After going to school together, second grade through twelfth, Julia and Ryan’s paths finally crossed, in Mr. Rubin’s first period AP Government class. Even though they had a class together, it wasn’t until one of their mutual friends, Rachel (now one of their bridesmaids), set them up.
After texting for a week, Ryan asked Julia on a dinner date to Rusty Bucket. He scheduled it for a Saturday evening, but never gave Julia a time. After attempting to reach him all day by text, Julia felt defeated and as if Ryan wasn’t really interested in going out. After Julia sent Ryan a long winded text about not needing to go on a date if he didn’t want to, Ryan finally responded. It turned out that it wasn't Ryan's lack of interest, but lack of communication through text. Ryan hated texting, and still does to this day. Julia learned that if she needed to get ahold of Ryan, her best bet was (and still is) to call him. Ryan picked Julia up in a big, loud, maroon diesel truck, which created major excitement for Julia’s father and brothers! Ryan definitely won them over simply by pulling into the driveway. The date went off without a hitch and the two instantly connected and talked for hours. Rusty Bucket remains a favorite place for for them to this day!
Ryan asked Julia out on a date and treated her to dinner on his own birthday, and more specifically, his 18th birthday. The two weren't even dating yet, that wouldn't come for almost a month later on December 5. He treated her to a nice Italian dinner down in Little Italy at a restaurant called Mia Bella. They sat in the far corner of the restaurant by the window, watching as the first snow storm of the season started to fall. After their dinner, Ryan drove Julia home. Instead of dropping her off and going to hang out with his friends on his 18th birthday, he decided to come inside and hangout with Julia and her parents. That was the night when Julia, as well as her parents, realized there was something special about this young man who devoted his special night to the girl he was interested in. To this day, Mia Bella holds a special place in Julia and Ryan's heart and is where they like to celebrate special occasions.
After dating for just a couple weeks, Julia and Ryan both felt like so many aspects of their lives aligned. They both fit seamlessly into each others families, and they each held similar core values. While saying goodnight to each other in the driveway of Julia's parents' house late one night, Ryan was the first to say, "I love you". Julia was unsure if he said it mistakenly or not, until he said it once again. He meant it, and she was thrilled. Julia knew just how sincerely he meant it. Ryan knew, even weeks into the relationship, that he couldn't picture a life without Julia in it.
After nagging Ryan for months (maybe over a year) about how badly she wanted to be engaged, Julia's wish finally became a reality. Ryan was heading out of town on Valentine's Day, so he decided to ask Julia on an early Valentine's date the Sunday before. That Sunday happened to also be Super Bowl Sunday, which made it easy for them to get a reservation at their favorite restaurant, Mia Bella, in Little Italy. During dinner, Ryan claimed that he had forgotten his phone in the car. This was believable, as he even asked Julia to look up a few things for him. At one point he said he couldn't stand not having his phone with him, and asked Julia if she minded if he went to grab it from the car. Little did Julia know, the real reason he headed back to the car was to grab the ring. Once they finished dinner, and started to walk back to the car, Ryan suggested that they walk by the Catholic church down in Little Italy, just to take a peak at how pretty it was inside. There happened to be an evening mass going on, so they briefly peaked in, before Julia tried to pull Ryan out since mass was ending and people were leaving. Before she could do so, Ryan put down their leftovers and told Julia to wait. In that moment she knew. She exclaimed, "Is this truly happening right now?! Are you actually proposing?!", just as Ryan got down on one knee. He said, "There's been something I've been wanting ask you for a while now," and the two cannot remember anything else he said other than, "Will you marry me?" The tears streamed as he asked Julia to spend the rest of their lives together!