Carolina Coastal Engagement
Guest Contributor :: Jessica Gobble
Six years ago, a young girl decided to invite a boy to spend the weekend at her family’s beach house. That weekend turned into one complete with butterflies in the pit of her stomach and the beginning of a lifelong love story, as this boy held her hand for the first time.
Little did Nate or Ellie know, six years later, they would return to the same spot to hold hands—not for the first time, but more like the millionth—for a special oceanside engagement session with Annamarie Akins.
The two met in 6th grade. Nate thought her name was cute and Ellie just thought he was cute! They got to know each other through some of the most awkward and molding years of one’s life and began dating in 10th grade. Things didn’t quite work out at that time and they decided to part ways. Just a short year and a half later, before their senior year, Ellie received a surprising phone call from none other than the cute boy named Nate. It was a warm summer full of hope and possibility, but the phone call seemed not to phase Ellie. She chose not to read too far into it, and she surely didn’t foresee it to be the beginning of the rest of her life. Though the initial phone call elicited attention, the fact that Nate kept calling certainly did.
Their sweet relationship has been made up of a few unassuming ingredients: a hand-hold, an unexpected phone call and a friendship that stood the test of time—and puberty, for that matter. But often when simple ingredients are thrown in to brew and stew for a significant period of time, they develop a deeper color and a more intense flavor as they marry together.
Homes along the ocean hold a very special place in both Nate and Ellie’s hearts. The summer following their first semester of a long distance relationship, Nate took Ellie to a spot near his home by the water. Ellie explained, “He gave me a beautiful bracelet and told me how much he cared about me.” He also explained that long distance had only reaffirmed his love for her. Only two and a half years later, he took her to the same spot, told her he loved her and got down on one knee to ask the girl with the cute name for her hand in marriage.
The ease and carefree nature of this beach location truly echoed the rich profile of Nate and Ellie’s simple love. No matter where they stood, on that beach or in that precious home, it was apparent that this day had been a long time coming. It also brought them back to a familiar place—in each other’s arms by the water. They were completely content in this very moment. It was the reward of being together after years of being so far apart. Distance had separated them, whether figurative or physical, and this special day was the culmination of all the unassuming moments. They took these moments for what they were in their own time. They didn’t thrust the moments into the future or let them be colored by the past. They simply let the moments pile on top of each other and side by side as they began to tell a story—a love story, to be exact.
Photography by Annamarie Akins Photography