Photo Stories: Tyler & Rayna's Surprise Proposal

I'm all about telling stories, especially if those stories involve LOVE!

Last week, I was asked if I could help plan a proposal/engagement shoot in short notice and boy was so on board! Not only would I be there to see one of my friends get engaged, but I would be the one would capture their special moment.. which is a major deal. So Tyler (the one who would soon propose) and I thought of many different ideas and settled with throwing a "fake" photoshoot of his girlfriend and my friend, Rayna. Now let me tell you, I absolutely love giving makeovers so this was one exciting thing for me. I somehow convinced her to let me do a photoshoot of her and well, let's just let her tell the rest of the story.

Rayna's Story

Last Wednesday, my sweet friend asked if I would be her model and be willing to help her build her photographer profile. Timid at first, humbled by my awkwardness, I was reluctant, but with some sweet encouragement and the exciting opportunity to be a "model" for an afternoon I complied. I quickly shared the news with my now fiancé and his candid inquisitiveness showed no signs of his prior knowledge of the event. Fast forward to that Sunday, I was having a fantastic day. Tyler had suspiciously told me he loved me upwards of 200 times that afternoon, but I thought little of it, convinced that perhaps he was abuzz in the excitement of our recent conversation in which I told him I wouldn't mind getting married in December.  I was also under the impression that Tyler hadn't formally acquired permission from my dad to ask my hand in marriage, nor had he purchased the ring. Little did I know, he had indeed asked my dad a little over a month ago, and he purchased the ring in July!

It was a beautiful Sunday evening. My photographer friend made me feel so special as she adorned me in the beauty of shimmering hues on my skin and dainty curls in my hair. I had even picked out a new dress for the occasion the day before, (which Tyler sneakily encouraged).  My heart was so full with the passion of friendship. What I thought to be a photoshoot turned out to be so much more. Rebecca had me take a few pictures, her keen eye catching details of colors and shadows and all the things photographers do. She guided me through the picture taking process with gentle words as I knelt next to flowers and calm waters as Tyler looked on as a make-shift assistant to Rebecca for the evening, or so I thought.

At last, the time had arrived. The centerpiece of the evening was about to occur.

Rebecca placed me strategically at the edge of the beautiful gazebo overlooking the water and the pond. I remember exactly how I felt in that moment.

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My heart was calm and I was picturing the future I have at Cameron as I gazed across the still waters of the pond. My back was turned when I heard Tyler's voice behind me say my name. Ignoring him, as I was hesitant to ruin Rebecca's pictures with my awkward nature, I didn't turn around. Again, he called my name, a little stronger this time. And with that I turned around to see my sweet love on his knee, ring box in hand. He opened it with a smile and perhaps a tear in his eye and asked so sweetly if I would marry him. 

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Of course, I said, “Yes!" My heart was bursting! As Tyler placed the sparkling ring on my finger and we embraced, I felt the peace in knowing we were taking the next step in what God has laid out for us, and the joy and overwhelming sense of love that I have for my fiancé.

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I could only think of how beautiful the moment became, how quickly something I had imagined in my head for so long became reality. I began praying. As I held Tyler’s face in my hands I prayed for our future, I prayed for our families, and I prayed that our commitment to prioritize Christ would be above all else and even in one of the happiest times in our lives our love for Christ would eclipse our love for each other. 

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And that was that. Rebecca then began our engagement photoshoot and we posed in the light of the evening and the love of our new commitment.