Louisiana native Ryan Donegan met his boyfriend, Scott Snider, on Instagram, so when he popped the question, he opted to use the online photo and video sharing platform in a creative and original way.
The 26-year-old Donegan, who works in marketing and public relations, took to Instagram to plan a surprise-filled day for Snider, 29, an opto-mechanical engineer and lifelong California resident. When Snider returned home from a day of excursions that included a beach visit and a Korean BBQ dinner with friends, a sharply-dressed Donegan awaited him in the backyard of their home, which had been specially decorated with rose petals and candles, in Orange County, California. It was only then that the proposal took a traditional turn when Donegan dropped to one knee.
"He's the love of my life and I knew I had to make this a special moment," Donegan, who is also a HuffPost blogger, told The Huffington Post in an email. "I knew I could never really shock him by popping the question, but I knew I could create small surprises throughout the day by flying in his best friends, sending them to his favorite places and getting his family together."
Donegan also confessed to getting "a chuckle out of teasing [Snider] with my Instagram posts, hinting that I'd see him soon. It drove him crazy!"
For Donegan, the best part of the proposal was "seeing and hearing how giddy Scott was throughout the day, it was truly his perfect day and made me realize how lucky I was to have him."
He and Snider, who are planning to tie the knot in 2016, hope their story will "give hope to those who are still in places where discrimination is built into the legal system that should be protecting them" and "show the world love is what matters above all else."