I am SO beyond excited to share this engagement feature with you all... not because of the beautiful Irish scenery or the gorgeous ring (although they're are both AMAZING)... but because it's MY OWN! Woooo you heard right, ladies and gents. This girl is engaged to her best friend! I'm feeling all the feels. I'm talking... dramatic singing while swinging around a lamp post, if you're a bird I'm a bird, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy staring into each others eyes being incandescently happy...happy. And I'm even MORE thrilled be able to share how special our day was with all of you!
Ryan and I met in the most millennial, 21st century way possible, through TINDER. It works people...swipe right and cross them fingers! However, we tend to say we met at the best worst time possible and if it wasn't for Ryan's selfless giving of his time and his heart not just to me but to my whole family, we might not be where we are today.
My first date with Ryan, I came from sitting beside my dad's hospital bed all day. As a little contextual backstory, at that point, my dad had been diagnosed two months prior with Glioblastoma (a stage 4, incurable brain cancer), had undergone two brain surgeries, had lost the use of his right arm and both his legs, had developed aphasia and apraxia making it impossible for him to communicate his thoughts with us, and was suffering from both Red Man's Syndrome as well as Steven-Johnson Syndrome due to allergies to several of his medications. To say my family and I were suffering and in the worst place we'd ever been would be an understatement.
Due to much down time waiting in hospital rooms, I joined Tinder for something to do. Enter, Ryan. I decided to meet him on a whim after we'd been talking for a couple weeks. I needed to get out of the hospital and spend just an hour or two doing something "normal." That first date was the best date of my life, hands down. We immediately clicked, had a blast talking and laughing together, and before I knew it hours had flown by. From that day, Ryan dove head first into the chaos and sadness that was my current daily life. He met my whole family, close family friends and extended family all at once for the first time for my dad's birthday in the hospital. No easy introduction for him! But he handled it so well.
He hit it off with my family immediately and was always there for a shoulder to cry on, a late night vent sesh, or just to take me on a date to forget about everything else for a couple hours. He spent hours driving back and forth from my house and the first few months of our relationship constantly around my family and never once complained. He was there holding my hand when my dad finally passed and I knew I loved him and would spend my life with him from those first few months, seeing how caring, thoughtful and loving he was not only to me, but to my whole family.
This August, right after our two year anniversary, my mom, both my brothers, Ryan and I decided to take a trip somewhere we've always wanted to go...Ireland! We did a self drive vacation from Dublin all the way around the southern tip of Ireland and up the west coast to Lahinch. Guys, I can't even explain in words how beautiful this country is. We kept saying it was a photographer's dream location. The countryside is covered in patchwork greens of every shade, with sheep and cattle grazing all over the hills (and occasionally in the road in front of our car). My favorite part, though, was all of the old ruins you'd see, from the historical tourist sites to old castle towers in farmer's backyards, they were EVERYWHERE. Ireland really brought my inner Disney princess to life.
The big day happened in one of the southern-most parts of Ireland, at Three Castle Head in Dunlough, Co Cork, Ireland. We were about halfway through our vacation at this point and although I must admit I had been hoping Ryan would propose on this trip, I had no idea. We had planned a day trip out to climb the footpaths and bridge of the Mizen Head Signal Station and I guess Ryan had decided that day was THE day. We spent hours hiking the cliffs in one of the most beautiful locations I've ever been, but Ryan had decided it was too touristy and not personal enough at Mizen Head. After, we headed to lunch at Three Castle Head, a picturesque cafe and working sheep farm sitting atop a hilltop looking out onto the cliffs and sea. It truly is a hidden gem of Ireland.
Ryan asked me to take a walk with him down the hill to the edge of the cliffs. Me, being my oblivious self, had no idea what was happening. At the edge of the cliff, he wrapped his arms around me, told me how much he loved me, got down on one knee and between tears (real men cry, people!) asked me to spend my life with him. It was the happiest moment of my life. I said "of course!" and turned around to be greeted by my mom and brothers running down the hill cheering and clapping. I couldn't have imagined a more perfect way to start forever with my best friend. The best part was that almost a year and a half earlier (just six months into dating...when ya know, ya know) and two weeks before my dad passed away, he had sat down with both him and my mom to ask them for permission to marry me someday.
Now, I get to start planning my OWN wedding...with the assistance of the amazing Maggie and the dGE design team of course! I thought I was a big Pinterest-er before... that was nothing compared to now. I've got bridesmaid dresses and tablescapes to design! If you've read any of my previous posts, you know how much I heart a good inspiration board. So I will leave you with my own wedding's inspo board.
Thanks for taking the time to read our love story! It's unique and truly ours and I love it almost as much as I love HIM!