Payge and Ryan

How We Met

Ryan and I met way back when we played tee ball at 6 years old. We were even next to each other in our team photo! However, we went to different elementary schools and didn’t actually know each other until middle school. Ryan asked me to be his girlfriend in 6th grade, to which I replied no. Then in 8th grade, he asked me again. This time, I said yes. We dated for about 6 months and then broke up during our freshman year. We dated different people throughout high school and then had a class together our senior year. This is where our friendship rekindled. We became best friends. Six months later, Ryan was the lead in the school musical, Beauty and the Beast. He even bought a ticket for me to go and see him. That night, I kissed him on the cheek, and from there, the rest is history.

How They Asked

It was the morning of our sixth anniversary. This was Ryan’s year to plan it. I went to start my car for work and found a note on the garage. The note read “For my first love” and had a key in it. This led me to find four more notes with keys and had me wondering all day what these keys were for. I teach at a middle school and coach volleyball, so I had to wait extra long to come home and find out what these keys were for. When I finally got home, I still didn’t know. Ryan had made a reservation for us to go out to a new restaurant. I brought the keys just in case! Of course, I didn’t need them there. On the way home, Ryan kept driving into weird places, like parking lots, trying to make the drive take forever.

When we FINALLY got home, my mom’s car was in the driveway. I asked why my mom was there and he acted all confused. When we got out of the car, our backyard was lit up with lights and had four gates set up. Then Ryan disappeared. The gates had note and locks on them. I read the first note “Only my first love may pass through.” I unlocked the lock, opened the gate, and walked through. Our yard is very uneven, so the gate then fell over!

There were 3 more gates (which all also fell over) with locks and notes and then a stand with a box on top. I opened up the box, which had a note in it that read “Turn around.” There was Ryan, lit up in the darkness, down on his knee, asking me to marry him in the place where we have started our lives together. Of course, with tears streaming down my face, I said yes!

Payge and Ryan's Engagement in Our backyard

My mom, sister, brother, and his girlfriend were there to capture everything on camera.