How We Met
Ryan and I met in December of 2013 over some frickles at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ in NYC. I was visiting some friends in town the week prior to Christmas as I was living in Los Angeles at the time and he was in Philly. We hit it off almost instantly. Ryan serenaded me to Beyonce’s “End of Time.” He asked one of my friend’s for my number and sent me a random text that said “wanna arm wrestle?” I was super into CrossFit at the time so immediately it got my attention. We planned to go to dinner and a concert the week later but the snow cancelled those plans and I went back on my merry way to LA.
I was working for the founder of the Vans Warped Tour at the time and Ryan is a booking agent who had bands on our tour. He would call the office, I would answer his questions and slowly but surely a connection started. After a few visits back and forth I decided moving back to NYC was what was next for me. The day after I moved back he asked me to be his girlfriend officially. He met me by the water in Jersey City, asked the question and on our walk to the restaurant he played a “Hope I am dating Tori by the time I play this playlist” playlist. It started with Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” and ended with “Love On Top” by Beyonce.
Almost five years later, we still love our BBQ, our music/playlists, concerts and now traveling the world together!!
How They Asked
I was in Las Vegas for work but switched my flight to take a red-eye home because two of my girlfriend’s from growing up were doing a day stopover in NYC before they left for Thailand. I landed at 6 AM absolutely exhausted, came home and slept for a few hours while waiting for them to arrive. They kept telling me they wanted to keep things relaxed and just get our nails done, grab some food and hangout. Halfway through the day, my friend Chelsea says that her aunt wants to see her quickly for dinner and that they would go to that and we would meet up afterward.
For weeks, Ryan had been telling me that one of his clients, (live performance painter) David Garibaldi was doing live pop-up painting all over the city for Live with Ryan and Kelly for pride. This all checked out to me because David did Live a few weeks prior and said the producers loved him. So I was like “cool I am going to meet Kelly Ripa!!!” The last stop was at The High Line in NYC and that’s where we would see David do his last piece. He said he got a call from David’s photographer saying they were running 5 mins late so we could just hang out and wait for them. We get up there at sunset and Ryan says, let’s take a photo, it’s so pretty! He hands his phone to a random lady (who later we find out was visiting from Switzerland) to take our photo. I put my purse down, he goes to take his jacket off and is fiddling with it. So I turn to him and was like “this nice lady is waiting for us, what are you doing?” At that moment he pulled out the box and proposed. The nice lady was totally cool under pressure and ended up videotaping the proposal!!! At the same time, he had one of his good friends who is a photographer capture it all. He originally asked one of my best friends who is also a photographer but she said she would be a wreck and couldn’t do it.
Afterward, Ryan pulled out his phone and said I have something for us to walk to and, would you believe it, it was a “Hopefully Engaged to Tori by the time I play this playlist” playlist. It started with “End of Time” by Beyonce and ended with “All My Life” by K-Ci and Jojo (truly underrated song). We walked along The High Line and Ryan said “we have to stop at Brother Jimmy’s for old time sake” we can go somewhere else after if you really want to. We get there, they go to take us upstairs to sit down and he had all of our friends and family there to celebrate with us in a full-on surprise moment. My parents, grandparents, and friends flew in from Charleston, my best friend from LA flew in, his aunt from Florida. It was such a magical moment filled with all of the people we love and so incredibly personal. He had lots of help from my former roommate and one of my best friend’s Laura on the whole thing including picking up the ring.
Ryan went with his parents to the same jeweler that did 2 previous generations of engagement rings for their family, so we were the third. When he went back to pick it up he went with his parents, brother and my friend Laura. There was nothing more perfect than having our friends and families so involved in the whole process.
All photos below are from Robert Scheuerman, except for the two notated below that are from our Swiss tourist who accidentally ended up being a part of the proposal, in true NYC fashion.
(Below is a photo of my Grandma hugging us as my dad looks on)
(Below is the moment I walked in and saw everyone we love the most)
(My perfect ring with the Empire State Building in the back)
(Pure bliss along The High Line)
(Below pic is from our new friend from Switzerland who did, in fact, end up getting photos of us)