Tara and Ryan

How We Met

I first saw Ryan when I was 13. We both grew up in the same hometown and went to the same middle school and high school. Ryan was a year older than me and happened to be the cute neighbor boy of my childhood best friend. He was very shy, so we never spoke. Later, during Ryan’s senior year of high school, he got asked to a school dance by a friend of mine. This suddenly threw him into my group of friends and we finally were introduced. A few months later we started dating. Ryan soon graduated and stayed near our hometown to attend college. I graduated a year later, and ended up going to college and graduate school 3 hours north of our hometown.

How He Asked

After doing the long-distance thing for 6 years, I was in my final semester of graduate school and just months away from moving back home to Ryan. On October 10th, 2015, I was walking through the woods in Duluth (the city I attended graduate school) with my roommate to take pictures as the fall colors were changing. It was homecoming weekend, so we had a full day of activities planned. Out of the blue, I noticed a dog down the path that looked identical to Ryan’s dog, Ellie. She ran to me and I saw that Ryan was right behind her. I always know when Ryan is going to visit me since we have busy schedules and live hours apart, so I was shocked to see him. I walked up to where he was standing in the woods and he got down on one knee and proposed! My roommate was there to photograph everything, making the proposal really special. At that point I thought it was all over, so we headed back to my apartment. Ryan suggested that we take the elevator, which took us right past my apartment’s party room. All of my closest friends and family were waiting for us in the party room for a surprise engagement party! I was completely floored with this second surprise and got to share my engagement with everyone I love. It was truly a perfect day.

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Special Thanks

Lacey Machemehl | 
Photography