January 26, 2020

Ponchartrain Hotel engagement session | Ryan + Ryan

How did you two meet?
This story can be tricky to tell when you have the same name as your fiancĂ©, but here we g(eaux)! Ryan is from Birmingham, AL and I am from a North Shore suburb of Chicago. Ryan’s family lived in my hometown for 8 years during elementary school. We overlapped for one year; however, Ryan and I did not meet until attending college at the University of Alabama. Ryan’s childhood best friend was one of the only other people I knew from my high school who went to Alabama for college. After denying to hang out with them several times during my first year, I eventually bumped into them at a bar in Tuscaloosa following a country grammar-filled Nelly concert. Although that’s the night we officially met, we did not have full conversation until our friends started hanging out as a group. We had several viewing parties for away football games and, soon enough, Ryan and his friends started reserving seats for us to join them in the student section at Bryant-Denny. As club athletes, we would often bring the volleyball and baseball team together for weekend parties and Ryan even started a weekly tradition of going bowling every Thursday night so that we could spend more time together. Soon enough our undergraduate traditions turned into graduations, and subsequent graduate school adventures together in the great state of Louisiana. 

How did Ryan propose? 
Ryan and I have both spent the last 4 years in Louisiana for graduate school. I recently moved to Minneapolis to complete my internship year. Minnesota, by the way, is just as cold as you’d think it would be (brr). In late October 2019, Ryan secretly flew up from Louisiana on a Sunday and coordinated with my parents for us to meet at a park in St. Paul that overlooked the Mississippi River. Although we do not have ties in the state of Minnesota, we are both connected by the Mississippi River. After following my parent’s lead, and several unintentional wrong turns later, I arrived at this place called the Monument. Once I got out of the car, I started walking towards my parents when I heard a familiar voice say, “Hi, Ry!” When I turned and saw Ryan, I could feel the tears filling my eyes as I asked what he was doing there. But let’s face it, I knew exactly why he was there. He held my hand and walked with me to a park bench, talking about our journey together over the last 7 years. It was at the bench when he got down on one knee. I didn’t even let him finishing asking the big question before excitedly saying, “Yes!” We popped champagne with my parents in the park that afternoon, and eventually made our way downtown St. Paul to celebrate at a local Italian rooftop bar & restaurant. 

What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
We are looking forward to beginning our lives together as husband and wife (+ chocolate lab, Chunk), and to having all of our family and friends celebrate in one of our favorite cities, New Orleans! Make sure to check us out at #RedBeansandRys

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