How We Met
Ryan and I met at my first job working as a cashier at Hannaford’s, the local grocery store in town. I was only 16 and he was only 18 years old. We became work friends and I always enjoyed the shifts where I got to work with him. Our time here was brief but we reconnected at a fourth of July party over the summer between my Freshman and Sophomore year in college. I remember gravitating towards him that night because he felt safe. I never really pictured us becoming anything more than friends. After the party, he would stop into the grocery store where I picked up morning shifts over the summer when I was home. He would wait in my line behind people with full carriages of food orders just to buy a drink or a pack of gum. Even when other lines were open and empty.
I knew it was just so he could see me and I thought it was cute how he would wait so long to get to talk to me for just a few seconds. Finally, he messaged me on Facebook saying “Hey what’s up?” It was the most creative pick up line in the books, but it worked, and it led to him asking me out on a date. Our first date we went to dinner, then he took me to a Red Sox game, and eventually, after a few weeks of being inseparable, we made it official. I went on to audition for the New England Patriots Cheerleaders and he supported me every step of the way through that 4-year journey as an NFL Cheerleader. He became my biggest cheerleader in life, constantly supporting me and lifting me up, as I did the same for him. We love to travel and adventure and we had been together a little over 5 years before he popped the question.
How They Asked
Here’s our engagement day from Nicole’s perspective:
I’ve been in Aruba for about a month now for my Yoga Girl Yoga Teacher Training. It was one of the longest times Ryan and I had spent apart from each other. It was my last day of the training and…. that morning Ryan completely surprised me on the beach in Aruba at sunrise. With the help of my yoga teacher training roomie Megan of course! Megan asked me the night before at like 12:30 am if I wanted to go to the beach at sunrise for our last day here. My other two roommates and I had gone that morning but she wasn’t able to come. I felt bad that she missed out so I looked down at the time and then I said:” yeah what the heck, let’s go.” And she thought well that was easy.
Fast forward to 5:45 am when our alarms went off. I was hoping she would just want to go back to bed but nope! She got right up and then she went into the other room and woke my other two roomies up as well. She said she wanted cute beach pictures of the four of us before we left and went our separate ways. They were not entirely pleased to be abruptly woken up at 5:45 am and they also had no idea what would happen later that morning. I got dressed in a bikini and a T-shirt with no pants… she looked at me and goes “Nope. No, you need to wear a sundress or something I want cute pictures.” So I looked in the closet and all I had left was this white dress.
The second option I had packed for a yoga teacher graduation ceremony where the only requirement was that we wear white. With makeup still on from last night, we started walking out. We couldn’t get taxis to the beach so we had to walk about 20 minutes. Megan was starting to freak about having to walk. We all just thought she was having an emotional day because our month-long training had been coming to an end, and the 52 of us in the group would all be flying back to 19 different countries later that day. Megan kept asking for my camera to “document our walk.” It was dark and we were walking through strange neighborhoods so I said: “no you don’t need to there is absolutely nothing to take a picture of.” Which then she replied with “yeah okay you’re right.” Then I said why don’t we go to another beach since we will probably get their faster if we cut through a closer hotel. She said no explaining that this was our spot and it’s sentimental to her and that’s where she wanted to go. She didn’t let us stop for Starbucks either. Thinking Megan was on the verge of a breakdown because it’s our last day we all just went with it.
Getting to the beach there was a rainbow and she asked if she could take a picture of it with my camera. “Yes, that is something you take a picture of,” and I let her have my camera then. We walked out and I saw a guy sitting alone looking out to the ocean. I said, “wow that guy looks like Ryan it’s so weird.” Megan responds, “Oh does it?” Then he turned a little more and I take my phone out because I legit thought this is so crazy Ryan has a twin I need to show him…. then he turned completely around and stood up. I then processed that it was actually Ryan… on the beach… in Aruba?!?!? I ran to him, jumping into his arms so excited and confused to see him. He then dropped down to one knee and all my dreams came true. Needless to say, this morning was the best morning of my life!! I can’t wait to do life with him by my side. So many adventures to come. I was completely shocked and totality surprised! I had ZERO ideas!! Like absolutely no clue, and that made it that much more special.
Here’s our engagement day from Ryan’s perspective:
This was the best experience of my life. Flying down to Aruba for 24 hours with nobody knowing made me feel like a secret agent. I thought for sure security was going to take me into questioning when I wrote 1 night for the length of my stay on the customs forms. Side note: CIA hit me up because I’m a damn good spy. All I wanted to do was a surprise, Nicole. I’ve been wanting to ask her this question for so long now but I could never figure out how to surprise her! This moment was perfect. Her yoga roommate, Megan, easily talked Nicole into going for a sunrise photoshoot. That sounds like the most Nicole thing I’ve ever heard of so props to Megan for coming up with that. So there I was sitting awkwardly on the beach, waiting for the woman of my dreams to get there for her “roomie photo shoot.” My heart was racing the whole time I was waiting for her. The 15 minutes of sitting there alone on that beach felt like hours. My anxiety and nervousness were giving me heart palpitations hahaha. I turned slightly and there she was, 50 feet from me and now running toward me.
I hugged her, grabbed her hands, and said: “Hey what’s up”? The exact pickup line I used to score my first date with her over 5 years ago. I know, I know I have a way with words. I now attempted my mumbled speech with my cracking voice and manly looking tears in my eyes. I blurted out some words, I think, and that definitely did not go as I had planned in my head. I dropped to my knee, popped her the most important question I’ll ever ask anyone in my life, and she made me the luckiest man on Earth by saying yes. Happiest moment of my life. I will love her forever.