister in law with champagne. We said a toast and a prayer and then the family proceeded with their reservations while Ryan and I drove in the limo to Marco Island to a restaurant right on the beach where we watched the sunset. After dinner we drove around in the limo stopping by a few townie bars and eventually back to the condo.

We took a midnight stroll on the golf course and ended up (literally) dancing in the rain under the stars just living in the moment. The greatest thing about the day was I knew Ryan went out of his comfort zone to plan an event as big as this and with so much detail! That truly meant more to me than anything!

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A few extra photos from our engagement session and our recent wedding on July 4th!!! (All photos by Robb McCormick of Columbus, OH)

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Photos by: Grace ‘n’ Chase Photography