Jessica and Ryan

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How We Met

Ryan and I both attended Texas A&M University and met through a mutual friend. The night we met, we talked until 2:30 in the morning, but he did not get my number! I was so bummed, and doubly so because I felt too shy and awkward to ask for his. I got up at 7 am the next morning to run a local 5k, crossed the finish line and headed over to grab a water. To my delighted surprise, Ryan was standing right there! He ran the same race and finished right before I did. Fate had literally brought us together. In all our years in College Station, we had never even seen each other, and now – two chance encounters in less than twenty-four hours. We started to talk and he smoothly pulled his phone out explaining that he had meant to get my number the night before. I wasn’t about to lose him again so I gladly handed it over. Fast forward a little over three years and we are now ENGAGED and taking on Dallas!

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how they asked

Ryan and I head over to San Francisco once a year to run the Bay to Breakers Race. I had learned of a quiet little beach across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County and wanted to take some pictures there, since we don’t have that many of the two of us together. I planned a photoshoot, ordered a dress and coordinated our outfits, and brought my camera gear on this trip. The weather was spectacular, and the beach was empty, so I set up the tripod and self-timer for our little shoot. We were running around and dancing on that gorgeous black sand as the camera caught the shots I was hoping for. As we packed up to head back to the city, I told Ryan that out of all the fun things we had planned for the weekend, this was going to go down as our favorite. Little did I know that this would turn into the absolute best day of my life just thirty minutes later.

The Uber driver who took us out to the beach was nice enough to wait there for us while we took our pictures because he didn’t think another Uber driver would come out far enough to pick us back up. On the scenic route back from the beach, we came across a spot with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. I thought Ryan was crazy when he asked the driver to let us off and then sent him on his way. I was worried we wouldn’t find another driver to get us home. The wind was gusting like crazy and it was significantly colder than the beach was, but Ryan wanted to see the bridge so we hiked up to the view point. When we arrived, Ryan set down my camera bag and turned to face me. I knew in that moment what was about to happen as he had paid no attention to the stunning view of the bridge since we arrived at the spot.

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Ryan was a little choked up, but I was too. We stood there and cried tears of joy as he talked about all of our “firsts.” From the first day we met, to the fist time we took a trip together. It was to San Francisco exactly two years before. He then said he loved the first day we knew we wanted to spend forever together and I asked “when was that?” Ryan responded with “Today” and got down on one knee!

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He asked me to marry him, I said yes! I heard a crowd of people cheering and I thought “Wow! That is such a nice group of strangers who witnessed this and are cheering!” But as the group of people approached, I started to recognize faces. My parents were there, along with Ryan’s parents, my sister and her husband, and many of our dear friends. NINETEEN of our closest friends and family had flown in from Texas, Oklahoma, and New York to celebrate with us! I was so shocked to see everyone we loved here in a city so far from where we all lived. We celebrated all night and took the party to Sonoma to celebrate some more the next day. When the secret was out, I learned that Ryan had been planning this special weekend for almost a year and that everyone worked so hard to keep it a surprise. It was absolutely perfect. Ryan really pulled it off and we could not feel more loved by our friends and family.

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Special Thanks

Whitney Justesen
 | Photographer