Samantha Hanratty Is In Her Feelings–Her Wedding Feelings, That Is

The Yellowjackets actress is ready to marry the love of her life.
Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
Esther Lee
Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
Esther Lee
Deputy Editor
  • Esther is the Deputy Editor of The Knot. She currently leads all content on The Knot Wellness, focusing on financial, relationship, and mental wellbeing.
  • She oversees The Knot's travel vertical (honeymoons, destination weddings, bach parties), as well as overarching features and trends.
  • She proudly serves on the Advisory Council of VOW For Girls, focusing on ending the injustice of child marriage around the world.
Updated Oct 23, 2023

Fifteen minutes into the conversation, Samantha Hanratty begins to tear up. It isn't because of something I said, but a few words from the Yellowjackets star's fiancé, Christian DeAnda. DeAnda has joined Hanratty's interview, and one of my questions takes both by surprise: What do you love most about Hanratty?

"One of my favorite traits is how much she wants to help others and be that person they can rely on. She wants to make everyone around her feel special," he says. "I love how open she is with me—we talk about anything on the face of the earth. 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." This love story began during lockdown in 2020. Filming had temporarily halted. Hanratty had just moved home to be with family in California and decided to test dating apps. "I was craving human connection," she says. "I saw Christian's profile on Bumble—he's such a cutie patootie—so of course I swiped. He had already swiped right."

As an asthmatic, Hanratty was concerned about the logistics of dating during the COVID-19 pandemic. "We finally pinned down a socially distanced hike," she recalls of their first date. "It was really easy. I wanted to spend more time with him. The conversation was easy. We laughed a lot. I was dying because I'm not good at hiking and needed water. He offered me his and I drank it, not thinking about the pandemic. Then I said, 'We're stuck together now.'"

Less than a month later, Hanratty knew DeAnda, then a college student and now working in film production, was her person. Hanratty's poised demeanor shifts into what you might call "golden retriever energy" when DeAnda joins our call. "Baby, you're muted," she says. "I was saying that I knew pretty quickly that you were 'the one' for me...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. 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."


As cringeworthy as that conversation seemed in that moment for Hanratty, DeAnda meant his words. "I like to take my time," he says. "I wanted to say it at the right moment, and for her, she doesn't hold back. She can't hold it in and wants to tell me and the world. That's one of the things I love about her."

Hanratty also had a hunch about DeAnda's proposal, so much so that she asked him—that day—if he was planning to pop the question. He had to divert her suspicions. "She goes, 'I feel like you're gonna propose to me today.' I was like, 'Baby. I wish that were the case. Whenever you say things like this, I feel pressured. I wish I could do that today.'" Since he was attending school at the time, DeAnda told a white lie and said he was driving to campus. "Meanwhile, I'm driving to the proposal location," he says. Hanratty, who giggles as she hears it from his perspective, looks wistfully at her future husband. I can confirm that she isn't one to hold back her feelings.

For Hanratty, the road to DeAnda, wedding planning and embracing love has taken a roundabout and sometimes thorny path. A former Disney Channel actress, she talks about her battle with alcoholism as a member of young Hollywood. In 2018, she decided to go sober. "It became clear I wouldn't be here or make it to 26 or 27," she says. (The "27 Club" is known within the entertainment industry as a tragic group of young talent who've lost their lives to addiction, like Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain.) That awakening meant Hanratty has been intentional about sobriety, including on her wedding day. She's asked DeAnda to hold off on drinking with his friends (a common tradition among groomsmen) before their ceremony. "I don't want the first kiss to taste like alcohol," she says.

The decision to pursue sobriety and reconcile her relationships all came down to Hanratty prioritizing her mental well-being. Therapy has taught her how to be open and have an honest dialogue, skills she will bring to her marriage. For that reason, Hanratty and DeAnda are doing premarital counseling, which has been enlightening for both as they discuss lifestyles, monetary habits and other intimate conversations they will continue in marriage.

We discuss their upcoming wedding at length. They are holding it at Terra Mia Vineyards in Paso Robles, California. All four of Hanratty's sisters (each of whom got married at age 28, like Hanratty will) are bridesmaids. With 150 to 170 people attending their wedding, the couple presented one caveat in their save-the-dates. "I wanted to make it very clear that if you don't believe in love for all, and you don't celebrate love for all, we'd rather you send your best wishes," Hanratty says. "I'm bisexual and really wanted the people there to be ones who would have supported me no matter who I ended up with. A lot of my friends happen to be queer, and I didn't want a situation where anybody feels any way other than loved and respected. And so I've had quite a few declines."

The last time Hanratty tears up is when we discuss what she most looks forward to on her wedding day. "I'm going to cry," she says. "More than anything, I look forward to when I walk down the aisle—and I look at him, in his suit—to this song that recites what it means to walk towards love."


Photography by Lauren Dukoff, Styling by Rebecca Dennett, Hair by Andre Gunn, Makeup by Adam Breuchaud, Tailoring by Susie Kourinian – @hasmik_scdinc, Set Design by Gabriela Cobar – @gabriela_cobar, Creative Direction by Nathalie Kirsheh – @nathaliekirsheh, Produced by Lauren Kill – @laurenkill, Cover Story by Esther Lee - @theestherlee

More exclusive imagery of Samantha, features, planning advice and interactive exercises are now in the Winter 2023 Celebration Issue of The Knot Magazine. Buy a copy or subscribe here (one for you and one for your engaged bestie).

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