Caylin and Armandt

How We Met

It all started when Armandt saw me at my best friends bachelorette party. He didn’t talk to me that night but he told his friend that he really liked “that girl”. Weeks later he saw on Facebook that one of my other friends posted a picture that I was in and he recognized me. He knew her because one of his colleagues was dating her at that time, so he asked her if he could have my number.

What’s crazy is that Armandt used to drive past me some mornings on my way to school. I remembered seeing his name that is branded on his car because he is a professional rugby player. I saw the name but didn’t give any notice because at that time I made a commitment to myself that I will not date before July that year. Reason for that was just because I got out of a relationship and I took a few months to allow myself to heal and I focused on myself.

So the amazing thing is that all of this was happening without me “noticing” anything, I believe God prepared both of us for the journey ahead!

He decided to send me a text and the date was exactly the 1st of July. Crazy I know !!! So he asked me to go for lunch and I agreed ongoing, obviously, I checked with my friend to see if he was a decent guy. The first date was amazing we couldn’t stop talking and laughing.

After our first date, I went straight home and told my family that I am going to marry this guy. I just knew it in my heart. Everything just felt right and I had so much peace and joy. The first date turned into 14 incredible days and after the 2 weeks, he asked me to be his girlfriend because he knew he wanted to be with me. I remember him telling me that he really liked me and he wants to give us a fair chance so I had to be honest and tell him if I wanted a relationship or not since he was moving to France in 3 months to play rugby. I said yes and that was the beginning of many happy moments together. First, we did long distance for a while. Armandt returned to South Africa for a few months because of a neck operation and after that, he moved back to France. I stayed in South Africa and finished my degree in Education, then moved to France to be with him because we didn’t want to be so far away from each other.

How They Asked

This was Armandt’s Instagram post that described our engagement so beautifully:

She said yes! Who would’ve thought God would make this day so perfect…

I had to go to Paris to see a neurologist after I had another concussion just when I thought I was back on the field. I didn’t understand when it happened that God had plans but now I do. Caylin always wanted to see Paris so I booked her a ticket. Me and one of our friends actually had plans to do the proposal on a mountain close to Bayonne and when I told her I’m taking Caylin to Paris she immediately said to cancel our plan and do it on the trip. I looked for a few spots on the internet and found a spot (the place I chose at the end was not this exact spot though but on the way to it). Now I had the girl, the ring and the place, just no idea what to do about the photos. Caylin always said she would like nice photos of the moment. I really wanted her to be totally surprised so I made her believe that I already made other plans and that she mustn’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen in Paris. I hid the ring in my sunglasses case so she doesn’t notice it. She even packed the ring without knowing.

The morning we arrived at the airport 50min before our flight and still had to check-in. I tried to check-in online the night before but everything was in French. Luckily the line was short but the guy in front of us had some sort of problem because he took all our time. When we got to the counter the guy told us sorry you missed your check-in time with 3min. We tried to argue but he told us that there is nothing he can do. Caylin started crying because I waited quite a while to get an appointment with the doctor and we had already booked a hotel and a bus tour for the day after the appointment. Luckily a lady saw her and felt sorry for her so she phoned the airline. The airline does overbooking so whoever checks in first gets the flight. Luckily just two people didn’t show up after they probably checked in online. So we thanked the woman and ran to our flight. Got a few looks when we got on we believe God had a big hand in that.

After the appointment, I told her I really want to see the tower from a spot that I saw on the internet and we headed there. On our way there we stopped to take a picture with the GoPro and very friendly women and her daughter offered to take a picture for us but we first refused the offer and said thanks but we’re ok with the GoPro. I don’t know why but after a while I felt like I need to ask them if we can take them up on their offer so they took a few pictures of us with my phone. We talked for a while and went our separate ways. I then noticed a perfect spot to do it with the fountains and the guy playing guitar in the background. I just wanted to check the other spot quickly to see if it’s maybe better so we rushed there but it didn’t come close. We headed back and I immediately looked for our friends we just made @karenschenk and @kaylin_schenk (yes her name is also Kaylin, one of the many connections we shared) because I knew they wouldn’t mind a few more photos. Luckily we didn’t lose them.

While we talked I secretly showed Karen the ring and luckily she kept her cool not spoiling the surprise. I took Caylin to the spot for “pictures” and when she turned around I went on my knee. Karen took the video on my GoPro and after everything, they told us that they are professional photographers. I thought to myself what are the chances. They offered to take some more pictures of us with their pro camera. God really came through here. I was worried about the photos and he put Karen and Kaylin there for us. The next day Karen told me that they made plans with a friend and they canceled and tried to book a variety of things but also didn’t work out. We now know why. The date also marks the exact day her son got engaged 3years ago who also struggled a lot with a concussion.

This day was also a very sad day in Caylin’s family. They lost someone very special. We only realized it the next morning. For us, God turned a sad day into a joyful one.
We returned later that night to that spot had a picnic and just took it all in. Best day ever thank you Jesus.

Special Thanks

Karen Schenk
 | Photographer
Kaylin Schenk
 | Photographer