"Beautiful. Crushingly so. You look like the rest of my life." - Beau Taplin
Words by Megan
I’m from St. Joseph, MI, and Duda is from São Paulo, Brazil. But somehow fate brought us together while we were both working in Tampa, FL. I’ve always remembered my first day and meeting her—she stood out to me, but for reasons I couldn’t pinpoint at that moment. I quickly found my friends at work, who soon became my best friends, one of them being Duda.
Our friendship continued to grow, both in and out of work, and we both knew there was something special between us. We talked 24/7, literally. I had never dated a woman, but I knew I couldn’t ignore what was happening between us because it was something I had never felt before.
I feared coming out, being rejected and not accepted, or even losing people in my life that I loved. We kept our relationship a secret from a lot of our friends and family for a while until we both soon realized that… THIS WAS IT. And we couldn’t keep it a secret any longer.
We slowly began to tell those closest to us, and the love and support we received from so many was overwhelming! It made us question why it took us so long to open up. I still hadn’t officially “come out” to all of my family, so I was working through a lot in my head and heart. But to me, all that mattered was that we were together, our love and bond was so strong, and that I was the happiest I had ever been.
I never thought I could be so openly myself with someone until Duda.
Fast forward 4+ years later, Duda and I planned a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in July because we hadn’t done a tropical vacation together yet.
Duda is an art director and photographer, so it was not uncommon that she wanted to bring her camera along and would make me be her model for pictures. We walked, talked, and enjoyed the views. We took pictures by the water, and then she said she wanted to get a picture of me standing against the huge rocks for perspective. I turned my back to her, looked up at the rocks, and heard her camera click. As I turned around to look back over my shoulder, there she was down on one knee – just her and I on the beach in Cabo.
It felt like our worlds stopped, and I barely remember what she said because I blacked out and started crying. It was such a special and beautiful moment for us.
We’ve been planning our wedding ever since getting engaged and having the most fun figuring out all the details together. We recently shot our engagement photos at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, where my two younger sisters live. We are getting married in February 2021 in Florida, and we can’t wait to celebrate our love with those closest to us.
Looking back at the past four years together and reflecting on everything we’ve been through, I’m certain we weren’t just destined to find each other. We were destined to pick each other up when life threw some pretty hard curveballs. We were destined to love each other’s flaws until we both were okay with our own. And lastly, we were destined to break all the love rules we thought we knew.
Photography by Kirnos Photography