Nikki & Riley


Nikki's Childhood

Nikki Sue Swan grew up in Hampstead, NC and enjoyed going to the beach, attending concerts, and seeing the latest movies. She loved art, nature, and all of the family's pets.

Riley's Childhood

Jordan Riley Benson grew up in Ellerbe, NC and enjoyed camping with his family and scout troop as well as playing video games with his brother. Riley loved solving puzzles, tinkering with new technology, and building things.

Met in College

Nikki and Riley both left their small hometowns to attend North Carolina State University where they eventually met. Nikki studied biology and botany. Riley studied computer science and design. They got to know each other better through friend gatherings, shared meals, and parties.

First Date

Their first date was dinner at the Irregardless Cafe in downtown Raleigh. The hostess must have sensed it was a first date as she seated them directly in front of the stage for the live music performance that evening. Both were too nervous to remember to take a picture, but luckily the restaurant was taking photos of patrons for their site to promote their music night. And so, there is a picture of the couple on their first date.

And a photo from a return 7 years later.

Decade of Dates

Nikki and Riley went on to have 12 more years worth of dates, from nice restaurants to nights at home with pizza and games. But their favorite shared experience has been traveling together to explore new cultures and see exotic natural landscapes. Some of the many highlights include canoeing alongside Elk in Canada, hiking to secluded waterfalls in Hawaii, camping out in the Moroccan desert, and eating their way from the northern to southern end of Italy. Visiting overseas friends has has also given them a chance to attend Oktoberfest in Germany, tour the canals of Amsterdam, and relax in the ancient temples of Japan.

Staying Close to Family

Nikki and Riley are similar in how close they try to remain to their families. They both frequently returned home during college and have tried to continue to do so over the years.

First Home

In 2017, after many years of searching and occasionally being rejected, Nikki and Riley bought their house. Located along the greenway in Cary, NC near Bond Park the house now feels like home.

First Pet

A few years after settling into the house, in the middle of the pandemic, Nikki and Riley adopted Winston. He is an adorable and reliable companion that has been a major part of their lives ever since. The three of them enjoy walking on the trails nearly every day.


After various delays to Riley's initial proposal plans the moment finally arrived. On November 12th, 2020, on their 10 year anniversary, he proposed to Nikki on a rocky overlook at Paint Rock Farm. To honor the 10 year anniversary the couple had made plans to hike to a secluded location and share letters they had written to each other. As a surprise Riley ended his letter with a request for Nikki to be his wife. Their wedding will take place in the same location and date as the proposal.

First Child

Nikki and Riley are currently preparing to welcome a daughter to their love filled, adventure seeking family just in time for their wedding.