Lily and Ryan

How We Met

Ryan and I officially met 6 years ago. Even though we attended the same, small high school and went to the same proms, we had never truly gotten to know each other. Little did we know that 4 years after graduating, our paths would cross again. On Memorial Day weekend last year, we both attended the first Country 500 Music Festival in Daytona Beach, FL. Ryan spotted me taking pictures of my friends and asked if we wanted him to take a picture of us all. I kindly obliged and soon realized that I actually knew the guy that was behind the camera. Ever since that day it has been quite the whirlwind romance knowing from pretty early on that he was the one that I had been waiting on my whole life.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Ryan's Family Property  (Ocklawaha River)

Lily and Ryan's Engagement in Ryan's Family Property  (Ocklawaha River)

How He Asked

For Easter weekend this past year, Ryan had the idea of inviting my whole family up to his family’s property in the Ocala National Forest right on the Ocklawaha River. He thought it would be a great time for both of our families to bond and to get to know each other more. On Easter Sunday, we had planned to take family pictures around sunset time down by the water. When sunset rolled around, I grabbed my camera and headed down from the cabin to the water with my big sister to take pictures.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Ryan's Family Property  (Ocklawaha River)

As we neared the water, I could see an archway (that Ryan had built! WHAT!?) over the end of their family’s dock with him standing underneath it with a bouquet of babies breath in his hands. Once I finally began to grasp what was happening, I turned to my sister with tears in both our eyes and began to walk towards the man of my dreams. While I approached the burlap isle lined with candlelit mason jars and rose petals, I could hear our song playing. We were both standing under the archway as the sun was setting over the river when Ryan got down on one knee and asked, “Lily Grace DeVirgilis, will you marry me?”

Special Thanks

Sarai Helene Ault
Photographer