Love At First Text | a Kenosha winter engagement

Written by Amber -

As stunningly gorgeous as these two look, I can assure you, their beauty is not only skin deep. Ryan and Nicole are two of the classiest, genuine people we've met and their heartfelt love for each other is undeniable. Although they met briefly in fifth grade and shared a high school class or two together, it wasn't until this past summer that they truly hit it off. Nine months later, they find themselves head-over-heels for each other and counting the days until their November wedding.

As you look through these image highlights of Ryan & Nicole's engagement session from a couple weeks ago, I hope you enjoy the details of their beautiful love story...  

How did Ryan and Nicole meet? "We have indirectly known each other since elementary school and we also went to high school together in which we had summer gym class together my freshmen year," Nicole explained. "I don't remember much from elementary school other than Nicole's mom dressed her in very questionable outfits and I was the only kid in fifth grade with a mustache," Ryan recalled. "In high school, we had some type of computer class together—maybe desktop publishing? I thought she was cute, but I was shy and never made an attempt to be more than friends." 

Fast forward ten years or so, to the summer of 2013. Thanks to Facebook and a message to Ryan, Nicole learned that he was recently single and ready to mingle. :) "We began texting back and forth for a whole week while I was in Florida on a family vacation," Nicole gleamed. "For the entire time that Nicole was gone, we texted each other like two 16-year-olds," Ryan laughed. "We had to have exchanged 2,000 text messages or more. After a few days of talking (or texting), it felt like we were best friends." Nicole added, "We hung out the day after I got back and we have been inseparable ever since!"

"I think it was love at first text," Nicole said. "Shortly after we first hung out, Ryan told me that he had a really good feeling about us and that I was always what he had pictured his wife to act like and look like. Now usually this would have caused me to run the other way, but this time with Ryan I felt the same way!"

"It was love at first sight for sure," Ryan confirmed. "The first time we hung out, Nicole came over to my house. She brought a bottle of wine for her and pizza and beer for me. So, I guess you could say she sort of bought my love." Haha! Ryan quickly continued, "Kidding! We spent easily three hours sitting on my back patio just talking." It is also worth noting that Ryan ended up falling asleep on Nicole during their first date while watching FOX6 news. "Romantic much? I somehow managed to get a second date... and the rest is history," Ryan smiled. 

"My first impression of Ryan was that he was extremely good looking and shy," Nicole admitted. "This has changed because I have discovered that he is a complete goof ball and is just as loud and obnoxious as I am!" Ryan said, "My first impression of Nicole was that she was incredibly beautiful, her smile was killer and her personality was contagious. I think every person—at some time or another—imagined what their dream significant other would look like and how they would act. Nicole is exactly what I dreamed about and so much more."

"One thing we always say is that from the very first time we hung out, we never had that awkward first date moment. It was like we were meant to find each other. The conversations flowed, the laughs rolled and the smiles never stopped," Ryan said. These two love birds are nine months into their relationship and loving every moment of it. I wondered how they keep their spark alive. "Never stop doing the little things. I think as relationships progress and time passes, people sometimes stop doing the little things that led them to fall in love," Ryan said. "Go on first dates over and over again. Surprise each other with little gifts. Give kisses for no reason. And the list goes on and on."

"Ryan is a total perfectionist and if I tell him something looks good he will still ask me at least three more times if I am sure!" Nicole said. "My favorite thing about Ryan is that he is very witty and able to make me laugh about pretty much anything! It also helps that he is extremely handsome." Regarding Nicole, Ryan said he loves "her passion for living life to the fullest and experiencing new things." 

"Nicole and I had been looking at rings for a while, but I told her it wasn't a good time and I needed to save up some money. Of course, that was my cover up and way of completely surprising her," Ryan said. "I brought my mom and her sister to the jewelry store with me to make the purchase. Roughly a week later I got the ring.

"I invited her family and my family over to our house for 'my dad's birthday.' My mom helped order a cake that featured a picture of Nicole and I on it and that had the words 'Nicole ... Will you marry me?'"

Ryan's excited family captured it all—love these photos he shared with us! Plus, when they were alone with glasses of champagne later, Ryan shared this amazing photo collage video with Nicole. SO sweet and thoughtful!

This guys is incredibly romantic—whether he believes it or not. I asked him what the most romantic thing they've done as a couple was. "I'm a guy, so what I think is romantic is probably not, but, I think it was when Nicole took me to my first concert, which was Jason Aldean, as a birthday present," Ryan guessed. "We hadn't been dating but a month or so. It was the night that I fell in love with her. Despite the thousands of people at the concert, it felt like it was just the two of us. We sang just about every song to each other. We danced. We laughed. We kissed. It was one of those nights you wish you could live in the moment forever." 

I think Ryan sells himself short… I asked Nicole the same question about the most romantic thing they've done—you're going to love her answer. Without hesitation, Nicole replied with a smile, "I took Ryan to his first concert—which was Jason Aldean—as a birthday present and I just remember how much fun we had together. I am pretty sure he fell in love with me that night."

That Jason Aldean concert was Ryan's first concert ever. "Yeah, that's right, I was 26!" he said. Nicole prides herself on introducing Ryan to many other "firsts" as well. His first NFL game (a Green Bay Packers game, of course) and his first kid (their chihuahua, Halle) are a couple of Nicole's highlights. I'm thinking there are many more "firsts" to come. Cheers to the future!

Ryan and Nicole love to travel to new places, both domestically and internationally to experience what the local culture has to offer. "We particularly love food tasting, sampling new beers, finding the best Bloody Marys and listening to live music," Ryan said.

They also enjoy going to the gym together, although they admit it's been tough to be motivated to leave the house in this cold season. "We both enjoy watching football and baseball games, along with traveling," Nicole said. "Since we have a pool we love having our friends and family over in the summer to grill out and swim."

This couple's story wouldn't be complete without their little chihuahua, Halle. "We do this really weird thing where we pretend to talk for our dog." After meeting her, I don't blame them—she has so much character! A huge thanks to Ryan's mom who made a special trip over to Petrifying Springs Park to drop off Halle. Poor little thing—her shivers told me she wasn't a fan of the 10°F photo session weather we had, but she was a trooper!

Ryan and Nicole are stoked about their wedding day! On November 8th, 2014, they will be tying the knot at St Peter's Catholic Church in Kenosha. Afterward, the reception will be at Veteran's Terrace in Burlington. They're looking forward to hosting around 200 people. "Being the planner I am, I have already tackled a lot of the to-do list," Nicole said. "I am super excited and I can't wait to officially be Mrs. Belcher!" Ryan smiled, "My job is to wear the right thing and show up on the right day." Hehe! 

Ryan and Nicole are very much looking forward to a honeymoon in either Punta Cana or Aruba. Both sound tropical and magical, especially when I'm looking at single digit temps as I write this (at least they are positive temps today, right?!). Other things on Nicole's list of excitement? "Being able to call Ryan allllll mine forever and ever," she laughed. "No, but seriously I am really excited to start a family together."

On December 20, 2013 (about six months into their relationship), Ryan popped the question. Nicole's simple, "yes" changed the very paths of their future. Sometimes it doesn't take long to discover the thing that you simply can't live without. Ryan and Nicole, you are beautiful together—your love is inspiring and reminds us all to enjoy each moment to the fullest. We are so excited to celebrate with you at your wedding and to capture each special moment as it unfolds.

To see all of Ryan & Nicole's engagement session images, check out their full gallery here »