Nicole and Ryan

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How We Met

February 2013 I was attending one of my best friends engagement parties. We were a close-knit group of girls and we were so excited to celebrate the first engagement in our group! I had been dating my boyfriend at the time for a few years already and we were going through a rough patch. I was about to turn 22 and felt like I needed to have life figured out. I had dropped out of my degree program at university to pursue something else, but I didn’t know what yet. All the uncertainty of life at that time caused a lot of tension between us and he decided last minute, that he didn’t want to attend the engagement party with me. I really needed a night out with my favorite girls, full of happiness and celebration so I headed to the party solo.

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When I arrived the house was full of people. Some familiar faces that I had known for years and lots of people who were friends of one of the brides, that I had never met before. It was exciting and although I was a bit nervous, it was exactly what I needed to take my mind off things at home. I mingled a bit but all the conversations I had kind of fizzled out and I ended up standing awkwardly in the kitchen waiting for someone to come up and make small talk with me. As I was standing in front of the fridge, one party guest came up and put his beers in the fridge, and jokingly commented that if I wasn’t going to do anything, I might as well guard his beer for him.

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I feined a laugh and stood there feeling pretty insecure about my social life since it seemed like everyone else knew everyone at the party. As soon as he walked away, a very tall guy that I had noticed earlier came walking over. It was hard NOT to nice him considering he was 6’5″ with an afro that made him look about 7′ tall and he came wearing matching clothes to his best friend. The tall guy politely said “excuse me” as he leaned into the fridge I was still standing in front of to grab a beer.

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Of course, feeling very awkward, I let him grab a beer thinking he could’ve put some in there earlier. As soon as he cracked the lid he turned to me and said “aren’t you supposed to be guarding this? You’re not doing a very good job!”I instantly felt a little bit of relief that someone was actually talking to me, followed by the panic that I just let this stranger take someone else’s beer. I don’t recall what the rest of our conversation went like, all I remember is the tall guy made me laugh a lot before he carried on to chat with others at the party. I didn’t even get his name before he left for the night.

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At the end of the night, a girl that I hadn’t met yet came up to me and introduced herself. Everyone was getting ready to head home as it was pretty late in the evening so I thought it was a little strange that she wanted to introduce herself to me now, but I wasn’t about to be rude. She followed up her introduction with “my friend, the tall guy, thought you were really cute, but he had to leave early and wanted me to ask for your number. His name is Ryan, can I give him your number?” I was shocked!

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I had been with my current boyfriend for 6 years, we came from a small town so everyone knew we were together and no one EVER asked for my number. In my head, all I could think of was how nice and cute the tall guy, Ryan was and how he had made me feel so relaxed, but I had to tell her I couldn’t give my number because I was dating someone else. Of course, she completely understood and went on her way home. She must have told Ryan I had said no, because the next morning, I woke up to a Friend Request on Facebook from him.

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Again, I told Ryan I was dating someone and it was nice to meet him but I wasn’t interested. He said he understood and that we could just be friends. Turns out he was a mechanic and I needed help fixing my car so he agreed to come over and take a look at it for me. We ended losing touch with eachother shortly after fixing my car and not talking for months. During that time, my boyfriend of the time and I had broken up and I was a complete mess. I had to move, I was scared and felt so alone in life. One day, out of nowhere, I got a message from Ryan just to say hi and see how I was. Remembering how he had made me feel the day we met, I opened up about what I was going through and we chatted for hours. Hours turned into days, days into weeks, and weeks into months.

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Finally, a year and a half later, we went on our first date. He took me out to dinner and movie and was the perfect gentleman the entire time. Pulling out my chair for me at the restaurant, opening the car door, and walking on the street side of the sidewalk all evening. He found every possible way he could to make me feel special that night. A few weeks later, I had planned a surprise birthday party with all his friends and we decided to make it official. Ryan has always said it was love at first sight for him and for me, it took a while but I am forever grateful for his persistence and patience.

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How They Asked

Ryan and I had planned a mini-vacation to Bowen Island for September 2020. We didn’t travel at all this summer because of the restrictions with COVID, so once we could safely plan a little getaway we jumped on it. I had been dying to get away so I planned our entire trip, booked the air BnB, and made all the reservations to go.

To be completely honest, it had crossed my mind wondering if Ryan would propose on this trip. We had been talking about it a lot and I had been waiting for 5 years already. As quickly as the thought popped into my head, I talked myself out of it. There’s no way I told myself. I had been laid off work due to COVID since March so we hadn’t been making as much money as we were used to and he had made me plan the entire trip. Surely if he was planning a proposal, he would want to be in charge of making all the plans.

On our second day on the island, we rented mopeds and had planned to go see the lighthouse. We had visited this spot on a trip a few years earlier and taken some great photos so Ryan suggested that we recreate the pictures. When we got to the location I was set on finding some starfish in the tide pools and I wandered off down the beach while he climbed up a rock cliff in front of the lighthouse. He kept trying to call me over to look at the view but I was only interested in searching the tidepools. Eventually, he got my attention by telling me there were definitely starfish in the tidepools where he was. I basically came running (as much as you can ‘run’ on a rock cliff).

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When I got up to the lookout he gave me a big hug and then got down on one knee. I couldn’t believe it was really happening and I instantly started crying. He asked me to marry him and of course, I said yes!

Then he stood up, gave me another big hug, and told me to look over to my right where a photographer was capturing the whole thing. I couldn’t believe it, he had actually hired a photographer to capture our big moment forever. The photographer snapped a few photos and then moved the camera away from her face and I realized it was one of our closest friends! Having her there to share our excitement with made the moment even more special. It was a dream come true.

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Our Video

Special Thanks

Jaimi Wainwright
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