Kailyn and Justin

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How We Met

We met in college through mutual friends (who are now married!) – my best friend from high school and one of his childhood best friends. We grew to be really close friends my freshman and sophomore year of college, then drifted apart for a few years as we were busy with work and school and lived hours apart. Years later, he messaged me and asked how I had been and wanted to catch up. I had picked up golfing since the pandemic started (his favorite sport) and he had offered to give me some pointers at the driving range. He showed up to the range, two large iced coffees in hand, and was grinning ear-to-ear, it was so sweet! Swinging clubs soon turned into sharing steak fries and old memories at a nearby restaurant for hours. I think we ended up being served by two or three different waitresses we were there so long!

How They Asked

I had a photographer friend ask if I could help her shoot a surprise engagement with her – she had told me the soon-to-be fiance inquired with her and wanted to propose at Cape Kiwanda/McPhillips beach on the Oregon coats – how romantic, I thought! Justin and I celebrate every 4th of July and like to visit that beach when we need an escape from the valley, so of course, I said yes to helping with this couple’s engagement! I had already booked an engagement shoot with my own clients that morning so the timing worked perfectly.

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As soon as I wrapped up that morning’s engagement shoot, I met up with my friend and we started our journey out of the valley and towards the coast. I distinctly remember telling her it was the most beautiful drive I’d been on – the sun was shining on what little bit of mist was left which made the air around us almost sparkle. The salty air was so fresh and the sky was opening up into a blanket of baby blue – a rare occasion during the fall in Oregon. We arrived at the beach, strapped our camera gear to our bodies, and trekked down what we call the “secret path” to McPhillips beach.

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The sun was shining and although it was windy, it was quite warm. The tide was pulling back making the sand look buttery smooth. I adjusted my camera settings while my friend looked for our “client” on the other side of a small cliff. She came back from behind the cliff and summoned me over – I remember getting super excited and jittery at this moment, more than I normally do when taking other people’s proposal photos. As soon as I made my way around the cliff, camera in hand, I locked eyes with my now fiance and started crying. There he stood, tall and strong in a circle of candles, and held a bouquet of red roses.

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A display of photos of us, a bottle of bubbly, and a letterboard with the words “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” beside him – I still couldn’t believe this was happening it was all so beautiful! He held my hands and told me the sweetest words through tears and laughs, then got down on one knee and asked THE question with my dream ring. I of course said yes! It wasn’t until after this that I realized my bestfriend was hiding behind us catching everything on video and her husband, who is my fiances bestfriend, was also there to catch the whole thing! We celebrated our engagement with my friend taking a few of our photos while we soaked up the proposal bliss. We then drive back to the valley to have dinner and pop more champagne with friends and family over dinner at a fancy restaurant… it was a great ending to the most perfect day! (and yes, he went to Jared’s 😉)

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Special Thanks

Haley Swinth
 | Photographer
Bethany Hedgecock
 | Planning
A.J. Hedgecock
 | Planning