Julie and Ryan

How We Met

Ryan was captain of the football team and I was captain of the cheerleading squad but we ended up meeting through band class in high school in 2010. He was first chair trumpet and I was last chair flute…though that never really mattered to him! He took me on a lunch date in my hometown, but I was so nervous I could barely eat. We ended up dating soon after, but he was in the grade ahead of me so I didn’t think he’d want to date me through college. He attended Concordia University of Wisconsin for accounting and I attended the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh for biology. Even though we went to separate schools, we still made our relationship work. I’m happy to say that we will be planning a wedding together after 6 long years of dating!

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This photo was our first visit to the Grand Geneva for the fireworks show!

How He Asked

Since the summer of 2010, Ryan and I have been attending the Grand Geneva fireworks show for the 4th of July. This was our 7th year there and he wanted to make it really special. With the help of my family and my best friend, Rachel, they pulled off a really great surprise. Last year for graduation, my parents gave me a gift certificate for a massage and mani/pedi. Since I was going to be home over the 4th of July, I figured I might as well use it before it expired – it was obviously very good timing for my nails to be done! Ryan had invited Rachel and her fiancé, Matt, with us to the fireworks show and instead of sitting on the grass as we normally would, Ryan upgraded all of us to the buffet and open bar on the terrace to watch the show. I was stunned that he wanted to do that but I went along with it as, of course, I am not the one to turn down a good meal with good friends! Just after the appetizers, he gave Rachel the signal so she quickly swept me away for a few minutes for a restroom break. When we returned to our dinner table, Ryan asked if we could get a few pictures together. I was intrigued because this guy NEVER wants to take pictures, but I went along with it anyway. As we stood on the edge of the terrace overlooking the water, he asked me how long we had been coming to watch the fireworks and I proceeded to remind him that we had been coming for 6 years, this year being our 7th. He then asked me if I’d like to watch the fireworks with him as his fiancée this year!! He got down on his knee (in the wood chips) and asked, “Julie Ericson, will you marry me?” Of course I screamed yes!! Everyone on the terrace and the grounds below were cheering, but all I could see was Ryan and his big goofy smile. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful guy in my life and I can’t wait to one day call him my husband!

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