Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal

Image 1 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal

How They Met, As told by their Photographer and friend: Rachel and I have known each other since we were in middle school. Together we shared classes, sleepovers and backyard play dates. So when her mom informed me that her boyfriend would be proposing on Daytona Beach, I jumped at the chance to be a part of something so special.

Rachel and Jacob met during their freshman year of college. Both musicians, Rachel is studying vocal performance with a concentration in opera, and Jacob, music composition and classical guitar. Jacob had a long-term girlfriend in Alabama. Rachel was content with being just his friend. He eventually became her music theory tutor, and nights of homework turned into deep and meaningful conversations. While Jacob was gaining a close friend, Rachel was secretly falling madly in love with him.

When Jacob became single, Rachel tried to remain just friends- but to no avail. For Christmas, she wanted to make a CD for her parents. Jacob offered to help- he too could no longer deny his feelings. Finally, Rachel caved.

One month later, Jacob and Rachel spent New Years together, and he asked her to be his girlfriend.

Image 2 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal

how they asked: Fast forward to Tuesday, March 11, 2014. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and made my way to the seashore at Perry’s Ocean Edge Resort. The sky was a dark blue but slowly faded into hues of pink and red. Seagulls flocked at the water’s edge, waiting for the sun to rise.

Image 3 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal

I watched from afar as Jacob and Rachel laid out a blanket and settled down into the sand.

Image 4 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 5 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal

With cups of coffee in hand and a Bible in their laps, Jacob read Proverbs 31 aloud. A short excerpt: “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life…”

Though Rachel and I hadn’t seen each other in almost 10 years, I knew she would recognize me if I wasn’t careful. So I wore a sweatshirt, pulled the hood over my head and made my way toward them. I tried to remain as inconspicuous as possible while photographing the seagulls, sunrise and of course the adorable couple on their beachside blanket.

She would later tell me that she thought the strange person taking photos of them resembled me. Thankfully, she wasn’t too curious. When the sun had risen completely, Jacob lifted Rachel to her feet and got down on one knee.

Image 6 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal

He asked her to spend forever with him and she squealed, “Yes!” as her hands covered her mouth, letting out screams of excitement and joy.

Image 7 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 8 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal

They embraced in the sweetest hug, kissing and loving one another. Moments later, Rachel’s mom, dad and sister stepped out onto the beach, flooding them with love, hugs and warm wishes for the future.

Image 10 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 9 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 11 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 12 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 13 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 14 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 15 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 16 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 17 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 18 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal

They “ooed and awed” over the ring and joined hands together in prayer.

Image 19 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal

And then it was just the four of us- me, my camera and two lovebirds preparing to spend the rest of their lives together. And how their love did shine.

Image 20 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 21 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 22 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 23 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 24 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 25 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 26 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 27 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal Image 28 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal

I am so honored to have been able to be a part of such a life-changing moment. It is so amazing to watch a young girl transform into such a beautiful, mature young woman and to see her find a man that complements her in each and every way. May they together create beautiful music, beautiful memories and a beautiful life from now until forever.

Image 29 of Rachel and Jacob | Daytona Beach Proposal

Photographer (and story writer!): Elise Giordano