Mikayla and Brice

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how we met

Brice and I met four years ago on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic. We both knew who the other person was, but this trip was the first time we had actually connected. Keep in mind, this trip was everything but glamorous. We were in a village helping build La Trines (similar to a Honey Bucket-style bathroom) for the use of several different families who lived there. We also spent time hanging out with the kids in the village. We would play games like tag, duck-duck-goose, and try to communicate with them with the little Spanish we knew. Out of respect for the community, we wore clothes that were modest; we wore clothes that we didn’t mind getting dirty. We’re talking no make-up, and showering by buckets only once during the week. But, quite frankly, we didn’t seem to care about our external surroundings, or the way we looked. Our hearts were being transformed by the community we were privileged to care for. It was his character I was attracted to the most.

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I remember watching Brice interact with the people there and thinking to myself, “this is absolutely the type of man I want to be with.” He was (and still is) selfless, so caring, outgoing, intentional, hilarious, and the guy that everybody was drawn towards. Not to mention, I found him to be very attractive! We definitely had our eyes on each other. However, after the trip, we decided to go our separate ways and not pursue a relationship with one another. We would still see each other around, but we were only friends. During that time, we both were seeing other people.

Two years after the trip to the Dominican Republic, I left our hometown to go to a Bible School for six months. Well, after those six months were up, I received a text from Brice asking if I was home and if we could hang out. I was nervous and turned him down several times, but then finally gave in! We went on our first date to a small cafe and got breakfast together. Our first date was just about two years ago. Our relationship has been full joy and lots of grace. I’m so thankful to be with a man of such profound character.

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how they asked

Brice is definitely one of the most creative and thoughtful humans I’ve ever met. He desires to make me feel cared for, special, and loved. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been into photography and I happened to meet Rachel Wise (@racheljanephoto) through a mutual friend a while back. Her and I clicked instantly, and it was like we had been friends for years. I honestly think that Rachel is THE BEST photographer out there! She is so talented, extremely creative, and her editing style is my favorite. Rachel and I live in different states, but have managed to communicate here and there. I would reach out to her and ask her for help and advice in the context of photography. She has been so helpful during the process of me learning to pursue photography. Back in February, Rachel had texted me and asked me to fly out to second-shoot a wedding with her. Of course I said yes! (I was really nervous though and pretty intimidated to be working with her, but still excited and honored that she would ask me). She had sent me an email with my flight information and I was going to be flying out on April 2nd.

I mentioned to Brice that I was going to be shooting with her and he was so excited for me, but at the same time, I had a pretty big hope/feeling that instead of me shooting a wedding, he would actually be proposing. He played it cool, but being a girl, I was suspicious. I landed in California and spent the whole day with Rachel. We went to some shopping malls, and different cafes; she was showing me around! We decided that we were going to meet up with her friend Justin (@thejustinjay) later that night at Laguna Beach. Justin is also an insanely talented photographer who I have been following on Instagram for a while, and I was excited to get to meet him and shoot with him. When she told me that we were going to be hanging out with Justin, my hopes went up a little higher and I was counting on Brice being there, but I kept that to myself just in case Brice wasn’t going to be there. We got to Laguna, met Justin, and snapped a few pics on our way down to the cliffs. We got to one lookout point, and it was seriously gorgeous! Justin had Rachel stand at the end of the lookout for the sake of a picture, and Rachel had me come stand next to her. I turned to look out, and who was it standing on the other side of the railing?! Brice was there with a beautiful set-up. A blanket, candles, flowers, and a bottle of champagne were lined up perfectly.

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I screamed with excitement and walked down to meet him. He got down on one knee, told me many sweet things, and asked me to marry him. It was a dream! And since we had two of our favorite photographers right there with us, we did a small session. After the photos were done, we went to a candlelight dinner right on the beach. It was such a special and memorable day. I love that he had it photographed and on tape. I will always hold that day so close to my heart.

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Special Thanks

Justin Jay