Shaley and Riley

How We Met: In March of 2013 during my freshman year of college, one of my best friends, Kelsi, helped me get a job at the restaurant that she worked at.  Riley also worked there.  I knew who he was because we went to high school together, but we had never actually met each other before we starting working together.  It never crossed my mind that we would end up together.  Kelsi and I were hanging out one night at the end of July of 2013 and she mentioned that Riley and I would be cute together.

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I was immediately drawn to the idea.  So Kelsi gave me his number and I texted him that night, hoping that he wouldn’t think that I was weird for getting his number from someone else and randomly texting him out of nowhere.  The conversation didn’t really go anywhere, and about a week later Kelsi and I were on vacation in Florida.

She kept suggesting that I text him, so I did a few times while we on vacation.  During our conversations, I couldn’t really tell if he was interested in me or not.  In mid August, less than a week after Kelsi and I got back from Florida, we planned with Riley and another friend to go to the Indiana State Fair.  We were hoping that the guys would see it as a double date kind of thing.  So we all went and I had a blast.

Kelsi nudged me while we were there, trying to get me to sit next to Riley on most of the rides.  Apparently he liked me at that point, but I was oblivious.  That night was August fourteenth.  Riley and I texted the days following the fair, and I finally realized that he liked me.  August nineteenth was the first day of my sophomore year of college, and Riley and I decided to hangout that day to get to know each other better.

He picked me up from class and we had an early dinner at Applebee’s.  He picked me up from class again on the twenty-first and we went for a walk.  He told me all kinds of stories about him, his friends, and his family.  I could have listened to him talk all day.  That was the day we had our first kiss, and that was the day that we started officially dating.  For Labor Day weekend, I invited him to go stay at the lake with me and my family.

Riley and I went for a walk while we were there, and the whole time, I was just thinking, “Oh my goodness, I love you.”  He’s such a lovable person, but I obviously wasn’t going to tell him that because I didn’t want to scare him away.  Everything was just so easy with him.  It was easy to talk to him; it was easy to love him.  I knew he was something special and that I didn’t want to let him go.  When he and I got back from the lake a couple days later, he told me that he loved me.  I knew that he was sincere, and so was I when I said it back to him.

How He Asked: About a week before he proposed, Riley told me that we needed to get our pictures done.  I’m always up for modeling, so of course I said okay.  So he figured out times with his brother, Ryan, that would work for all of us to get the pictures done.  On July fourteenth, Riley got off work early and called me on his way home.

Since it was perfect outside, we decided to check with Ryan to see if we could go ahead and do our photo shoot that afternoon.

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Ryan was good to go so we got ready and headed to Mounds State Park for the shoot.  Once we were there, we took a few pictures before we walked out into an empty field to do some more.  We took one more picture and Riley then told me that he’d be right back.  He walked over to his brother for a minute and came right back.

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I asked Riley what we were doing for the next picture and he said that we would be looking at each other. He then kissed me a few times, and as we pulled away he had taken the ring out of his pocket.  It was so unreal from that point on. In disbelief, I fell to the ground with him and wrapped my arms around him.  I’m ecstatic that I get to spend my life with this man and I’m forever grateful that he and his brother worked together to have these moments captured for us.

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Photos by: Ryan Rankin