Randi and Philip’s families have known each other for years, but they did not connect until they were in their 20s at a party thrown by Philip’s cousin.
Family was instrumental in their relationship from the beginning, so it was only fitting that Philip proposed to Randi in front of their families on his 26th birthday!
For their engagement shoot, they decided to honor their heritage once more, by taking some of their photos at locations that are special to their families. Randi shares, “First stop was my great-grandparents house. They’re no longer living and the house is empty, but it is still full of their love, prayers and dedication. Second, we went to PJ’s grandfather’s corner store, Ray’s Grocery and Liquor. He opened the store in 1963. The store just represents his hard work and dedication.”
Read more about their love story, and see their stylish engagement photos captured by Shagari Gerard Photography below.
- Full Name of Couple: Randi Monaá Smith and Philip Gralend Myer Jr.
- Wedding Date: July 25, 2020
- Wedding location: New Orleans, LA.
- Location of Engagement shoot: Baton Rouge, LA. and New Roads, LA.
How We Met
PJ is from New Roads, LA and so is my family. Our families have known each other for years, but PJ and I had never met. One weekend we took my grandmother to the “country” as we call it for a blues concert. Once we made it, my sister and I decided not to go and thankfully we didn’t because that’s how I met PJ. PJ’s cousin Libby invited us over to her house for a gathering. Not long after we got there, Libby and her husband Nick told me about PJ. You know the normal “I know someone nice for you.” They showed me PJ & I asked my sister, “Do you think he’s cute?” Her response was, “Yea girl.” As the night went on, Libby and Nick introduced us to each other and we immediately started talking. Nick gave PJ until the clock struck 12 am to get my number. Let’s just say he got my number and the rest is history.
PJ decided that he wanted to have a party for his 26th birthday, but kept saying it wouldn’t be anything big. As time went on the party kept getting bigger and bigger which is normal because his family loves to party. Everyone was getting invited. PJ’s parents decided to remodel their home. I was a part of all of this, but the biggest secret was being kept from me. Fast forward to the day of the party. Everything went normally. We all got up, started decorating and waiting for the party to start. When it was time to sing happy birthday, PJ’s mom gave me the cake to hold. After PJ blew out the candles and got on one knee, I immediately handed off the cake and said, “YES!” I’m forever grateful to everyone who helped PJ’s vision come to life.
Describe your engagement session. Did you have a theme?
Not a theme necessarily, but we took formal pictures in our photographer’s studio. Then we headed to the country to take pictures in the places that hold great value to our families. First stop was my great-grandparents house. They’re no longer living and the house is empty, but it is still full of their love, prayers and dedication. Second, we went to PJ’s grandfather’s corner store, Ray’s Grocery and Liquor. He opened the store in 1963. The store just represents his hard work and dedication. At 82 years old he doesn’t miss a day in the store. The store keeps him going and happy.
What did you do on your first date?
Our first date was pretty casual. We went to the movies and just hung out.
What’s your favorite thing to do as a couple?
Just about everything. We love to fish, go to baseball games and don’t talk about playing UNO! We’ll whip the cards out fast.
How has wedding planning been so far?
Wedding planning has been fun. I probably stress myself out unnecessarily, but my wedding planners Amaya and Idara quickly put a stop to my craziness.
Our wedding has been affected by COVID-19. We moved the wedding to September 4th of this year. Which is a fun date for this Beyhive member (lol). Our city is opening up and weddings are allowed to go on, so we’re staying prayed up. At the end of the day we know that our union is most important and the celebration can always go on. As our change the date card says, “Our love hasn’t changed. Just our date!”
Tell us what you’re looking forward to most on the wedding day.
We’re both looking forward to seeing each other for the first time, but most importantly officially becoming husband and wife. We’re ready to share this day with all of our close family and friends.
- Photography: Shagari Gerard Photography
- MUA: Erica Nicole
- Hair Install: Synclaire Michelle
- Hair Styling: Monet
- Barber: TJ Malveaux
READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE