Ashley and Ryan met me out in the heart of Clermont at the beautiful Lake Louisa State Park for their stunning sunset engagement. When planning out the perfect location, the two envisioned wide open spaces, the beauty of nature as a backdrop, and dynamic location with multiple settings. I just knew that Lake Louisa would be the perfect spot from the parks sprawling grassy fields to beach side setting.
Living in Miami at the time, the two met by chance in November of 2015 through a dating app. After texting for a few weeks, they decided to meet up for a first date and my oh my was it one to remember. Ashley picked the spot – a wine and cheese spot in Midtown, and while not in the best area of Miami, was an adorable spot for a first date. Arriving at the same time, they walked in and picked a table. Four hours later, their conversation had flowed throughout the night as they laughed and talked until heading home. Completely unexpected, Ashley felt a different connection than she had ever had in the past on any other date. Their was something special about Ryan, and Ryan felt the same about her.
Well another unexpected twist was that their adorable little first date spot that wasn’t quite in the best area led to Ryan’s car being broken into and a variety of things being swiped. Feeling terrible, Ashley didn’t think that their amazing first date with such an unexpectedly bad ending would lead to a second date. However, Ryan didn’t think the same and couldn’t wait to see Ashley again – granted just not in Midtown.
Ashley fell in love with Ryan, because of how he makes her feel when they are together. The level of comfort in making her feel special and safe opens the door for Ashley to be her silly and goofy self. His support and selflessness in both their relationship and those around him drew her in and built the foundation for their marriage to come.
Ryan feels the very same way around Ashley in his ability to just be himself. As he explains, “from the very first moment I was around her I never felt uncomfortable.” He also loves how strong minded she is in her convictions and ability to see the good in people.
During a trip to sunny San Diego, California for Ashley’s birthday weekend, Ryan had lined up a surprise that would beat any birthday gift she had ever received – a proposal! Purchasing ‘the ring’ just a couple months prior, Ryan knew that Ashley would fall in love with the beauty of San Diego and couldn’t wait to take her sightseeing along with asking her to marry him. Their day started out with a morning hike, that Ryan realized quickly was not as romantic as he originally thought since it was not remotely a beginner’s hike from steep hills to cliffs that were slippery. The two decided to turn back, and Ryan realized that with plan A no longer working, plan B would be the next in place – granted he wasn’t sure what plan B was yet!
Fast forward to the last night of their vacation, the two decided to see the sunset on the beach one final time. Barely any other guests, the quiet and beautiful view was amazing. From here, I must say that Ryan’s explains his proposal best and will retell in his own words, “I know most guys get nervous leading up to popping the big question, but I was really calm, probably due to the fact that I knew this was the only girl for me and had zero reservations. As the sun was closing in on the horizon, I stood up like we were ready to leave and started to walk away. I stopped Ashley, looked her in the eyes, and talked about how amazing the trip was, but it wasn’t over yet. She looked confused at first until I got down on one knee and popped the question. She said “YES!!” and of course started crying. I couldn’t have imagined the proposal going any different and in a better place.”
With their wedding coming up in November, Ashley’s best piece of advice for other bride’s to be would be to “take in each and every moment.” From buying a wedding dress to taking your engagement photos, it’s easy to get caught up int he details and not enjoy the moments so when you have these moments, take in every second and enjoy them!
Venue: Lake Louisa State Park