Three Facts about Ryan & Kaitlyn
1. We went to a small rural high school together, but didn’t meet until 2 years after graduating.
2. We dated long distance for three years before finally moving in together.
3. We both grew up with flat teddy bears; Mine named Pancake Bresee and his named Pancake Patterson.
What winning would mean to us:
As new professionals, and as people that are both fresh out of school, our funds are limited, which puts our wedding on a tight budget. Ryan and I also come from big families, and our small, rural hometowns have such big social networks and connections; we want to be able to invite as many family members and friends as possible to our day of celebration. Saving money on photography for our wedding would be crucial in allowing this to happen. If not to us, we thank you for this amazing gift that you are giving to a couple in need! xo
The Story of Ryan Patterson and Kaitlyn Bresee:
Kaitlyn: Ryan and I are from suuuper small towns near Kingston, ON; he’s from Elgin, ON (population 300), and I’m from Westport, ON (population 700). Two little towns about 20 minutes apart. We both went to Rideau District High School in Elgin, but this is not where our story begins. We didn’t even meet in this small, rural high school with only 500 students in attendance. No… from grades 9-12, we went about our business – he, an athletic, studious, outgoing socialite – and me… well, more of a homebody. I was on athletic teams too, but spent most of my free time watching old movies, reading my bible, and taking multiple naps.
Ryan: After graduating from high school, we separated even further. I went to Queens University, and she went to the University of Guelph where a few of my friends went too. She actually knew a few of my good friends – they hung out together in high school, and then continued to at University as well.
Kaitlyn: The summer after my second year, I went back home to Westport to work and spend time with friends. One of our mutual friends called me up one night and asked if I wanted to join him and a few others in Kingston for a night out. I dragged one of my girlfriends with me, and went out for an adventure. This one fateful night is when I met Ryan.
Ryan: All of my friends were back home for the summer, so we all decided to get together at my apartment downtown Kingston. I hadn’t seen some of the guys for a couple of months, so I thought it would be nice to get together. I guess one of my friends had invited Kaitlyn, but I was surprised she came out. She seemed pretty shy and quiet in high school. As the night rolled along, I realized how wrong I was. She was a ball of fun (and cute as a button). I spent the night trying to get to know her.
Kaitlyn: At the end of the night, Ryan truly left an impression on me. When everyone went their separate ways, Ryan gave me his jacket and walked me home to where I was staying that night. And in the morning, he checked in on me to chat, and make sure I had a nice time the night before. He was an absolute gentleman, and he really impressed me. I knew there was something special about Ryan, so I decided I was going to keep an eye out for him at the next event.
Ryan: Yeah, I was pretty smooth. And so the summer went on; there were euchre nights, more Kingston nights, bonfires, and so on. I’d see Kaitlyn at these events, and at each one, I’d get to know and like her more and more.
Kaitlyn: After running into him at social gatherings here and there, I wondered why he hadn’t asked me on a date yet. I mean, come on! So finally I just bit the bullet and asked him. We went to the movies, went walking downtown Kingston, and he planned to take me for ice cream, but I had to break it to him that I was lactose intolerant (not so romantic). From there it was a summer of dating, getting to know each other, and falling in love. We spent pretty much every day together that summer.
Ryan: (For the record, I had planned to ask her out on a date…)
Kaitlyn: The moment I knew Ryan was the one was on our second date. I had actually planned to break up with him on our second date (thank goodness I didn’t!), because 1) I was afraid of how hurt I’d be when we eventually broke up (ya… it made sense at the time, ok?), and 2) because I was searching for a partner who wanted to grow in faith like I did. So, that night, I asked whether or not he’d ever be interested in pursuing faith and coming with me to church sometime. I was certain he would say no (these are big questions for second dates, after all!).
Ryan: Heavy for a second date. At this point, I didn’t know much about religion, but I wasn’t against anything, and was open to learning more about her beliefs and whether I thought the same things. So, I agreed.
Kaitlyn: We continued to see each other, and he started coming to church with me. We started talking more about our beliefs, and over the next few weeks and months, I started to notice his faith grow, and mine as well. It was everything I ever wanted, and I was so happy to have him with me.
Ryan: It was a great summer, but then we both had to go back to school come September. She had to go back to Guelph and I was staying in Kingston for Queens U. Despite thinking I’d never want to do long distance, I knew I wanted to with Kaitlyn. I knew she was worth it.
Kaitlyn: So then it was two years of long distance dating (kill me) during the last years of our undergraduate degrees, then one more year apart while I finished my masters. We visited each other at least once a month and waited for summers to come. Three long years after we first met, I was able to move home for good and be with Ryan.
Ryan: We decided to move in together the summer after Kaitlyn’s masters. A few months later, I bought a ring. A few weeks after that, I asked her to marry me. We had just adopted a cat from the humane society, so our new boy and I practiced the proposal, and asked her on January 7th.
Kaitlyn: So then, after being so close and yet so far apart at Rideau District High School, and after being actually far apart during University, we could finally be together for the rest of our lives, as Mr. and Mrs. Patterson.
Kaitlyn: Why I want to marry him: Because he’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a man. His generosity, kindness, patience, and love for me are new each day. I can talk to him about everything, including our journey with God and growing in faith each day. He’s wise, thoughtful, and everything to me. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life loving him.
Ryan: Why I want to marry her: Because I can’t see my life without her. She makes me laugh. We have fun together. We’re good for each other. Because she’s the one.