Candice and Benjamin

How We Met

Millennial Meeting: Our love story began with a fire emoji in May 2018. Yes! Here it is; the quintessential millennial fairytale! Two attorneys, two states, one journey with a forever ending.

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Ben followed me on Instagram when he stumbled across my profile and noticed, like him, I practiced trademark law, #trademark. I followed him back because I thought he was a “pretty cute fellow attorney”. We credit the beginning of our forever love to a fire emoji Benjamin sent to my “DMs” -direct messages- on Instagram.

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We are evidently pretty traditional in our views on love, life, and relationships. I am, a 30-year-old lawyer with my own family law practice in New Orleans, Louisiana. I handle divorce cases all day long. I never thought I would meet my soon-to-be husband through social media! Benjamin C. Haynes, a successful 33-year-old foreclosure defense and intellectual property lawyer based out of Florida, also scoffed at the idea of meeting his significant other online.

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We communicated sporadically via Instagram and text messages for several months before meeting. While I was in Salt Lake City, Utah on a bachelorette party, Benjamin asked me if I was available the following weekend to travel to Florida. He insisted on flying me to Orlando the next weekend because he felt that we need to meet.

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Although flattered and beaming with joy inside, I questioned flying to meet a man in another state alone for the first time with no emergency exit button available. It is 2019, and there is definitely such thing as sex trafficking, kidnapping, and other horrible violent crimes against women. So naturally, the room full of intelligent women on the bachelorette party crept on Benjamin’s social media before giving their opinion on whether I should take a chance and go meet him. After doing my research and further due diligence, I followed my gut and agreed to meet Benjamin for the first time in Orlando, Florida the first weekend of August 2018.

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How They Asked

I don’t like surprises so after I answered “the question”, I kept telling him how much trouble he was in out of bashfulness. I have to give my fiancé so much credit for this fairytale engagement. He planned the most special day to begin our “Forever Love Story”.

Candice M. and Benjamin C.'s Engagement in Ponce Inlet

Usually I’m excited to jet off to Florida to visit my sweet boyfriend, however, this particular afternoon was different. I was stressed from work, had a long day in court (I’m a family law attorney), and my SPIRIT Airline flight from New Orleans to Orlando was delayed over 5 hours.

Ben planned breakfast on the beach with friends the following morning. We woke up at 5:00 a.m. to make it to our 7:30 a.m. reservation. I am totally a morning person, but on February 22, 2019, I was definitely cranky and fussy. To top it off I couldn’t get my eyeliner one straight so I hollered from the bathroom; “Why are we even doing this, so early?”. It was more of a rhetorical question and Ben, who is also an attorney, must have caught on because he didn’t respond. I confess I was being a little brat with about 4 hours of sleep, no food, and stress from running my own law firm. Ben, being the sweet man he is, took it like a champ keeping a positive attitude the whole time.

We arrived at Ponce Inlet around 7:00 a.m. and started our short stroll to the breakfast spot on the beach. We were talking about how beautiful the ocean, sunset, and surrounding were when I looked into his eyes and noticed tears. As we walked barefoot in the sand, hand in hand, I put my other hand on his chest as my mind raced. I asked what was wrong, asked if his mom was ok if there was sand in his contact, etc.

He proceeded to tell me that there was another reason we were there. He talked about how beautiful our relationship was and how much he loved me. He spun me around parallel with the ocean and sunset, reached down into the Jansport backpack, and pulled out a box. My hand immediately covered my mouth to prevent me from just standing there with my mouth gaping open. He promised to take care of me, be my life partner, lead us through a God-centered life, and love me unconditionally.

He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I immediately said, “Of course”, and gave him a kiss! He slipped the most beautiful princess cut engagement ring on my boney unpolished finger (also not in my character)! We embraced in such a special way I never wanted to let go. I can remember closing my eyes, the smell of the beach, and his big arms hugging my little body.

When I opened my eyes there was a photographer and videographer surrounding us. We toasted with champagne on the beach followed by a mini photoshoot at sunrise. I am so happy it was all caught on film so I can relive the moment over and over. We are also thankful Ben’s mom got to see this moment before she suddenly passed away 5 days later.

Now every sunrise reminds me of this beautiful moment. I’m thankful God gave me Ben and sunrises every day. I cannot wait to spend forever with the man of my dreams. I love you, Benjamin Christopher Haynes. Thank you for making this moment in life so memorable and special for us. Thank you for making me feel like a princess. I’m so excited to be your wifey.

Our Video

Special Thanks

Albert Harris
 | Photographer
A. Harris Photography
 | Videographer