Amanda and Hayden

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How We Met

Hayden and I met at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ College retreat this past January. I was catching up with an old friend when Hayden interrupted our conversation to introduce himself.  At first, I thought it was rude of him to do that, but he made up for it with his charm and good looks ;).  We shared a little bit about our lives with each other and he invited me to have dinner with him that night.  I made sure to wait for him at dinner only to be joined by some of his friends which led to him completely ignoring me the whole time.  After that, I was pretty over it and no longer interested.  About a week went by after the retreat and Hayden somehow got my number and texted me.

He apologized for not asking for my number that weekend and for ignoring me during dinner because he was “too nervous to talk to me”.  He called me that night and before we hung up he asked if he could keep calling me every night.  We talked for hours every night, getting to know each other and sharing our dreams and passions with each other.  We were finally able to meet halfway between our cities where we were living to have dinner.  Our first date was something out of a movie.  He opened up my car door, pulled out my chair at the restaurant, we talked for hours, conversation was easy, and both of us were on the same page about everything.

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At the end of the night, he asked if he could continue to ask me on dates and call me because I was someone he thought was worth pursuing.  It’s been 8 months since that night and it’s only gotten better and better.  He’s continued to open my car door every time we get in the car, he never lets me pay for anything, and treats me like I’ve always dreamed a man would treat me.  I asked him what made him want to get to know me at the retreat back in January and he responded, “It was the moment I saw you at the retreat with no make up on, your hair was in a messy french braid, you were wearing athletic clothes and I had never been more impressed by someone who wasn’t trying to impress anyone.  When I saw you, it was like the scales from my eyes had been removed and I had found what I had been looking for my whole life.”

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How He Asked

Thankfully, Hayden and I both live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana now and we love going to LSU football games together.  My mom, sister, and step-dad came into town for my mom’s birthday and we all decided to go to the game together.  After the game, I was exhausted and ready for bed, but my friends convinced me to get dressed up and go to the casino with them ( which I thought was strange because we never go to the casino, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time).

Right before we were about to leave my house, there was a knock on the door.  It was Hayden’s best friend with a note for me.

I opened the note and it said, “When you’re ready, follow the music… – H“.

Then, our friend walked me into the back yard where “From the Ground Up” by Dan+Shay was playing. I walked to our back fence, rolled it open and that’s where I saw the most beautiful scene I could’ve ever dreamed of set up in my room mate’s parents’ backyard.  He had an isle of lanterns lit up for me to walk down with him waiting at the end.

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I could feel my heart beating out of my chest as I walked towards him, my hands starting shaking uncontrollably, and I could feel tears starting to well up in my eyes.

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This was it. The man I had prayed for, dreamed of, thought didn’t exist anymore was about to ask me the best question in the entire world.

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As I got to him, he gave what felt like an hour speech and then dropped to one knee, opened up that little black ring box that held the most stunning ring that he designed himself and said those magic four words.

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I said, “YES!” and as I turned back around our families came busting out of the pool house (where they had watched the whole thing) to congratulate us.

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Right when I thought it was over, Hayden pointed to a small camera on the ground and told me that he was sorry my other friends couldn’t make it, but he wanted them to be apart of it so he live-streamed it so everyone could watch it live and be apart of this special night.  He is an answered prayer, a dream come true, and I cannot WAIT to be his wife!!!

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Special Thanks

Evan Gutierrez
Photographer