Ricky Stephens A Modern Villain


My name is Ricky and I think Voldemort should have won. Welcome to my blog. 

// On Big Sur, California

// On Big Sur, California

Sarah Rotrock and Ricky Stephens walking down Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur California

On October 27th 2016 I was lucky enough to marry my best friend. We basically eloped, bringing only ten people with us, and we couldn't have been more happy with that decision. We were throwing ourselves back into the magic of a place that already meant a lot to us- and we didn't want a huge guest list or series of events to distract from the feeling of being back there. 

You probably don't know what I mean.

Sarah and I got together at the end of 2010 and immediately started planning grand adventures. Somewhere along the way we found a picture of Big Sur and never wanted to stop looking at it- unless we could be there to see it in person. It was September 2011 when we landed in Monterey and hopped on a bus headed south to Bixby Bridge. We spent the next few days hiking through Andrew Molera State Park, hitchhiking with an old hippy woman, and wishing we never had to come home. 

Big Sur California, Bixby Creek Bridge, photo by Ricky Stephens of A Modern Villain

If you flash forward around five years you will arrive at an exciting time in our relationship. I was getting ready to ask Sarah that big question "Do you want to hang out... forever?" I spent countless hours on Etsy looking for the perfect ring; Sarah has an Etsy shop so I like to support independent makers as often as I can. I knew that Sarah wouldn't want anything too traditional so I chose to stay away from yellow gold, opting for a rose gold ring made by Doron Merov, and I set off to find an ethical diamond. It was a long process but the end result, I think, was perfect. 

I wanted to ask Sarah to marry me in a unique way. I wanted to win the engagement story competition forever. I wanted to steal her away and give her some worthwhile story to tell. I love her or whatever.

Big Sur California by Ricky Stephens of A Modern Villain

I booked a surprise trip to Europe and told her that she needed to take some time off of work. I didn't tell her where we were going and I didn't give her any hints no matter how often she begged. I would throw her off with comments about Nepal and Everest and climbing gear. She got really frustrated. 

In reality I'd booked a ten day trip to Athens, Paris, and Amsterdam. I asked her to marry me in front of the Eiffel Tower using a book that collected the happy moments of my life. The pages had little messages like "the day we got Beasley", "our trip to California", and ended with "the day I asked you to marry me".

From that point on we started planning our wedding and California just seemed right. 

Sarah Rotrock of The Rucksack Refinery on Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur California

I used to want to live inside that picture we found back in 2011 but, now, I want to live inside the one right above this sentence. It's impossible for a picture to capture the way a moment feels but, if I had to describe that moment in one word, it would be... happiness.

We kept our ceremony short, literally under five minutes, and we exchanged our vows in private the next morning. We went out on the Garrapata Bluff Trail to say sweet things to one another in private. I'll upload some pictures from that excursion in a future post.

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