When it comes to making an impact in an engagement photo, Adam Sunderhaus and Ashley Vennetti are a jump above the rest.
The two, who met in the University of Kentucky cheerleading program, sent out news of their engagement via a photograph of them posing on a beach in Turks and Caicos — with Sunderhaus holding up Vennetti with a single hand as she flashes her engagement ring.
T. Lynn Williamson, the longtime advisor for UK cheerleading, was among those who received the photo from Sunderhaus, saying he would not have met Vennetti without the cheerleading program.
The photo was posted on UK’s cheerleading Facebook page, where it generated thousands of likes. The couple repeated the move for a segment on Inside Edition.
Sunderhaus, 24, originally from Northern Kentucky, cheered for UK from 2011 to ’14. Vennetti, 23, from the Chicago area, cheered for UK from 2011 to ’15.
“I didn’t think it was going to go viral,” said Jomo Thompson, UK’s head cheerleading coach. “Both Ashley and Adam are two wonderful people. Ashley has a heart of gold … and Adam is a hardworking guy, very likeable as well. Kentucky cheerleading is about more than just cheer.”
The couple began dating in 2013 and will probably marry in late summer 2017, Sunderhaus said by telephone.
The move, called a “cupie” in the cheerleading community, “is kind of our cool signature way to take a picture,” Sunderhaus said.
The two have done the same pose in front of Wrigley Field, at Disney World and in Mexico.
While it’s unusual for UK cheerleaders to marry each other, Williamson said that the Sunderhaus-Vennetti marriage is not the first. A pair of 1980s-era cheerleaders also married, and there was a twist with that one, Williamson said: The wife’s parents met as UK cheerleaders before they were married.