Danielle and Ryan | Go Gators!

How We Met:

I met Ryan in January 2009, right after the Gators won the National Football Championship (had to throw in my Florida Gator plug!). My roommate at the time told me that her friend Ryan was coming over to hang out and after a long weekend of celebrating, I was exhausted. I asked her point blank… “Is he cute? Do I need to put makeup on and look presentable or can I just stay in my pajamas?”  Her quick reaction was “No, it’s just Ryan.” Needless to say, “just Ryan” and I ended up talking all night, about everything, especially about a trip he was planning to Bhutan to teach at a youth golf camp for six months. This was huge because I love traveling and was immediately intrigued. Turns out he was equally interested because he asked for my phone number the next day!
The Proposal Story:

Fast forward 3.5 years to Memorial Day weekend.  My old roommate and her husband were in town for the weekend and staying with us.  Ryan had to work most of the weekend so we barely got to see each other. After our guests left, Ryan managed to leave work early on Monday and insisted that we go for a bike ride and have a picnic on the beach. We had so much going on lately that it was nice to finally have some time alone. After stopping for some subs and beer, we were on our way. It looked like storms were brewing and I repeatedly asked him if we should stay in, but he insisted we go. We enjoyed our lunch and beers at a secluded portion of the beach and then went for a walk, stopping a ways down to look at the ocean. He put his arms around me and said the words that I will never forget, “I don’t want to just spend 2 hours at the beach with you, I want to spend forever. Will you marry me?” I started crying and he pulled out the most beautiful ring I could have ever asked for.

He had to tell me everything that happened after he pulled out the ring because I was crying so hard I couldn’t remember!  It was amazing and perfect in every way and I felt the happiest I had ever been at that moment. It’s true that you feel different and strengthened in your relationship with just those few words.

I found out later that Ryan had been saving some money in a shoebox under our bed that I continually nagged him about. We nicknamed it “The Shoebox Ring” and I have since learned to never nag my fiancé about how he decides to save his money! I also found out that Ryan’s car had been in the shop that weekend and as he couldn’t wait to give me the ring, he rode his bike to the jewelry store to pick it up!  For anyone that knows my fiancé, you know that he spends a lot of time on his bike so it seemed only fitting that the biggest purchase of his life would happen on his bike.