Mikki and Ryan
How We Met
Ryan and I both graduated from Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, Illinois back in 2010. I moved to Frankfort the summer before my freshman year of high school. The two of us met through mutual friends, and since he was on the football team, I cheered for him as a cheerleader all throughout high school. Even though we hung around at the same parties, we never dated each other or hung out exclusively until after our freshman year of college.
About a week into the summer of 2011, my parents were out of town and I had a “small party,” (Sorry Mom and Dad!!) Ryan showed up at the party, and we ended up talking outside all night. It was so bizarre the way that we just clicked. From that day on, we were pretty much inseparable. We were together just about every single day of that summer. Even though everyone knew we were practically dating, neither one of us wanted to be the one to admit that we actually had feelings for one another. Plus, I was going back to school at the University of Iowa in August, and he was starting his first year at Illinois State after transferring from Montana.
The week before we both went away to school we decided to stay at his Aunt and Uncle’s apartment in Chicago. We had tickets to Lollapalooza, and thought it’d be the perfect way to end our amazing summer. After a few cocktails, Ryan finally admitted his feeling for me and asked me to be his girlfriend.
Our relationship was long distance for the next two years, except for the summers when we lived together in my Chicago apartment. After we graduated college in 2014, we were finally able to live together full time with our two dogs, Penny and Stella.
How He Asked
Ryan and I had planned a trip to Las Vegas with my Mom and Dad. We were going to Vegas to celebrate my Dad’s birthday, or at least I thought that was why we were going. Apparently the trip was planned as a way for Ryan to propose from the very beginning. You see, I thought I was being really clever and was trying to drop hints for Ryan to “plan” the engagement on New Years Eve. Meanwhile, he already had the engagement all planned out.
We flew down to Vegas early on September 18. We landed by 8:00 in the morning, checked into the Bellagio, and had an entire day ahead of us. Little did I know, Ryan was freaking out pretty much all day long. We spent the day shopping, drinking, gambling, and laying out by the pool. We had reservations at 7:30 for my dad’s birthday, so a couple hours before dinner we went up to the rooms to get ready. For the first time ever, I was actually ready on time, and we had about 30 minutes to spare before we were supposed to meet up with my parents.
We went down to the lobby, played a few slot machines, and then Ryan said we should check out the fountain show. As we were walking up to the fountain, a photographer stopped us. She said she was taking pictures for the hotel and wondered if we would pose for a few pictures once the fountain show began. Of course I didn’t mind, and at this point was still completely clueless. I was actually Snapchatting right before she began snapping the pictures.
Right before the show began, the photographer had us take a few normal shots together, and then told us to kiss. I remember hearing the loud noise from the fountain show starting, and all the sudden Ryan got down on one knee. I was in complete shock, and all I remember was Ryan laughing hysterically as he asked me to marry him.
Of course my immediate response was, “If this is a joke, I’m going to kill you.” He laughed even more, told me it wasn’t a joke, put the ring on my hand, and explained that it was all planned from the start. I didn’t even look at the ring until a couple minutes after it happened. The photographer was snapping pictures the whole time, and caught me in and out of shock.
Everything about the proposal was absolutely perfect. I was so incredibly surprised, and the timing was beyond amazing. Everyone who knows me and Ryan, knows how crazy we are about each other. The past four and a half years have not always been easy, but we’ve always found a way to make it through the hard times and have only grown stronger. We’ve already had so much fun on our journey together, and I truly couldn’t be happier to be marrying my best friend.