Courtney Jamerson and Ryan McTheny

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Courtney Jamerson and Ryan McTheny are engaged to be married Sept. 30, 2017.
Courtney Jamerson and Ryan McTheny are engaged to be married Sept. 30, 2017.

Courtney Jamerson and Ryan McTheny are to be married Sept. 30, 2017, at West Point Christian Church in West Point.

Courtney Jamerson, 25, is a full-time student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Old Dominion University. She plans to graduate May 2017. She graduated from New Kent High School in 2010, Christopher Newport University in 2014 with an undergraduate degree and from Old Dominion University in 2017 with a graduate degree.

She is a daughter of Darlene Jamerson and Brian Jamerson of Lanexa.

Ryan McTheny, 26, is an environmental health and safety analyst. He graduated from New Kent High School in 2009 and Christopher Newport University in 2013 with an undergraduate degree and in 2016 with a graduate degree.

He is a son of Mark McTheny and Susan McTheny  of Lanexa.

Ryan said that someone once told him, “Life is what happens when we are busy making other plans.” And for once he finally understood it, or was mature enough to come to the realization that his life had been unfolding all these years right before his eyes.

He told himself, get a job and finish school, and then you will be ready to get married. Make good, smart choices to ensure a positive future, or at least that’s what he told himself. Ryan came to the reality that it is not the things you accomplish, but the people that are in your life.

She was the one thing he knew he could not and would not go without. He came to the realization that it was time to answer the lingering question. He found himself thinking, “If I lost my part-time job or did not finish school, what would I have?” He would have his faith and the woman he loved. In that moment, he knew the answer to the question he should have answered a long time ago. If he could do it all over again, it would have been answered many years earlier when two young teens aspired to be married after high school.

The question was never a burden for him because he always knew his dream and his plan, even if it became slightly skewed once or twice. He knew it included having her as his wife. So instead of waiting until she finished school to propose, he started setting his plan in motion. He worked hard securing what a man needs to buy a ring. He asked subtle questions, hoping she would just think it was in the far off distance, yet hoping she did not get too discouraged. Her friends around her were getting engaged, which only added to the pressure of keeping his plan a secret.

Ryan finally got there and decided to go get the ring. He had some money, but did not know how he was going to pay for it or how he was going to provide for her. He took a leap of faith and decided that it was time. Ryan drove down a day or two after an interview; technically, he still had no real job, but he felt amazing. Ryan went into the store to acquire the symbol of his affection to give to Courtney and to solidify his promise to her. A ring is circle, a symbol of unending love. He knew as soon as he walked in the store, his heart would be forever hers and his love was unending.

Of course, the ring took forever to pick out because it had to be perfect. Both for her and for Ryan because he tends to have perfectionist characteristics at times.

The weeks after purchasing the ring, waiting for it to arrive, and keeping it a secret once he had it was the toughest. He had asked both of her parents, who were like second parents to him at this point in life, for their blessing, and they both said yes, of course, but they wanted to make sure she finished school before the wedding. He promised he would make sure that happened.

Ryan planned a weekend trip out of town to go up to the Natural Bridge, and to see some of the sights the couple had always wanted to see. They planned it for the weekend of their nine-year anniversary, but she caught a cold, and shortly thereafter, he did as well. Several weeks later, they were finally able to go. They drove up, purchased their tickets, and made their way down the path to the base of the bridge. He had tried asking different friends and family members if they could come there that day to hide and take pictures of him proposing. He knew she always wanted to be surprised and wanted pictures to remember the moments. Everyone was busy and they had to keep changing the date of their trip, so he decided to just wing it.

As they were walking, they heard wedding music playing and noticed a wedding was about to begin right under the bridge. ” I thought, Oh great I won’t be able to propose,” said Ryan. The area was not closed off yet, and the music made it even more romantic. “It was almost as if God had planned it for us,” said Ryan. He asked the young attendant to take their picture.

As they approached the bridge, Courtney heard the wedding music and for a brief moment wondered if that music was for her, but then she noticed there was a couple getting about to get married.

Imagine her surprise when he slipped the ring box out of his pocket, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry him.

“Our wedding is planned for Sept. 30, 2017. That date is so special to us, not only because I will thankfully graduate in May of 2017 and hopefully have a career by then, but also because it will be our 11-year anniversary,” said Courtney.