It’s exciting to photograph a proposal…there’s this nervous anticipation of how the bride-to-be will react, the real and unposed reactions of the moment. My favorite part, though, is meeting such delightful and thoughtful young men who prepare so carefully for this moment that they even consider hiring a photographer to make sure the day is thoroughly documented. I was charmed from the very beginning by Chad and his manners. He was all “yes, ma’am…and thank you, ma’am” in every email he sent.
Something I learned from my time with Chad was that Betsy’s dad is an accomplished architect. He designed the house Betsy grew up in, and that her parents still live in on Pawleys Island. It was important to Chad we use the house as the backdrop for the pictures. Chad also made sure he obtained Betsy’s dad’s permission to marry his daughter. He secretly drove from Florida to Pawleys Island one weekend to visit with Betsy’s dad, and he was the only person for quite some time who knew of Chad’s intentions to propose.
On an otherwise normal weekday, Chad arranged for Betsy to get the day off without letting Besty know. He called Betsy’s supervisor and cleared it with him to pick Betsy up and start the day of surprises. The couple spent the day in Charleston eating and shopping before heading out to Pawleys Island. Betsy believed that her parents were out of town on vacation and that she and Chad would be house sitting for them. But Chad had arranged for their immediate families to be there waiting on them, ready to celebrate the engagement with them. I was the only person allowed to watch the proposal, though. : ) Hiding from the bushes, of course!
In Chad’s own words:
“Betsy and I met at a summer camp in West Virginia, as counselors, in 2006. In 2005 I worked at the same camp with her sister Kate who proclaimed that I would fall in love and marry her sister (kind of scary). With little contact before the next summer Betsy and I met and became best friends. We immediately had a lot in common because she was from South Carolina and I had moved down to go to school. Unfortunately I was in a relationship at the time; however, by the end of the summer I had clearly found the love of my life and my best friend. There is just something about girls from South Carolina.
We started dating during that summer and continued our relationship even though we were 2 hours apart. She was a junior at Clemson and I was a Senior at Winthrop. After I graduated I moved to Georgetown to pursue my passion of restoring classic cars, as she finished her Senior year. As the distance grew longer we devoted more time to driving, but every weekend I would drive to Clemson to spend time with her. We looked forward to the summer where she would be in Pawleys and we could enjoy being close to each other; however, an opportunity came up for her to study abroad in Paris for the summer. The Atlantic Ocean presented a small problem with driving, but I got working on my passport in secret. With a little help from her professor I showed up one sunny afternoon at the Eifel Tower and surprised her.
After that she moved to Charleston and I continued to live in Georgetown. Shortly there after she began her masters degree at College of Charleston and began work at Ashley Hall. One night at a Riverdogs game I realized my passion for aviation and we decided it would be best for me (and us) to pursue a masters degree in Daytona Beach at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. We have both always been about getting the best education we can and ERAU offered that. So we moved further apart again. Currently I live in Daytona and she lives in Charleston and we make it work. In August I will finish my degree and move back to Charleston and we will begin our life together.”