The King engagement was a match made in southern living heaven. Jerika a taxidermist and Ryan a farmer, the two shared a passion for the outdoors, from harvest to hunting. Amidst family, friends and plenty of burlap accents, they shared a beautiful wedding at The Lodge, a 152-acre farm in Barney, GA.
The two met at a mutual friend’s birthday party in Spring 2015 and both admit, there was an undeniable connection from the start.
“For me it was kind of instant, and he said it was for him too,” Jerika said. “We just automatically felt something.”
Ryan asked for Jerika’s phone number and about a year later, he asked for something more—a lifetime with a woman he knew, through heart and prayer, was the one for him.
“Every time I thought about it, there wasn’t a single reason that I could come up with of why not to go ahead and propose to her, Everything felt right. I knew I wasn’t going to go anywhere, and she said she wasn’t going anywhere either.”
Although they both knew they wanted a life together, Ryan was determined to find a way to surprise her with a ring. The two had discussed purchasing a boat, and Ryan had asked her to shop for one in particular one day. As they made their way down to the beach, Jerika found that she had a commitment to make, much bigger than a boat. She happily agreed to the surprise.
“I was really excited and kind of in shock,” she said. “I kind of knew it was coming, but I wasn’t expecting it that day. I thought I was going down there for a completely different reason; it turned out to be a great day.”
A couple seasons later, it was time to turn the engagement into a marriage, and although the two never experienced a doubt in their relationship, nerves were still flying on the day of their wedding.
“When we were getting ready in our separate rooms, all the guys were making fun of me because I was pacing the room, wearing the wood floor out,” Ryan said. “I was nervous, but it wasn’t that I didn’t want to do it; the nerve part was just the wait. I was anxious to marry her. Just seeing her come down the aisle was definitely emotional. My knees were shaking, just full of excitement; it was perfect.”
Jerika experienced the same nervous excitement, but the nerves didn’t lessen the love she felt as she made her way to her future husband.
“My walk down the aisle included some stairs, so I had a death grip on the rail,” she said. “It was definitely a good day; the ceremony went perfectly.”
Once the vows were made, the reception had ended, and Cancun, Mexico was graced with the presence of the newlyweds, Jerika and Ryan returned to reality, but the importance of their marriage is timeless to both of them.
The two rely on each other and their relationship with God to make their marriage successful and have no doubt that they will do whatever it takes to make it work, to stay together and build a beautiful life and family together.
“To me marriage is a long term bond with another person for the rest of your life,” Ryan said. “It’s just something that two people will always have in one another. Whenever an obstacle comes up, I always tell Jerika that I’m the one here to keep everyone together. We’re best friends, and we just enjoy being together.”
What’s next for the Kings? They’re aiming for the American dream of owning a home and growing a family. “We want a great family, a Christian family and the ability to run it as we see fit,” Ryan said.
They are looking forward to going through life together. But they aren’t in a hurry. No matter what life brings them, these two made a promise to each other to have and to hold forever, and they will gladly keep their promise.
When asked what made Jerika fall for Ryan:
“Of course his good looks drew me in at first. His personality—he is really outgoing and can get along with anybody. He is calm about handling situations. He’s always there to calm me down and keep me grounded, because I’m the hot head in this relationship, but he keeps me cool.”
When asked what made Ryan fall for Jerika:
“I don’t even know where to start! There are so many things. How much paper do you have? She is a great woman with good values and beliefs. When we first met, she was definitely someone I wanted to pursue. Then one thing led to another, different feelings unraveled, and I found out I had the perfect one right there in front of me.”
Health & Life | January 2017
Jerika and Ryan King: A Match Made in Southern Living Heaven
By Sarah Turner