Mariah and Nick

How We Met

I was a YoungLife leader in college and Nick walked in with one of my Younglife kids because they had just been paired in an organization called Best Buddies. It was Halloween club and I was dressed up as Minnie Mouse and he was a new face. I walked up and introduced myself and told him we were so happy to have him. He started coming more and more and helped us take the kids to camp that January. At camp, you truly see the raw good in someone and that someone for me was Nick. When we got home, Nick asked for my number and said he wanted to get more involved in Younglife. He invited me over for dinner before Younglife a few days later which you think would seem obvious but I was sure we were just friends! A couple weeks later he came to my roommate’s birthday and couldn’t hold back by the end of it to say he was very interested, that he would wait and I was worth waiting for, so whenever I would be ready to go on a date to let him know. WHAT?? That confidence!! I had never met a guy like that and whatever he was doing was working:) I was extremely attracted to his confidence, his love for Jesus, his passion for the same ministry I love, and that he knew what he wanted and was going for it. We went on a date the next weekend and the rest is history!

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How He Asked

How he asked: We were going to a wedding the day before Father’s Day so I traveled down to Naples to go with him and his family. The day of the wedding, Nick’s dad walked in the kitchen and said to his whole family that he had a few requests for Fathers Day: we go to sunrise, then go to church, then have steak for dinner that night. Living in Naples, they went to sunrise and sunset on a regular basis so this was completely normal. We went to the wedding the night before and Nick was rushing to go to bed when we got home. At 2:00 am, Nick and his sisters woke up and headed to the beach to set up the most beautiful stage on a dock that washed up onto shore a week prior. They raked seaweed to make an aisle that was filled with beautiful purple flowers (my favorite!) and finished it off with some twinkle lights, and a plank of wood from the dock that had “Will you marry me?” painted in white.

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They snuck back in the house in time to shower before his sisters came into my room to wake me up to get their clothes to start getting ready because we had to get dressed for church. I told them they should stay and we could get ready together! I had only packed a few dresses for the weekend and was down to two to choose from. I saw one of his sisters put on a blue and white dress and said well maybe I should wear my blue and white one, then his other sister shouted we should all wear blue and went to tell the others! We got ready and were walking out the door when Nick reminded me we had to go to our friend’s wedding brunch after church so we should drive separate. We all got in our cars and we’re heading to Wiggins State Park. When we pulled up to the gate to unlock it, his mom texted me that they had stopped to get gas and would be right there.

Now, you’re probably thinking that has to sound suspicious but I was starving and was hoping they could pick us up some food so the gas station sounded awesome! It was getting close to sunrise and they still weren’t there so I told Nick we could just meet them down there so we didn’t miss it. We walked down the boardwalk and started to take our shoes off when we reached the beach and I looked up and saw this girl kneeling behind the tall grass with a camera. I said, “It looks like that girl is taking pictures of us..” and then turned big eyed to Nick and he just smiled. He grabbed my hand and took out a piece of paper that had everything he wanted to say written down. We started walking to turn the corner towards the pass and there was the aisle of seaweed and flowers that led to the most beautiful sight in front of the sunrise. We got to the end and stood up on the dock and he got on his knee to ask the four words a girl dreams of hearing and I said HECK YES!

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I’m beyond excited to spend the rest of my life with my best friend! The fun didn’t end there! On our way home I called my dad to tell him and he sounded like he was just waking up and I was a little surprised because I thought he couldn’t stand not being in town (we’re from Orlando) when it happened AND it was Father’s Day! We went back home where I had a feeling my dad and his family could be waiting but we walked in and everyone was asleep! I shrugged it off and was like, “you hungry?” and we want to Panera. When we got back his mom and dad were waking up and welcomed us when we walked in. We left a little bit later to go to the wedding brunch and I made a few comments about how I couldn’t believe my dad wasn’t in town to celebrate and Nick said he was sorry and they tried really hard but it just didn’t work out with him leaving for a business trip early the next morning. We got home from the brunch and it was a typical Florida summer downpour…we threw towels over our head and sprinted for the front door. It was locked and we just kept knocking until it opened and there was MY DAD!

I was so surprised and was so happy they had made it happen for him to be there! It made the day even better. That night Nick’s best friend came over and we ordered pizza as a family (we had the steak for lunch). When there was a knock at the door about 30 minutes later Nick walked to open it for the pizza guy but ran back halfway to grab money and asked me to get the door. I went and opened the door to four of my best friends holding the pizza….WHAT!!! Basically I have the most amazing fiancé, family, future family, and friends in the whole world who went above and beyond to make that day the best day ever! I can not wait to marry the man of my dreams!!!

Special Thanks

Ana Massard
Photographer