...we went to a little bar by my house, drank whiskey until we were both tipsy, and made out in the bathroom.

Ryan and I met at work. We are both public interest attorneys. In my first year on the job, I was assigned to help him with a big case. I was immediately captivated by how smart, passionate, kind-hearted and good-looking he was, but life circumstances and other relationships kept us from dating for several years. On our first “real date” (meaning we were not pretending to discuss work related things) we went to a little bar by my house, drank whiskey until we were both tipsy, and ended up making out in the bathroom.


In some ways, Ryan is very different from other boys I have dated. He is extremely smart and hard working, yet also down-to-earth, creative and really fun. I respect him immensely. Let’s just say that I didn’t feel that way about some of the others that came before him. I think it first clicked in my mind that he was “the one” on our very first date, although I had slowly been realizing it for months before then.



One Saturday, after several months of dating, we came back home to Portland after a long hike and sat outside in the afternoon sun. I was so in love, I couldn’t hold it in any longer! When Ryan left my house that evening, I texted him “Te Quiero,” and he responded with a recording of him reading a piece he wrote about me and about our relationship. It was the most romantic thing.


Not long after we said I love you, we began inching toward the marriage topic by telling each other how we wanted to be together forever and how we would love to start a family together someday. Honestly, it wasn't until I started dating Ryan that I even thought that marriage was something I wanted to do.


One drunken summer night, in the middle of a passionate conversation about who knows what, we decided to tie the knot. We were both very excited but also a little too cool to realize that a traditional thing like a marriage really meant that much to us.  A couple of weeks later we ordered two simple gold wedding bands and both started wearing them immediately. We kept our decision to get married on the down-low for a few weeks while we decided on details like when and where.  We knew we wanted it small and even considered eloping.


  1. Lindsey + Ryan
  2. Lindsey + Ryan
  3. Lindsey + Ryan


In the end, we realized that we really wanted our close family members there to celebrate with us.  We picked Joshua Tree National Park because we both like to rock climb and we love the eerie empty beauty of the desert.  We took a trip to Joshua Tree several months before the wedding and picked a beautiful, secluded spot next to some big boulders and under an huge Oak tree to have our ceremony.


On the day of the wedding, the weather was a perfect 75 degrees and 20 of our family members gathered around us while we exchanged vows. My uncle and Ryan’s aunt both officiated the ceremony. My dad walked me down the “aisle” which was actually a sandy path in the middle of the desert. I told him that he could wear whatever he wanted, and he surprised me by wearing a suit (he never wears suits) and an awesome Panama hat.



Afterwards, we all went back to this amazing mid-century house that we had rented for the weekend and had a catered dinner outside on the deck. The whole day was actually pretty calm. It was very emotional, but calm. We wrote our own vows and did not share them with each other until the ceremony.  Listening to Ryan read his vows and reading mine to him just might be the happiest moment of my life so far.


For dinner we noshed on cheese, artichokes, hippy salad, macaroni and cheese, salmon, and brisket.  We drank margaritas and a lot of really good wine. We spent the evening standing around a big outdoor fireplace. Everyone was drinking, laughing, and dancing until late.


After the wedding, we rock climbed and camped in the national park one night and then had a short honeymoon in Palm Springs. I would not change a thing about our wedding. It was magical, unique, and perfect. Five months after our wedding, we threw a big party in Portland for all of our friends and family that weren’t at the ceremony. It was a blast and everyone loved looking at the photos from the big day. I am so glad that we followed our guts and decided to have a small wedding ceremony and a big party later.