Who doesn’t love Black love!? We do and we celebrate it with our “Put A Ring On It” series. Each week, we’ll feature YOUR engagement and wedding stories, romantic photos and even tips that’ll help other Beauties out on their big day. Check back each week for a new installment!
This week, we spoke with Ryan and Ayanna about finding love on the first date and going with the flow even when things go wrong.
Three summers ago, on a photo shoot set for designer Michael Angel, Ryan and I met each other for the first time. My first impression–he was shy, yet charming, very much a gentleman and, of course, very handsome. My boss, Michael Angel, and his partner noticed our interaction and insisted a couple of days later on passing my contact information along to Ryan. We met for our first date, our 8-hour long first date, and that’s where it all began.
Our first date was a beautiful day in Brooklyn. At the time, I resided in East Williamsburg. So Ryan, being a gentleman, chose a brunch spot in my neck of the woods. Somehow, I still managed to be 40 minutes late. After lunch, we strolled through Williamsburg, conversed, did some people watching and eventually ended up at his friend’s loft space in Bushwick, hanging out on the rooftop. By far it was the longest date, but one of the most connected experiences I’ve ever had. I didn’t want the date to end.
As time went on, we became inseparable. My dating experience with Ryan holds so true to something he told me after six months of us together, “I promise to love you everyday.” And to date, despite my whirlwind of emotions, he is love, EVERYDAY. It’s really admirable. By no means are we perfect; we have challenges like all couples. However, the good outweighs the bad, and the smiles definitely outshine the sad.
THE UNFORGETTABLE MOMENT
On the night of June 19, 2014 (our three-year anniversary), we made plans to see a Broadway show (“Holler If You Hear Me”), dinner at the Standard Grill, and a nightcap. As we all know, nothing ever goes as expected. While the show was amazing, and dinner was delicious, the attempt for drinks (and a surprise rooftop proposal) didn’t go over so well.
We were wrapping dinner and Ryan mentions, “Let’s take a walk along the Highline.” Me, after running in heels to the Broadway Theater, (because of course I was running late) and taking a short walk en route to dinner, had blisters on every toe. There was no way I was walking the Highline.
Revisiting our original plan, we head over to Gallow Green at the Mckittrick Hotel. Just as we arrive, they were doing last call. At that moment, we head home and Ryan’s face reads disappointment. I explain to him that the night was amazing and we had a great time, why so sad? Me, not having a clue he was planning to propose, encouraged him to enjoy the moment.
We get home, he pours us a drink, puts on some Bob Marley (my absolute favorite) and proceeds to give me more anniversary gifts. The first is a ring box, filled with earrings to throw me off, then a love letter. At that moment, he gets down on one knee and pops the question! I was on cloud nine. It was our perfect moment.
NEXT: Check out his side of the story and Ayanna’s beautiful and unique ring!