How We Met: It all started when Ryan fell in love with a sixteen-year-old girl with pigtail braids scooping gelato in our home town, Laguna Beach. We met at Gelato Paradiso where Ryan would try to charm me by making up new shake flavor combinations and melting colorful spoons on the waffle maker to mold them into “spoon rings” for me. Whenever Ryan and I worked together at the little gelato shop down Peppertree Lane, our co-workers and boss were in disbelief because we always had overflowing tip jars. We just had so much fun together, but I always thought “No, I don’t like him…he’s just the fun, crazy Ryan.” Flash-forward 8 years later and we’re engaged to be married!
Although Ryan fell in love with me fast, the feeling was not mutual until some 4 years later. We both had other “loves” in high school and never even kissed, yet remained great friends all through school and beyond. I knew I really had a place for him in my heart when he locked me in the bathroom at high school party and confessed his love to me, saying he would treat me better than how my current boyfriend at the time was treating me. As a dumb, blind teenager, I blew him off and stayed with the a-hole instead of Ryan. We still remained friends, despite my rejection. A few years later, at a party in a Jacuzzi, I tried to confess MY love to him; but this time, HE rejected ME! We still remained friends after the incident.
Then one day a year or so later, I saw Ryan on the sidewalk in Laguna Beach. I was trying to cross PCH in my car, so I asked him to cross the crosswalk so that all the cars would stop for him, allowing my car to cross. He immediately steps out in front of the cars which had to screech to a stop in order to avoid hitting him! He was so crazy! I got to cross PCH and he hooked me, again…I texted him right away after he risked his life for me and we’ve been crazy in love for 4 years ever since.
how they asked: It’s no secret Ryan has a second love and her name is surfing. He always says, “If I don’t answer your calls or texts, I’m either upside down in a ditch, or I’m surfing.” Well, on February 19, 2015 Ryan was supposed to be home to take me to a “nice dinner” because I had a rare day off of school. He had been down in San Diego at a job interview and told me he would be home at a certain time. Well, it was a few hours later than the time he told me and no word from Ryan. You do not want to make me mad when I’m hungry, and his tardiness to our planned date and no-reply was really pushing the envelope. (Little did I know at the time he was so nervous about proposing that he went for a quick surf to get the nerves out before he picked me up for “dinner”).
We’re on our way to dinner and Ryan decides to stop and check the surf…”Are you kidding?! I am STARVING!” (He was stalling so that his uncle and cousin could get to the proposal spot and set up the camera, as they were running late). I was super grumpy and just wanted to go eat..I feel bad now for being rude. “One more spot to check the surf for tomorrow and I promise you can order anything you want on the menu,” he pleaded. This spot happened to be the spot he was going to propose. I didn’t suspect anything out of the ordinary because it was the usual with Ryan (and probably every surfer) to check his favorite surf spots.
As we were walking down towards the ocean, I noticed rose petals leading to a corner on the cliff over-looking the Pacific. I pulled Ryan back saying “don’t go over there, I think someone is getting engaged.” I truly thought someone else was being proposed to, until my whole world became a blur and I found myself in the middle of a heart-shaped rose petal display with my then-boyfriend on his knee confessing his love to me once again, this time I am not hearing a word that is coming out of his mouth…I am in shock…my whole world a blur except his eyes and his hands in my hands. I could not believe this was happening to me, and even more shocking was I could not believe he tricked me!! (I see right through him all the time, he can never get away with a lie!) Everything was in slow motion, a blur, and yet his face and the emotions running through me were ever so clear.
Apparently, I exclaimed, “yes, f$%* yes!” (I don’t remember saying that!!!) And THEN he pulled out the ring. (I think he did it wrong….I think the guy is supposed to show the ring before the girl answers?) “OH YA, I GET A RING TOO?!!!” Just him expressing his love in that way was enough for me, he could have put a string on my finger and it would have sufficed. It was the definition of heaven on earth and I can only hope every girl gets to feel the way I felt that evening.
Photography: Karli Pieropan // Rose Petal Design: Jarrett Axalan // Support: Uncle Kelly Pieropan