HONOLULU (KHON) – Cliff jumping into the ocean, a Tik Tok video, and a selfie.
This isn’t usually the recipe for a great love story, but that’s exactly what happened last weekend on the island of Hawaii when two couples and a photographer found some love. ‘gold.
Last year, Lexi and CJ Jorden-Ames decided to hire a photographer for a cliffside photoshoot to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. They even took the 30 foot jump into the ocean to get some very special shots.
“It was a really tough day,” said CJ. “It was probably 3-4ft sea and at this specific location I don’t know if you really want to come in. But we’re good swimmers and we’re adventurers.”
They struggled to get out after swimming for about 20 minutes. When CJ climbed onto the lava rocks, he lost his wedding ring.
“I reached the rock and literally felt like someone had pulled it off my finger,” he said.
The couple were devastated.
“They come out of the water and they hold each other like I don’t know how long,” their photographer Jamie Ronning said. “I was crying. I can’t stress how sad it was.
They searched for over a month, even using a metal detector to no avail. Combing social media didn’t work either until another couple took the same plunge.
“Just a normal day in the ocean and I decided to jump one of the cliffs over there,” Big Island resident Ryan Priest said. “When I came out of the ocean, I noticed that there was a ring in the lava rocks.”
Ryan and his wife Corinne – operators of photography Aloha Zoe – posted the ring on Facebook and Instagram. They even made a Tik Tok video to try and find the owner.
More than a year has passed without success, but the Big Island is a small community.
Last week, Ronning decided to download Tik Tok. Although she doesn’t like the app, Ronning found herself browsing videos on Ryan and Corrine’s photography page. She stumbled upon something that she recognized.
“I thought there was no way it could be the ring. Sure enough, I reached out, ”Ronning said.
After confirming that it was the same ringtone, Ronning called Lexi. She was so overwhelmed with emotion that she asked her boss to come home early. She hatched a plan to surprise her husband.
“We were already going to the beach after I got out of work,” Lexi said. “So I just like I left work earlier and I have a surprise for you. “
She orchestrated a meeting with Ryan and Corinne on the beach.
“We looked at a photo of them to find out what they looked like,” Ryan said. “When we saw them walking along the beach, I started to pull out my phone. I started taking selfies of Corinne and me. After taking a few selfies they were walking past, and I’m going to apologize, I’m really bad at taking selfies, do you mind taking a pic of us in this beautiful ocean?
Once CJ was done taking the photos, Ryan leaned over and told CJ he had dropped something. While grabbing a hand full of sand, Ryan revealed the lost ring. CJ, in disbelief, wrapped his arms around Ryan for a big hug.
“Honestly, everything went perfectly. Perfect Hawaiian Aloha, ”said Lexi.
CJ and Lexi say they bought more rings to replace their lost original, but none of them fit too. They believe it was meant to be, and a benchmark people can make of the oft-maligned social media platforms.
“It just shows that there is so much good with social media,” Corinne said.
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