The first thing Ryan Kopas noticed about Shai Voelker was the way she walked on her toes. They were both in band at Nixa High School when they began getting to know each other. Ryan would give Shai a ride home after school, and they would stop at Sonic and talk endlessly. “He was just really sweet and kind of dorky,” Shai says.
Years passed, and it was during fall break at Missouri State University when Ryan surprised Shai with a trip to Cancun, just the two of them. On their first day, Ryan insisted they wake up for the sunrise and don their best attire for the day. An oblivious Shai argued in favor of pajamas and coffee but reluctantly agreed to the early wakeup call. While she was peering out at the ocean, Ryan posted up on one knee behind her, making the early rise well worth it.
When it was time to plan a wedding, Shai chose a boho theme. While on the hunt for a venue, there was one in particular that caught Ryan’s eye for one reason only—there were goats. “I don’t know where his obsession with goats came from, but that was his thing,” Shai says. Ryan kept asking if there was a way to integrate the goats in the wedding.
The big day came, and there were no plans in place to include the goats. To Ryan’s surprise and Shai’s delight, she surprised him with a goat and llama reveal. “That was one of the highlights of the day, honestly,” Shai says.
For their honeymoon, the newlyweds spent two weeks in Croatia on the same island where Game of Thrones was filmed. One of their favorite moments from the trip was getting to see an octopus visible 40 feet below.