Crystal and Derrick were both born and raised in Jacksonville, so the choice of historic downtown for their session was an easy one. Along with Evan of H. Photography they visited the historic Florida Theater, Riverside, Memorial Park, and a parking garage overlooking the St. Johns River and the Main Street bridge. Who could resist all the lovely "Florida" in their day?
The two have known each other since they were kids, living in the same neighborhood and attending the same schools. Crystal finally confessed her feelings for Derrick in 2006, but it took another three years before they finally felt the relationship was worth risking their friendship. Says Crystal, "Being friends for nearly 20 years has been a blessing for our relationship. There are many moments when we laugh and reminisce on the fun times we had growing up."
Derrick proposed last November at Crystal's home, after making one of her favorite meals for dinner and a night out bowling. After following Crystal home to make sure she got in safely, he hung around, even though it was getting late: Without thinking anything of it, I walked towards the front door to let him out. Derrick stopped to talk about the various art on the walls, which I thought was strange. He pulled me towards him and gave me a hug. I figured this was our goodnight hug. Still in our hug, Derrick said he had something for me in a small box. I didn't believe him at first. My initial thought was "then where is it?" Derrick got down on both of his knees and pulled out a small ivory jewelry box. I was shocked but still in disbelief. I really felt like Derrick was playing a joke. Even after seeing the box, I thought it was empty - until he opened it.
They'll be saying "I do" in September, with a ceremony at Beach United Methodist Church in Jacksonville Beach, and a reception at Naval Station Mayport; afterwards, they'll be jetting off to Montego Bay, Jamaica for their honeymoon. Congrats, Crystal and Derrick!