If you’d like to, you can catch up on our story here.
So, 6 days after we started dating, we decided to get married, and started planning our wedding. We’re crazy kids. Of course, he didn’t have a ring, because… well you know, most guys don’t buy an engagement ring before asking a girl out.
We planned to go to Disneyland on December 7th. It’s sort of complicated for us to get away at Christmas-time because we both work at our (very large) church, and the Christmas season is the most hectic/busy time of the year. But he insisted that we go. Since two of my favorite things in the world are Disneyland and Christmas, I had a feeling it was going to happen there.
We were planning to leave early from work on Thursday December 6th and head down to Orange County. (A 7ish hour drive for us.) Then my mom called. My sister was in labor. Change of plans. We headed up to the bay area instead, to be there for my nephew’s birth. Which, of course, was amazing.
Don’t we look cute with a baby? Mmhmm… Someday.On the right is my beautiful sister, and her two older ones with their baby brother.
So now it was 9 pm. If we did not go to Disneyland the next day, we could not go until after Christmas. We were 8 hours away. Dave said, “Let’s do it.” I said, “Ok!”
So we took turns driving through the night and arrive at his aunt’s house in Orange County at almost 4 am. We got a few hours of sleep and then we were up and off to the happiest place on earth!
Dave hadn’t been to Disneyland in years, and his opinion of it was less than stellar. (I allowed this not to be a deal-breaker for me, although it was a close call. Ha.) He thought that seeing it through my eyes would improve his opinion. He was wrong. Seeing it through his OWN eyes did it! He was amazed by everything, like a kid in a candy store. Our first ride was Finding Nemo, and he thought it was the coolest thing ever. So I knew at that point, it was going to be a magical day.
I told him as a little girl I’d always dreamed of wearing the Minnie bride ears someday, so he bought them for me. Even though we weren’t officially engaged yet. (For a few more hours!)
We went on pretty much every ride. Including Indiana Jones, which was closed that day (which I was crushed about because it’s one of my faves), but opened a few brief times throughout the day for “test runs” – and we made it to one – no line! Magic.
By the early evening I was exhausted – I realized, sadly, I’m not a teenager anymore. The lack of sleep and running around all day had worn me out. We got some dinner and planned to go on one more ride before leaving.
I had convinced myself at this point he was not going to propose. He had acted completely normal all day, and I thought for sure he would act weird and nervous on the proposal day. Plus I had no idea where he would be keeping the ring, and how he was hiding it. (He is terrible at keeping secrets – which is actually a quality I quite appreciate about him.)
We were heading to Fantasyland to go on Peter Pan while all the little kids were watching Fantasmic, and then head home. On the way, there was a huge crowd of people on Main St. We asked someone what was happening, and were told that the fireworks were about to start. We had read online that they were cancelled. Magic again.
With his arms wrapped around me, we watched the wondrous Disney Christmas fireworks show. Toward the end, I could feel his heart beating against my back. I thought, “This is happening. What do I do??” I just stood there. Haha. Then I looked back at him and smiled.
As the Disney “snow” began to fall, and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” began to play, he pulled out the ring, and said “Colleen Marie Ryan, will you marry me?”
I said yes! Duh.
We kissed. It was our first kiss! It was a little awkward. Lol. He’s very tall. But the moment was magical and the kissing magic came later.
For the record, he did not get down on one knee. This was a great relief, because I had told him I didn’t want the proposal to be a spectacle. (I don’t like a lot of attention from strangers.) No one noticed our proposal, except one lady right behind us, who snapped a picture. Ha. It was just him and me. Alone in the sea of people. It was perfect.
The joy and adrenaline revived us, and we stayed until the park closed. Best day ever.
^A much prettier ring shot from our engagement shoot with Laura Hernandez Photography