Stephanie and Ryan met at church in 2007 in Orlando, Florida. Stephanie knew right away that Ryan would be her husband someday. A few months later, Ryan was on the same page (#men), and the pair began dating long distance. The distance was no match for Stephanie and Ryan, as they were married in 2011 in Orlando, where it all began. Now just wait until you hear their engagement story…
Ryan and I met at church in 2007. For me, it was love at first sight; I knew he was going to be my husband someday. He took some convincing, but after a few months of hard work, he was mine. We dated long distance for the first year and had a long engagement before we were married in 2011 in my hometown of Orlando, Florida. After about 6 months of marriage, we moved to DC and from there have moved on to Philly. I’ll follow this man anywhere (fingers crossed the next place is warmer). We now have a five month old little girl, and it has been amazing to watch Ryan grow into an amazing father. I really hit the jackpot when I married him!
What was the most unique part of your engagement story?
The most unique thing about our engagement story is that it demonstrates the character of my husband. Ryan is a selfless man that puts God and me before anything he wants/needs. So here’s the story… I planned a surprise birthday party for Ryan – I had never hosted a party or cooked for anyone other than myself, so that was my gift to him. I would cook apps, dinner, and dessert for 30 of our closest friends in his home. Somehow in all my frantic planning, he figured out what I was doing and began trying to de-stress me. I was a hot mess; nervous, and anxious that all the food would be terrible. He sent me to get my nails done that week, as well as my hair. He even picked out a favorite outfit for me to wear. The party went off without a hitch. The food was good, the company better, everyone was having a great time, and then he made an announcement. He dropped to one knee, AT HIS OWN BIRTHDAY PARTY, and pulled out a ring! I didn’t believe that it was real. He’s a funny guy and he loves to tease me, so I assumed thats what he was doing. I was fuming. I was so embarrassed that he would tease me like that in front of all our friends after all the hard work I did for his party. It took me probably a full minute to respond to the poor guy, on his knee in front of all his friends, but I finally woke up and realized this was real. Of course, I said yes! So you see, that’s the type of man I married. He turned his own birthday party into a proposal and engagement party, and with that ring, turned me into the guest of honor that night. He has spent every day since then making me feel safe, secure, loved, important, honored, sexy, and happy…so happy!
What is the best gift you have ever given each other?
My husband is a Detroit Lions fan, and his favorite player of all time is Barry Sanders. So for a wedding gift, I contacted Barry Sanders’ office and asked if he would sign my garter. It was a silly request, but because no one had ever asked, he agreed. I ordered a Lions garter and shipped it straight to Barry. Ryan was so excited to take my garter off at the wedding and was about to toss it to a dance floor full of single guys, when I had the DJ stop the music and tell him to take a closer look at what he was holding. When he figured it out, he gave me mad props (and so did everyone else when they heard the story!).
Stephanie’s and my relationship has been more than adventurous to say the least. We met in Orlando, FL in 2007 and were married four years later. Since then, we’ve moved four times and currently reside in Chadds Ford, PA. We have a little girl named Arrington Grace and a dog named Brooks and can’t wait to continue to grow our faith with God, our friendship with each other and our family :).
What was the absolute best memory from your wedding day?
We did a first look before the wedding and I will never forget that moment when I first saw her. We were able to capture the moment, gather our thoughts, pray together and have 30 minutes of just us to talk about emotions, feelings and what was in our hearts before everything started.
What inspires you about each other?
I love who my wife was when I married her and even more so now. She has inspired me by her commitment to better herself and our family by encouraging me, supporting me and even challenging me at times. She works tirelessly on her own business all while taking care of our little girl and dog when I’m working and constantly amazes me with her time management. She’s full of life, loves Jesus and challenges me with my walk daily. My love constantly grows for her daily and I wouldn’t trade her for the world!
Most awesome thing about marriage?
That it’s rarely ever serious. I love that we have a playful, fun-loving relationship with each other and most of the time we can joke and laugh about everything. Life’s too short to let everything affect you and it only gets better when there’s someone to laugh with you.
What advice would you give engaged couples?
Fight naked when you’re married, it lightens the mood :). Communicate with each other. Marriage is the hardest thing you will encounter and at the same time it’s the most rewarding thing you can experience. When you argue, and you will, remember there are two types of people. Those who argue to win and those who discuss to resolve. Talk to each other and not at each other. Think of the long term goal of your relationship and not just the immediate. Communication is king. Make sure you both have the same priorities. God, Spouse, Children… in that order. If not, reread about communication.
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