Oh, folks, you’re going to have to take a moment to prepare yourselves for Ryan & Kelley, because the loveliness is just. pure. magic. Maybe it’s a bit of the bowtie, a taste of the giggles, and a lot of the stolen kisses, but I’d say the biggest culprit is the way this pair just walks around like a single soul in two bodies. They’ve been cultivating their love for a whole decade and after ten years of choosing one another, they’ll soon be choosing forever — and forever sure does look good on them!
A word from photographer Anya Kernes:
“Kelley and Ryan are high school sweethearts and have been together for over 10 years. This was the first time we met in person, so we got to catch up on all things life and wedding planning. They will be tying the knot at the beautiful Ojai Valley Inn next year, which will be planned and coordinated by the talented Alissa Hussey. To say that I can hardly wait would be an understatement!
They couldn’t look any more glam and elegant for their engagement session, and also might possibly be two of the sweetest human beings. The two of them are so incredibly loving and caring for each other, and spending this afternoon roaming around the Santa Barbara Courthouse grounds was an absolute pleasure. Can we also talk about that gorgeous bouquet by Peonies and Petals?!”
Love notes from the couple, Ryan & Kelley:
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
Kelley: “Ryan and I first met when we were in high school. I was 15 and he was 16. My group of girl friends used to spend our lunch talking to his group of guy friends. One day during lunch, everyone took turns playing with a ribbon. One person tied the ribbon on to someone’s backpack, then that person tied it around someone else’s wrist, then that person tied it to someone else, and so on. After someone tied the ribbon to me, I turned to my left and tied it around a guy’s neck like a bow tie. I remember thinking ‘I don’t know who this guy is, but he’s cute!’ That person was Ryan.
On the day of our engagement photos, Ryan decided to wear a bow tie. He had never worn a bow tie in his life, but for some reason, on this particular day, he decided to wear a bow tie. We didn’t even realize it at the time, but our entire relationship came full circle with a bow tie.
Needless to say, he will be wearing a bow tie on our wedding day!”
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship.
Kelley: “After developing a close friendship in high school, Ryan and I finally started to date when I was 17 and he was 18. We even went to prom together! We only dated for about one year before breaking up and going off to college, however, after about a year apart, we decided to get back together. The problem was that I was going to school in San Francisco and he was going to school in Los Angeles!
Long distance relationships certainly come with their difficulties and ours was no different, but it forced us to build our relationship on trust and communication. Both great foundations for a life long partnership!
After being long distance for about 1.5 years, I decided to transfer to another school in Los Angeles so that I could be closer to Ryan. That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!”
What part of your wedding day is most important to you?
“Our anniversary is February 1, so we were thrilled when we found out that our wedding venue had an opening for the weekend of February 1 (our wedding day is February 2) We are very excited to have everyone important in our lives in one place to not only celebrate our marriage, but also our 11 year anniversary!”
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
Ryan: “Listen to each other, prioritize each other, grow with each other.”
Kelley: “And travel together!”
photographer: Anya Kernes Photography / venue: Santa Barbara Courthouse / stylist, planner, and designer: Alissa Hussey / floral designer: Peonies & Petals / hair and makeup artist: Carrie Purser / film lab: The Goodman Film Lab