Richard was the boy that every girl had a crush on in middle school. “I had a picture of him hidden away in my room that I swooned over often,” Danielle says. He already had Danielle’s heart when he asked her to be his girlfriend their senior year of high school.
After three years of dating, the couple started planning our wedding. “Life can simultaneously be both so captivatingly beautiful and immensely heartbreaking,” Danielle says. As her wedding day approached, her brother was in a near fatal snowmobile accident. They cancelled their wedding to focus on his recovery. Two years later, they set another date, only to be surprised by their first child—a miracle. “After a diagnoses of Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome we accepted the fact that we most likely would never have children,” Danielle says. Her pregnancy again set aside their plans to get married to focus on their baby boy. Two years later, the couple was blessed with another son.
“When my brother passed away unexpectedly, Richard carried me through the darkest days in my life,” Danielle says. “Not the type to handle heaviness, he made sure my family was always fed and as comfortable as possible. He loved my brother Michael as if he was his own brother, and mourned quietly, allowing us precedence.” There was no question that Richard and Danielle’s third miracle child born two years ago would be named Michael.
On September 16, 2016, Richard and Danielle were blindsided by Richard’s diagnosis of Stage 4 colon cancer. “After several months of chasing treatment options and grasping for faith, staring face to face with fear and uncertainty, we chose to rise in faith and love,” Danielle says. “After 17 years of convincing ourselves that we were so perfectly content with being permanently engaged, suddenly nothing felt more right than to cement our love with vows of marriage.” Time was of the essence. They planned their entire wedding in two weeks.
As a designer and wedding planner, Danielle has collaborated and implemented many nuptials. “I knew in my hard that if I was going to do this, I wanted to execute it in a way that captivated us,” Danielle says. “I did not want a structured ceremony but rather a celebration of life and love. The love and the emotions that filled the brick walls of the historic Portland Company was enough to warm even the most bitter of an early spring Maine day.”
Danielle was enraptured by the love and generous souls of the vendors who pulled out all the stops to execute their wedding day on such short notice. They decided to surprise their three children with the wedding, and invited all three of them to be their Best Men. Around 400 of the couple’s family members, closest friends, and neighbors witnessed their wedding. “Richard and I have experienced immense joy and immense heartbreak,” Danielle says. “Through it all we have always done our best to find joy, silver linings, and happiness. In the midst of some of the darkest days of our life, our wedding was a wash of blessed light.”
Richard passed away in June, 2017, leaving his wife, children, and most loved family and friends some incredible memories from his wedding day…and all the days before and after.