Jessie & Darnell were a match made in heaven but also on eHarmony. Yes, they are one of the rare success stories of online dating!
I've been lucky enough to meet Jessie back in 2015 when my child started preschool and it turned out Jessie was her lead teacher. She came across as really easy going and friendly and we got along really well, so you can image my excitement when she asked me to photograph her beautiful wedding!
Darnell proposed while they were out for a run, two miles into the run he faked an injury and got Jessie terribly worried about helping him get back home right before he got down on one knee. Jessie shrieked so loud that other runners turned around to see what happened! She did not hesitate to say yes!
That July they made plans to get married the following summer. There is absolutely nothing more gorgeous than a summer wedding in San Diego! The lovebirds discussed their family flying in from all around the globe to join them on their big day! They have each have two children so they were excited to plan a big family affair with those near and dear to them!
Just a few months away from their big day, Danny suddenly started experiencing a lot of pain through his neck, shoulders and back. He has always been quite the athlete running and cycling almost daily and we thought that perhaps he needed to slow down a bit. Two days later he could hardly get out of bed. Another 24 hours later and he was becoming paralyzed and in horrific pain. After rushing him to the hospital and having 8 MRI's they discovered an unusual mass running the length of his spine. They decided to do surgery to attempt to remove the part of the mass in his cervical spine that was causing the paralysis. When he came out of surgery they said that they were unable to remove it due to how entangled it was in his spine. Results from Mayo clinic came back "inconclusive" no one seemed to be able to tell us what this was and how to get rid of it. After over a month of being hospitalized and losing all feeling in his legs and most of his arms they diagnosed him with a very rare disorder called Nurosarcoidosis. Darnell moved from one hospital to the next to begin trying to rehabilitate him and hope that he could re-learn to walk.
Fast forward months later Danny was able to come home, but they have still been struggling with getting this disease under control all the meanwhile planning a wedding. Danny was set on keeping the wedding date and going ahead with it!
Jessie suggested putting off the wedding until he was feeling better but he continued to insist that we were going to walk down that aisle even if it meant he would be in a wheel chair. The beautiful bride managed to plan the wedding in just a month a much scaled down version!
Miraculously the day of the wedding Danny felt pretty good and was not only able to walk down the aisle but also spend a short time on the dance floor.
On their wedding day, the most devoted friends and dotting family members surrounded them and everyone came together to contribute to the day which began at the quintessential Hyatt Regency Misson Bay.
The stunning bridesmaids all did a fantastic job decorating the reception area at the Misson Bay Marine Room , a close friend assembled the dessert table and one of the groomsmen rocked the dance floor with his DJ beats well into the night! Aside from continous wedding coverage by Olga Kubrak Photography, the newlyweds also opted to hire That Fun Booth Photo Booth which was an instant hit with all their guests!
Looking back at their wedding day, Jessie is so glad Darnell insisted on carrying on with the wedding despite his illness. It was so nice to have a reason to rejoice and celebrate with family and friends after going through so much fear and stress
Their lives now consisted of daily physical therapy and weekly visits to his Neurologist and Pulmonary doctor. Jessie had to give up her teaching job in order to care for him full time.
I had a lot of trouble holding back tears as Jessie began to serenade Darnell at the beginning of the ceremony:
I found myself dreaming
In silver and gold
Like a scene from a movie
That every broken heart knows we were walking on moonlight
And you pulled me close
Split second and you disappeared and then I was all alone
I woke up in tears
With you by my side
A breath of relief
And I realized
No, we're not promised tomorrow
So I'm gonna love you
Like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna hold you
Like I'm saying goodbye wherever we're standing
I won't take you for granted 'cause we'll never know when
When we'll run out of time so I'm gonna love you
Like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna love you
I wish these two a lifetime of happinesss and a quick recovery for Darnell!