It was actually really hard to write about our relationship without just saying I LOVE THE SHIT OUT OF HIM like a thousand times. (laughs)
I would love to say that we met in a bookstore on a crisp autumn day, but alas we met online—an anticlimactic beginning to the most fulfilling and deepest love of my life. I got to marry my best friend and the best person I know. He is the calm to my storm, the voice of reason to my extra-ness, and the smartest person I have ever met. We complement each other in so many ways — it’s almost hard to put into words. We just get each other and everything works. Our relationship is easy.
After four years we knew it was just a waiting game as to who was going to ask first; he is normally the one who makes big gestures in our relationship, so I thought I would catch him off-guard with the princess moment he deserved. We took a cruise to Key West and then Mexico. Anytime we talked about places we wanted to travel to on our bucket lists, he always talked about the Mayan pyramids, so, that was going to be the perfect setting for my surprise proposal. We got to the ruins at Chichen Itza, and I had my plan… I was going to give the tour guide my camera to take a picture of us in front of the pyramid, but I would have the camera on record, and then get down on one knee… romantic, memorable, perfect. Or at least it would have been if I could have gotten Ricky to sit still for a minute for a picture. We only had about thirty minutes to explore after the tour, and every time I could get the guide free, Ricky was running off to explore somewhere. Fortunately, I had told the concierge on the ship about my plan, and there were roses and champagne waiting in our cabin. He opened the door and turned to ask if I had ordered up the flowers, and I was down on one knee. He said yes. It was the happiest moment of my life.
Until the day I got to say “I do.”
In true Ricky and Ethan fashion, our wedding did not end up the way we had initially planned. Of course we envisioned the traditional wedding and traditional reception. But we are not the traditional couple. After a year of planning and mind-changing and late nights comparing venues and colors and flowers, we got tired of waiting and planning. So we stopped. We told our parents and siblings and picked a Friday we could get everyone in town, and we went to the courthouse in a floral suit, tiara, and all. After our beautifully short and intimate service, we met our family for brunch on Lake Eola on a perfect sunny afternoon in June. When people ask me about how Ricky and I met, I often tell a story about how I fell in love with him at Disney World under the fireworks on one of our first dates. To relive that magic that only Disney can provide, we decided to spend our wedding night at Epcot. We didn’t have the perfect place settings, flowers, or DJ… but we had fireworks in Paris.
Photos by Madison Hope Photography