I've known Ryan for about 15 years.
I've traveled the country with him.
I've seen him at his best and worst.
I know Ryan to have a giant heart.
I knew Ryan would marry Erin the moment I met her.
15 years ago Ryan was an silly kid trying to figure out what the heck was going on. He loved music, traveling, and basically doing whatever. He and I toured as much of the country as we could, all in the name of live music: Vermont, New Mexico, Colorado, Philly, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina, Illinois, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, and Wisconsin. I may have missed a few, but you get the point. We explored cities, old concert halls, and the open road. Never did we argue, and he was always there to help, encourage, and be an overall great dude*.
He was the younger brother of Chris, the best man at our wedding. Ryan too was part of our wedding, and he still would be if we married today. I have watched Ryan (and Chris) go through some of the hardest moments you can imagine, always with their head up high and optimistic. I'm proud to call them both my best friends, and I'm thrilled Erin is now part.
Ryan was rewarded with Erin - he really was. She started coming around years ago and fit right in, and it's a good thing. Ryan does things on his own time, and when Erin is there he is always on time, ready to go**. They are a very creative couple and their kind hearts match perfect. I am so happy for them and watching them get married was something special. I've never seen Ryan so happy, and I know that people say that all the time, but in this case it's 100% true. When you see two people you truly care about get married, it affects you in great ways.
So, lets talk wedding day for a minute. This was a for-real DIY wedding. Everything you'll see in the photos, Ryan and Erin created. Two creative people taking their time and designing the perfect wedding. Well done! I mentioned that they love live music, and their wedding day reflected that. The band, Uncle Sam's Dream Machine, is a band I used to see down in Columbus. They don't really play anymore, but Ryan and Erin made sure they'd play at their wedding. A KILLER bluegrass band, playing all night in an old farmhouse. Money. We were even treated to a late-night acoustic set, outside the farmhouse. We drank local brew, danced to local music, and prior to the band, Erin's brother and father, who are both outstanding musicians, played for their sister and her new husband. A true family production all around.
To Erin and Ryan, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your day. I love you both and cannot wait to see what you two accomplish as a married couple.
So here are their photographs... I hope they do justice to this awesome day and couple.
* Ryan is The Dude. Always has been, always will.
** A young Ryan, traveling around with his brother and older friends (we are about 5 years older than Ryan), arrived at our Cincinnati hotel hours before Phish takes the stage. The valet guy tells us to 'just call down to the desk when you're ready and we'll have your car'. He hands us our valet ticket and we check in. Fast forward a hour or so. We are ready to go. Ryan calls down to the front desk, in a very dude-like voice, and the operator answers.
Operator: Hello, front desk.
Ryan: We're ready.
Ryan hangs up.