rachel + cameron
special note: we love a good love story. which is why we partnered with the talented julia fay photography to bring some toth shop magic to some beautiful love stories. stay tuned as we continued to share more of these special stories through this summer of love.
“He has the ability to make me laugh no matter what and he can pull me out of any bad mood,” she says. “I really think a lot of that is due to the fact our relationship is so grounded in friendship.”
That’s Rachel Dykes speaking of her connection with husband, Cameron.
The two met during college though they were undergraduates at different schools in different states – Rachel was studying at the University of South Carolina; Cameron at East Carolina University. However, they shared mutual friends.
Rachel’s college roommate grew up with Cameron just 30 minutes south of Columbia, South Carolina. When they met, they connected immediately – as friends. Their friendship grew stronger through college. They spoke frequently. They would phone each other for dating advice. It was always platonic, even after they graduated, again, living in different states.
Then, things changed in 2013. They were both single at the same time. And Cameron asked Rachel to be his date to his sister’s wedding.
After that, they decided to try dating each other. Their close-knit friend circle now a full, fun mixture of high school friends and college friends who enjoyed concerts and weekend, mountain trips together were terrified. If the relationship didn’t work, the group would never be the same. Rachel and Cameron decided to tread lightly with a promise to everyone involved – if it didn’t work out, they would stay friends.
The couple dated for two-and-a-half years before getting engaged on July 1, 2016. That morning, Cameron awoke shockingly early to Rachel’s surprise. He felt anxious and nervous. They were driving down to Edisto Beach together; and Cameron was speeding. They arrived and boarded their boat. Again, Cameron speeding; this time out to Otter Island. Rachel sat soaked from the water kicked up from the speed. He asked Rachel to grab something from the cooler. Inside, she found a ring box, waterproof-packed in three Ziploc bags positioned with a bottle of champagne and champagne flutes. Ripping through the three Ziploc bags, Cameron proposed; Rachel said yes. Shortly after, Cameron pulled up to another boat, “I think we know these people” he said. Their friends had made the trip to Edisto to celebrate their engagement. It was all well-timed.
The couple was married on Saturday, May 13, 2017 on Cypress Tree Plantation at Edisto. The morning of the wedding, Rachel awoke to torrential rain. It rained most of the day despite professional reassurances that it would clear up. They pushed the ceremony back 20 minutes. The skies cleared. And the rain stopped.
“I heard from so many people that day that were praying so hard for us today,” Rachel shares. “I even heard from people I didn’t know who said they were praying hard for sun on our wedding day. Hearing that meant so much to me.”
The rain ended up a blessing – it broke the heat for the evening’s celebration; the dance floor was packed all night which was one thing the couple wanted on this special day.
Another blessing that day? Their wedding party. Bride and groom celebrated with 12 attendants each, many of whom were friends from different times in their life, including high school and college. “They’re our family,” Rachel gushes. These close friendships are a testament not only to their respective friends with Rachel and Cameron, but also to the friendship between Rachel and Cameron.
“He knows exactly who I am, and I know exactly who he is,” Rachel notes. “I feel like I’ve known him my whole life.”