“It’s been such a fun time,” Hanratty — who stars on the cover of The Knot magazine’s winter celebration issue — tells PEOPLE. “It’s been a crazy journey, and I’m thankful The Knot has been there to help support me.”
Hanratty and her fiancé, Christian DeAnda, are set to marry at the Terra Mia Vineyards in Paso Robles, California. The theme of the wedding is a “dark, enchanted fairytale.”
Before she even knew she was going to be on the cover of The Knot, Hanratty was already using the brand’s vendor marketplace to help bring her wedding vision to life.
“That’s where I found my wedding coordinator. It’s so easy to go to [The Knot] for everything. It has been such a delight,” she says. “Easy isn’t a word I thought I would use for planning a wedding, and that’s why I just appreciate and love The Knot so much.”
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In addition to the wedding platform, Hanratty says her mom has been a huge help in the planning process. The duo has been working together to hand-make custom gifts for the guests.
“Everybody is just chipping in and helping out in every way that they can,” she says. “All you can really hope for when it comes to planning a celebration of love is that you’re surrounded by the people who love and care for you.”
She adds: “And so it’s been really magical, honestly, and somehow the Knot has made it stress-free, and I am very grateful to them for that.”
Hanratty has also enjoyed discovering small businesses and creators in the Paso Robles area as she pulls together all of the details of the event. “It’s been so cool to learn about the local vendors in my area,” she notes.
Looking ahead to her wedding day, Hanratty says she can’t wait to walk down the aisle and see DeAnda standing there waiting for her.
“I’m excited to be surrounded by love and walking towards the love of my life to make a promise and vow in front of all of our friends and family and God — to just love and support each other no matter what,” she says.
The couple met in 2020 after Hanratty moved home to be with family in California amid the global pandemic. “Craving human connection,” the actress told The Knot she decided to take the plunge and try out some dating apps. She came across DeAnda on Bumble — and they both swiped right!
They went for a hike on their first date, and Hanratty was immediately struck by how comfortable she felt around him. “The conversation was easy. We laughed a lot,” she explained.
DeAnda felt the same. “I love how open she is with me — we talk about anything on the face of the earth,” he told the magazine. “That makes me feel comfortable and lets me know that there is no off-limits topic between us. We also have a lot of similar interests.”
“I’m a huge nerd, and she’s fallen into that world with me,” he jokingly added.
Within just a month, Hanratty knew DeAnda was the one.
“I knew I loved him and that he probably wasn’t ready. I also knew I needed to tell him, because I don’t like feeling something without expressing it,” she recalled. “So I said, ‘I love you,’ and told him not to say a word. He looks at me and goes, ‘You’re so special.’ I wanted to die.”
You can view Samantha Hanratty’s full cover feature in The Knot Magazine Winter 2023 Issue, available on newsstands nationwide as of October 24.