Image for Bret and Ryan’s Cheerful Wynwood Walls Engagement Shoot

Bret and Ryan’s Cheerful Wynwood Walls Engagement Shoot

The colorful walls that line the coast of south Florida in Wynwood were a must for Bret and Ryan’s engagement shoot with Cortiella Photography. “It was an easy choice to make Wynwood our engagement shoot location since it’s where we met,” Ryan says. “We associate so many spots there with our first date, so the smiles and feelings from that initial encounter flood back and we get to relive it each time we’re there.”

As they returned to the site of their first date, this time they brought along an addition to their family, their sweet dog, Alfie, who was an important part of Bret’s proposal. “Alfie was obviously the picture perfect accessory,” Bret says. “He stole the show!” And indeed he did. Some of our favorite photos out of the bunch include their pup and a sign that Bret made the night before the shoot that said: My dads are getting married! Between the colorful walls and beaming smiles, it’s clear these two — three, including Alfie! — share so much love between them.

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The Love Story

Bret and Ryan were new to southern Florida when they happened upon each other’s Tinder profiles. “My little sister had just moved in with me, and I was making her go on a date, so I introduced her to Tinder,” Ryan says. “I hadn’t used it in a while, but during the tutorial, I swiped right on Bret’s picture because I thought he was handsome and his description was actually funny.” After Ryan’s swipe, they made plans to meet up in Wynwood and had a blast exploring the vibrant art district together. “He was one of the first people I met here, and we instantly clicked,” Bret says. “It took moving across the country for us to find each other.”

After they had been dating for almost a year and had added a sweet pup named Alfie to their family, Bret and Ryan found themselves in the midst of Hurricane Irma’s destructive path and were forced to evacuate their home. “We loaded my car with supplies and our dog Alfie and decided to make the most of it,” Bret says. “We were confined to a car or a hotel room together for eight days in what should have been a really stressful situation and had the time of our lives — that’s when I knew that we were going to get married. It only took me another year to finally ask him.”

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The Proposal

Ryan had just finished up a long last week of teaching before school was out for the summer and went home to find Bret and Alfie on the balcony waiting for him with a glass of wine. “We’re both pretty laid back people, so it was a simple proposal,” Bret says. “The sun was setting over the water, and I asked him to marry me. He thought I was playing a prank on him for the first three to five minutes until he finally realized I was serious.”

Ryan admits that he was caught completely off guard and needed a moment to register what was happening. “To hear Bret tell it, I thought he was joking,” he says. “But I never thought it was a joke. I just needed a few minutes to remember how happy I was and to soak up the most beautiful moment of my life before I replied. Having grown up in the South, I never knew if marriage was feasible for me. I knew I wanted to marry Bret so when he asked, I was just overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness for having found someone I love and who I know loves me.”

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Memorable Moment

“When I tell the story, the part I am most proud of is that it was just the three of us — me, Bret, and our dog, Alfie,” Ryan says. “Our happy little family making it official. Alfie’s being there was probably the most important part to me, and, of course, Bret knew and planned accordingly. Alfie is our favorite so he’s involved in all our major life decisions.”

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The Ring

Ryan was as shocked by the proposal as he was by the fact that Bret had gotten him a ring. “Bret could have proposed with a Cracker Jack ring, and I would have been excited,” he says. “But the fact that it was a beautiful silver band made it seem real and romantic.”

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