When I first met this amazing couple, I was just starting my business and looking to build my portfolio. The least thing I expected was to be asked to photograph Ryleigh and Ben’s wedding. When I arrived, I was immediately welcomed by an abundance of family members, friends, and loved ones. I immediately felt the love and support that surrounds Ryleigh and Ben as they venture towards the rest of their lives. These two are so perfect for each other. They laughed, cried, and joked together which made for quite the amazing wedding night.
One of my favorite things about weddings and talking to my brides leading up to their wedding, is learning how they met and hearing their love story. So, naturally, Ryleigh and Ben sat down to answer some lovely questions about each other that I would have never known had I not asked!
Ryleigh, the beautiful bride grew up in the small town of Mechanicsville, Virginia not too far from where I grew up Richmond, Virginia. I learned at the wedding that Ryleigh had already received her LPN by the time she had graduated high school. She now works as an ICU RN. Ben, on the other hand, grew up in another small town of Statesville, North Carolina not too far from where I attended Catawba College. Ben currently is a graduate student of business and economics.
When I asked these two about when they knew they were going to marry each other it was immediately an effortless answer. Ryleigh said she knew within the first few month of being together, Ben said it was after Ryleigh bought him a genuine alpaca wool poncho from Ecuador. He said, “I never asked for it. It was like she knew me!”
Ryleigh and Ben were on the same dorm at Liberty University when they met. Ben LOVES to tell this story so I’ll tell it you in his words. “I was a sophomore and she was a freshman. One day not too long after the fall semester started, Ryleigh walked up to me in the common area wearing a Hawaiian shirt, athletic shorts, socks and sandals, and a bandana in her hair. She introduced herself and said she was getting a group of people together to go hiking and asked if I wanted to come. I said yes and over the course of two years, we had become close friends.”
After becoming close friends, Ben initiated their relationship. As I was reading their response to this question, Ryleigh mentioned that she turned Ben down not once, but twice! While they remained good friends, Ben still had other plans. Once Ben and Ryleigh kissed, she mentioned, “we decided to have a go at it and here we are now!”
Ben finally proposed when they went on a walk in Downtown Lynchburg by the river. She mentioned, “he got down on one knee, completely catching me by surprise!” Surprise engagements are my absolute favorite! Maybe I’m a little biased because my engagement was also a complete surprise!
It’s crazy to look back on Ben and Ryleigh’s relationship and be able to say they are now Mr. and Mrs. Barker, newlyweds! Their relationship is nothing short of fun, exciting, and quirky and they radiate such love and happiness.
It was such an honor to play a part in such a wholesome and romantic day! Thank you both for sharing your love and your hearts with me. Cheers to the new Mr. and Mrs. Barker! I wish you both nothing but love and happiness as you grow in your marriage!