Melanie and Ryan met the day after Valentine's Day 2015 at a favorite local establishment, O'Sullivan's Irish Pub, in Arlington, VA. After nearly running into each other in the middle of a crowded room, Mel greeted Ryan with, "Hello, sir, you look like you could use a drink. And while you're at it, get me one too!" Such was the inauspicious beginning of what would become the love story of their lives. After several Dutch dates (which Mel has never let Ryan live down), hundreds of text messages, and way too much time talking on the phone, they soon became permanent fixtures in each other's lives. Then, on their first trip to St. Petersburg, FL, where Mel spent many happy years with her grandparents as a child, it became clear that their closeness had grown into love.
They spent the following months meeting each other's friends, attending events with co-workers, and spending time with family for holidays and special occasions. They soon recognized that Ryan’s reserved nature was the perfect balance to Mel’s perpetual need to talk. Ryan introduced Mel to Star Wars, comic books, video games, heavy metal bands, and the importance of using spaces instead of tabs. Mel taught him about 80's pop culture, killer thrillers, reality TV, yacht rock, and how to develop the perfect project plan. Whether they were nerding out watching Jeopardy, going to a show at the Kennedy Center, hitting karaoke night, or seeing a comedy show, Mel and Ryan enjoyed every minute they shared together. Mel taught Ryan the importance of being on time, and he helped her realize that it is okay to live in the moment without managing life by the millisecond. When Ryan joined his fellow rock stars in 7 Deadlies, Mel created a fan club of band aids to cheer them on at every show. With every day that passed, their love grew deeper and their relationship grew stronger. They started to imagine what it would be like to share a life together, and quickly realized that they couldn’t bear the thought of being apart.
In August of 2018, Ryan planned a weekend getaway to celebrate the end of summer. Since Ryan is often a creature of habit, Mel assumed they were returning to a familiar destination, Williamsburg, VA, to spend the weekend at Busch Gardens. She was wrong (though she will insist it was the first and only time): Ryan surprised her with a trip to Nemacolin, a breathtaking resort in PA, where they enjoyed a private safari tour, fine dining, a night at the casino, and a relaxing day at the spa. For all you Bachelorette fans, Nemacolin was featured in Season 12 with JoJo!
Ryan brought along their Amazon Echo, equipped with a custom skill he designed to enhance their vacation experience. Using the skill, Mel could ask Alexa to share fun facts about the resort, read menus for their upcoming meals, and provide details about the upcoming events on their agenda. After dinner Saturday night, Mel asked Alexa, "What's next on the itinerary?" Alexa responded with, “Would you like to play a game?" Mel quickly agreed, expecting a round of "Jeopardy" or "Song Quiz" (two of her favorite Alexa games). Instead, she was surprised by a new game Ryan had developed called "So You Think You Know Your Baby", a multiple choice quiz for two, filled with memories from the first three years of their relationship, including inside jokes and a few snarky references. They played the game competitively, while smiling, laughing, and having the time of their lives.
When the bonus round started, Alexa asked Ryan if he had any more questions for Melanie. He said, "Only one." At that moment, he dropped to one knee, and the game ended with the most beautiful proposal Mel could have ever imagined. That day marked the beginning of the next chapter of their lives, and they look forward to celebrating the start of this new journey with all of you.
So, what do you get when you cross a Star Wars-lovin’, video game obsessed, software engineering, wannabe rock star with an over-planning, ID watching, checkbook balancing, sarcastic boss lady? Two people who fell madly in love and will live happily ever after, till the Death Star do them part. Thank you to all of our friends and family for being part of our story!
We have decided to hold a small, intimate private wedding ceremony for family only. Immediately following our nuptials, we invite you to join us for a cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvres from 5PM to 6PM. The celebration will continue with dinner, more cocktails, and dancing with our favorite band, For The Win, from 6PM to 11PM. We look forward to spending the day with our closest friends and loved ones and hope to see you there.