Rebecca & Ryan

April 03, 2021
Harriman, Tennessee

Our Story

Chris was a Southern California boy who ran cross-country, attended an all-boys Catholic high school (shenanigans ensued), and perfected his image as the “chill smart guy”. Nikita was a Midwestern girl, a dancer, musician, and hopeful writer who embodied every stereotype of the over-achiever. A pair of acceptance letters brought them together to that special place between the foothills and the bay – Stanford University. But they didn’t meet until nearly a year later, when Nikita’s Indian dance co-captain and Chris’ then-roommate introduced them. Love at first sight it was not, but after a rocky start Chris realized that this girl was too special to let go. Nikita, being the precocious person she is, had long since come to the same conclusion. They happily embarked on the adventure known commonly as The College Relationship.

The college years

As they progressed through their college years, Chris studying computer science and Nikita the Classics, they grew up together. They reveled in their mutual silliness, embraced each others’ friends as their own, and danced late into the night at parties Chris would DJ. They faced the typical challenges – Nikita studying abroad in Athens, Chris working long hours on computer-sciencey projects - but they found that facing them together was more fun than going at it alone. By graduation, they were inseparable. After getting their diplomas, Chris dove into the startup world of Silicon Valley while Nikita finally faced the fact that she could no longer rebel against her dreams to be a doctor. They lived happily side-by-side and explored the Bay Area, which they both came to love. All was well.

The big move

Then Nikita got into medical school – in Chicago. Chris, being the true Californian that he is, barely knew where Chicago was. So when Nikita suggested they continue their relationship long-distance, he unknowingly acquiesced. How hard could it be? He soon discovered that Chicago was indeed a great distance away, but neither the distance (nor the cold) stopped him from visiting Nikita as she buried herself in medical school at UIC. After 2½ years of flying back and forth (oh the miles!), Chris finally took the plunge and moved to Chicago to be with his girl. Slowly but surely, they built a life together in Chicago – exploring the city’s amazing restaurants, running through Millenium Park, and investing in Chris’ first winter coat. Soon enough, Chicago felt like a second home.

The proposal

Chris decided he wanted to propose to Nikita soon after he moved to Chicago. He decided to propose where their relationship began – at their 5-year Stanford reunion. With the help of his parents, he chose a ring on a family trip to Hong Kong and hid it in his closet for months. He coordinated with Nikita’s girlfriends to come up with the perfect proposal. True to form, Nikita repeatedly changed her plans that weekend, forcing Chris to adjust and re-adjust his proposal. On the final morning of reunion weekend, Nikita set out on foot to meet a friend at the Oval to take some engagement pictures for her and her new fiancé (the latest ruse). Little did she know that her friends were waiting around the corner to whisk Chris over to the Oval by car. Nikita obliviously walked to the Oval, where she found Chris waiting for her. Chris nervously rushed through his speech, maneuvering Nikita around the crowd of tourists that had suddenly appeared, and got down on one knee. Nikita started blubbering, but made sure to say an audible “yes” before he slipped the ring on her finger. Nikita’s friends poured out of their cars, where they had been surreptitiously recording the whole event on their phones. And, just like that, they started the countdown to #BacligVashi2016.