Ailina & Ryan’s colorful engagement took place at two beautiful locations, the Lido Marina Village & The Mission San Juan Capistrano. Also choosing two outfits, one being a traditional Chinese outfit to honor heritage that brought in rich colors while the other was a more relaxed and neutral selection. They were all smiles and you can feel the joy radiating from them both!
Ailina and Ryan are high school sweethearts. Their love is so sweet, and we had such a fun evening with them!
We started the evening off at The Mission in San Juan Capistrano, one of our favorite places for engagement sessions. Ailina and Ryan wore traditional Chinese outfits to honor Ailina’s mom’s heritage. Chinese clothing showcases the traditional fashion sensibilities of Chinese cultural traditions and forms one of the significant cultural facets of Chinese civilization. We love when our couples incorporate their heritage into their weddings and engagement sessions.
After leaving the Mission, we headed to Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach. Lido is an outdoor mall with over 20 different backdrops, and we hit most of them! Our favorite spot at Lido is on the docs, where you can see the yachts in the background. The water is so calm and inviting. Their wedding is this year in Southern California, and we can’t wait! -Two Fourteen Photography
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another? I only wore makeup on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in 8th grade because those were the days I had band with Ryan. On those days I waited with anticipation for the 45 minutes of uninterrupted time with him while we sat together playing with our trumpets. I’d show him the cool balancing tricks I could do in my neon orange converse and we’d sit there chatting and laughing about everything. On weeknights I’d get on Facebook and wait for his profile to show that he was online just so that I could send a message that merely said “hey :)”. After months of getting moved in Algebra class for chatting and laughing, avoiding eye contact in the halls as we passed each other, feeling butterflies after every conversation, getting nervous as the feelings grew stronger, and trying to impress him with how athletic and cool I thought I was , I finally took the leap…. I messaged him on Facebook and asked him who he liked. After a torturous game of guessing he made me play, I finally “guessed” ~myself~. To my delight, he admitted that he also had a crush on ME and that was the start of a whole new chapter. A few weeks following, I was rehearsing in the middle school gym for the 8th grade musical and when I heard him say “Hey Plemmons!”. Hearing his voice, I blushed, feeling so nervous and shy all of a sudden. In that moment, 13 year old Ryan Wunderly asked me to be his girlfriend and the rest is history.
Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day or relationship! The Justin Timberlake, converse shoes, and red flags. These are the things I remember most about middle school band, and they were all inside jokes shared between Ailina and I. Ailina and I were both trumpet players, and we sat next to each other in 8th grade. Over the course of the year I grew more and more attracted to her. Her sense of humor, her expressive facial reactions, and the fact she always laughed at my jokes were endearing and exciting. The moment I knew I was smitten with her was at a band competition at the Mattawan middle school. Before going on to perform there was about an hour of downtime. So naturally, Ailina and I went off exploring the school together. Since it was after school hours, the halls were dark and empty. We ran the halls as we explored, called into dark rooms, and we even found her neighbor’s picture hanging on the wall. Looking back as a young adult a large school after hours is nothing to be excited about, but as a middle schooler with your crush, it was, adventurous, flirtatious, and daring.
What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another? The best part about dating Ryan for 10 years has been getting to know more and more about him every day. You would think that you would get tired of someone and that eventually you would run out of things to say to the other person. But that isn’t the case with us. Every day with Ryan feels like the honeymoon phase over and over. We often joke that we can’t escape the honeymoon phase even after dating for 10 years. Feeling THIS in love with Ryan is truly a blessing and I feel so lucky to have had the privilege of getting to grow with him for so long. There are some significant qualities about Ryan that truly define him. He is the most kind, gentle, and patient person. He is so quick to forgive and slow to anger. I have always admired these qualities about him because they are truly a reflection of who God is. Another significant quality about Ryan is his intelligence and insight. Ryan’s brain is so big and fascinating. Watching him sit down and solve complex math problems and coding algorithms is WAY over my head. Seeing him accomplish so much in his career makes me extremely proud and everyone should know how hard he works. One time I started crying my eyes out when he got his employee evaluation report back because of how proud I was. Another thing about Ryan that I love is that he may come off as shy or reserved, but when you get to know him like I do, you learn that he never stops chatting!!! He has sooo many thoughts in his head: funny scenarios, deep political questions, and juicy gossip. This was one of the very first things I noticed about Ryan in 8th grade that made me fall for him, and it’s still one of my favorite things about him now. We have so much fun together and sometimes I sit back and pause because I am just so lucky to have a partner that lets me have the best day of my life every single day.
What is your favorite thing about each other? In college we decided to go long distance. I was in Michigan while she was in Texas. It was a long 4 years, but throughout it I learned more things that I love about Ailina. She’s competitive and serious about work but quick to play. Her days are planned out and maximized to the fullest. One of the best parts of long distance was getting to see the life she had created. I met the friends she surrounded herself with, explored the city she called home, and even attended a class that she taught. Even though I was an outsider, Ailina made me feel welcome. She is compassionate, caring, and protective over the people she loves. There is not a better partner in this world. I love you Ailina.
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be? Never give up on the other person if you know they are the one for you. People make mistakes, but people also learn and grow. Even though Ryan and I have both hurt each other in the past, we’ve both always been committed to learning from our mistakes and becoming a better partner for the other person. People are worth fighting for and there is so much grace to give, especially to the person you love.