We met Elizabeth and Si on a gorgeous day in Ocean Isle Beach for their coastal NC engagement session. Elizabeth asked how I felt about photographing her and Si in their favorite coffee shop at the beach. I knew right then we would be fast friends! Coffee is the way to my heart! Drift provided the perfect backdrop for the start of our session and the ocean and some inconspicuous twinkle lights were the perfect backdrop for the end! I mean, can you get any more romantic than dancing under the stars to the sound of the ocean? While we were photographing these two I noticed how much they encourage each other and how much they laugh together. To us, those are two of the most important things you can have in a relationship! We were so inspired by that!

Elizabeth and Si, we cannot wait to photograph your December wedding! It is going to be filled with love and magic! Thank you for one of our most memorable engagement sessions and for all of your kindness, warmth, encouragement to each other and to us! We feel so honored to help tell your story and be along side you for your wedding day! 

Ocean_Isle_NC_Beach_Coastal_Engagement_Session_Turqoise_White_Candlelit_0009.jpgCoastal Ocean Isle Beach Engagement Session by Amanda and Grady Photogrpahy Ocean_Isle_NC_Coastal_Beach_Engagement_Session_Turqoise_White_Candlelit_0013.jpg

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As Si’s father, I think I have a special license to brag about my son. We have three beautiful children, each special in their own ways, all different, yet still the same. As with the other two, I had high goals and expectations for Si. I wanted him to grow up strong and self-sufficient, able to take care of himself when he grew beyond my protective reach. I wanted him to be a seeker, and to never stop learning. I wanted him to lead and follow no one- to be his own man. I wanted him to be confident and steady, even in the worst of times. I wanted him to know right from wrong, and to stand up for what’s right at all costs. I wanted him to be morally strong, with impeccable character, and to know his character was never to be compromised, unable to be bought or sold for any price. I wanted him to know that quitting anything was never an option. I wanted him to be trustworthy and loyal to all that that earned it from him. With all of his strength in mind, body and spirit, I also wanted him to be kind and compassionate to all creatures great and small and to always extend a hand for those that needed one. And above all, I wanted him to believe in faith, hope and love and the boundless rewards that each of these things offer those that believe… especially love. All of these things I wanted for Si myself, just a few I asked of him; only a couple I demanded- those that once lost could never be recovered. Even with all of those hopes for Si, the highest of hopes- he exceeded them all, eclipsing everything that I dreamt, even in my wildest dreams…

When it came time for Si to seek the love of his life, knowing this would be the most important decision he would ever make, I couldn’t imagine who that could possibly be. Who would be his equal in the core areas that would determine the outcome of his life, of their lives? Were there parents still out there that could raise a young girl to become strong woman- strong enough to reel in a man of such enormous courage and conviction, with a moral compass to equal Si’s, that could capture his heart with one just as big as his, yet had the power to protect someone that needed no protection? Once again, my expectations were too high, not realistic… until he met Elizabeth. When it comes to my children, I’m fiercely protective…and sceptical, so I watched and waited. Though she never knew it, when I had the chance over the years (and I mean YEARS ☺️), I tested Elizabeth, wary that someone so delicate, seemingly sweet and beautiful could be all she appeared to be. I regularly asked Si if she was for real… he insisted she was. As time went by, and I got to spend more than a few hours with her, I got to see Elizabeth with her guard down, where she forgot I was watching, and soon I saw the the woman that Si loved so much. I also saw her in action as they say. She was exactly that for which I had hoped, a person whom I couldn’t imagine existed. In that tiny package was a young woman of great strength of character and a power of her very own. She was in fact someone that could both handle Si’s energy, yet was filled with love, kindness and compassion- someone that would protect Si’s heart as he would protect hers. Over time, I have grown to love Elizabeth, as Si does, and she will make yet another fine addition to our rapidly growing family.

Clearly with God’s help, two special people found each other, and come December, I will be proud and happy to welcome my new daughter-in-law into our family.

With love…❤+❤

    Wow, Jay! Seriously over here in tears! This is so, so beautiful. Thank you! What a talent you have for putting language around your love for your son and your daughter-in-law to be. I am so honored and excited to document their love and to get to know your family better through the process. Thank you for inspiring me today with such amazing words!

      Thank you Amanda. With the children I’m so blessed to have, and the spouses two of them have chosen so far, the words actually come quite easily, because they don’t have to travel very far. They don’t have to be chosen or picked out because they’ve never not been with me for quite a long time now- since the instant each of our three children were born. They were, are and always will be loved each and every second of their lives. We all get out of life, and each other, exactly what we put in, good or bad. I gave them all everything I had and more, and these days it’s coming back to me faster than I can take it all in. Investing in, and committing to one’s family is the greatest investment you can make. Done selflessly, with pure love as your only guide, it will pay dividends for eternity and beyond, for love is the single, only thing that lasts forever…