Mandie and Danae
How We Met
This girl, that looked familiar but I had NO idea who she actually was, kept liking, interacting and commenting on my Instagram photos. I was just starting my online business so my mind instantly went to a potential lead. I recognized her because we both played college softball.. and I remember watching her play in the Women’s Softball College World Series year after year… So I slid into her DMs. I business pitched her, not well mind you. She quickly and politely declined but continued to ask me about myself, my interests, my passions, my job, and everything there was to know. At first, I thought she was being friendly until the conversation went from friendly to flirtatious after a few drinks on new years and the next thing you know I was booking my flight to Alabama to go meet this girl I met on Instagram. At the time I (Mandie Kaii) was living in California while Danae was living in Alabama. The first time we met, was like a dream. We didn’t skip a beat and instantly our phone, face time, Instagram relationship was more real and truer than I had ever experienced before.
Even though how we met was over Instagram, our first time meeting was like something out of a movie. Danae booked us a weekend stay at the quaint little place on the lake, mid-winter. Fog rolled over the water and covered the Airbnb like a cloud wrapped around it. It was like a Nicholas Sparks movie…Talk about a first date — and from this weekend on, I always knew it was going to be her.
How They Asked
On January 6th, 2020 Danae told me that she booked me a staycation at the Monarch Resort in Dana Point, California for my birthday and to celebrate an incredible 2019. When we got to the resort there was sparkling wine and macaroons waiting in our oceanfront suite. We had dinner oceanfront that night and went for a walk around the resort to chat and enjoy the relaxation and short getaway. The next morning January 7th – we had breakfast then took a long walk around the grounds.
I remember I kept commenting on how beautiful the resort would be for a wedding or an engagement not thinking that, that was going to happen for me – a matter of fact, I was sure it wasn’t going to. We had a beautiful day and around 3 pm Danae told me to start getting ready for dinner. She had this black, elegant, fitted romper on while I wore a red/orange romper… the kind of outfits that you just feel good in. Danae and I both run businesses off of Instagram so she told me she wanted to go down to take some photos and fly her drone to get some shots. We capture really great moments, especially at beautiful places all of the time so I didn’t think much of it.
When we were walking around the grounds earlier Danae mentioned taking drone footage at a specific location so we went to the center of the resort.. with little to no people around I was so excited we were going to capture an amazing view/ place without a crowd. Danae told me to go stand in the middle to the lookout that gives you a 360-degree view of the resort overlooking the ocean, it was breathtaking. I patiently waited as she got her drone up in the air.. she flew it around for a bit then put in in front of us to take some “still shots”… little did I know it was still videoing as we moved, posed and then she spun me. She spun me for a photo that we have done a couple of times… and when I looked back at her – tears filled her eyes, she was smiling so big you could barely see her eyes and she was down on one knee telling me that I am her forever.
When I initially saw her, I gasped, I didn’t believe or understand what was happening and tears rolled down my face. At that moment the whole world shut off and it was just me and Danae and the relationship we built. When we stood up she put the most beautiful ring on my finger and whispered in my ear that there was a photographer.. and my parents were here to witness and celebrate the best moment of our lives.
Tears rolled down my face while I laughed, smiled and fell into Danae’s arms. I could relive the moment over and over again. We stood there for a moment taking it in and ended the evening with a toast and a reservation at one of the best restaurants in all of Orange County that was at the Resort. More toasts, food, my parents welcomed Danae into our family and again it was like a Nicholas Sparks movie. I couldn’t have imagined a more special and more romantic way to be asked to marry the love of my life.. and to be able to capture all of these moments was the cherry on top.