An animal lover and a Lord of the Rings buff marry by the water on a scorching day in June
THE COUPLE: Courtney McGlynn, 30, grew up in Montgomery County and attended Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda. She is the marketing director at Fasoo, a data security company in Bethesda. Ryan McBride, 30, grew up in Ocean Township, New Jersey. He is a senior project manager at Clark Construction. They live in Bethesda.
HOW THEY MET: When Ryan was a senior at the University of Maryland in 2009, he met Courtney’s father, Don McGlynn, at an Alpha Tau Omega alumni event. McGlynn mentioned his daughter, who was in the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority at UMD. Ryan thought her name sounded familiar, but he’d never formally met Courtney. Later that night at Cornerstone Grill & Loft in College Park, Ryan’s friend pointed her out. Ryan introduced himself and bought Courtney a shot. “When he cheers’d the shot to my dad I thought, who the hell is this guy?” she says.
RECONNECTING: They didn’t meet again until a couple years after college, when they played on the same D.C. kickball team in 2011. Ryan was living in Adams Morgan, and Courtney had moved back in with her mom in Bethesda. They had the same circle of friends. “Ryan tried to date me for a couple months before I said yes,” Courtney says. She was skeptical of Ryan’s charm. “He was very smooth with girls—I was cautious.” But over the next six months they became closer, and eventually shared a kiss during a night out with friends. Over texts the next day, Courtney agreed to a date.
THE FIRST DATE: Ryan took Courtney to Sala Thai in Bethesda. “I didn’t know this at the time, but Courtney hates Thai,” he says. “Even though Courtney wasn’t eating, I still thought we had a really good time.” After dinner, they went to Caddies on Cordell to watch a UMD basketball game. It was trivia night, and Courtney surprised Ryan with her knowledge of the Old Testament, thanks to her Catholic schooling. Ryan carried the Lord of the Rings section, much to his chagrin. “I really impressed Courtney with all my knowledge of Lord of the Rings. And when I say impressed, I mean disgusted.” Their next date was on Valentine’s Day.
THE PROPOSAL: Five years after they started dating, Ryan proposed to Courtney at the National Zoo, just a short walk from their Woodley Park apartment. “Everyone who knows Courtney knows she’s obsessed with animals,” he says. He’d staked out a quiet spot by the Komodo dragon lair, which Ryan’s brother had stealthily roped off with caution tape so the area would be clear. A photographer snapped pictures as Ryan got down on one knee. Although they had discussed getting engaged, Courtney was still caught off guard. “I had no idea. I didn’t do my hair. I was in sneakers,” she says. “It blew my mind…I loved that it was in an obscure area of the zoo. That’s our spot at the zoo now.” After the proposal, they met friends and family at Duke’s Counter across the street, which Ryan had rented out for the occasion.
THE WEDDING: The couple married at Great Oak Manor, a waterfront property in Chestertown, Maryland. They had 210 guests.
THE CEREMONY: It was nearly 100 degrees on June 30, 2018, and the heat didn’t let up for their 5:30 p.m. ceremony at Great Oak Manor in Chestertown, Maryland. “As we were getting ready I looked outside. No one was sitting in the chairs. They were all standing under the shade of a big tree,” Ryan says. Jake Joseph, a Christian minister and a childhood friend of Ryan’s, married them. Ryan built their wedding arbor, which took him a couple weeks. “I had to make sure it was secure and didn’t blow over during the ceremony. That would have been really embarrassing.”