Melissa and Darrell's love story started with the help of Facebook and a friend request that led to the beginning of a sweet romance. "He requested me one day four years ago after coming across my Instagram page and liking a ton of my photos (which got my attention). I looked at his page and was instantly attracted but thought nothing more of it," recalled Melissa. "The next day he requested to be my friend on Facebook and oddly we had no mutual friends in common. We eventually started communicating via messenger for over a year before meeting in person." Melissa and Darrell began dating long distance throughout their entire relationship and eventually became engaged on December 27th 2016. Early on, the couple knew they want a beach destination elopement. "We wanted our wedding to secluded, romantic, and stress free," said Melissa. "It was my husband's dream destination and he suggested the location. I had never heard of Seychelles but as soon as I googled the location I was sold!" The bride enlisted the help of photographer Derrel Todd, who traveled with them to Seychelles, Africa, to capture their special day. Check out their romantic elopement captured by Footprint Fotos.
Bride: Melissa Michelle Harris, Makeup artist
Groom: Darrell Joseph Green, Fitness Trainer
Place of residence: Washington, D.C.
Wedding date: May 22, 2017
Wedding location: Seychelles, Africa
The Proposal Story:
We went to visit Darrell's family in Alexandria, Louisiana for the Christmas Holiday. I kinda got upset because Darrell's father kept introducing me to everyone as his daughter in law and Darrell was introducing me to his family as his fiancé. I really wanted to be his fiancé so bad but the truth was I didn't have a proposal or a ring at the time and I felt it was misleading. On Christmas morning I asked Darrell to stop calling me his fiancé and introduce me as his girlfriend because he had not yet put a ring on it. Darrell was frustrated by my request and said ok. A couple of days later we went to New Orleans to hang out. Since it was my first Christmas ever being away from my family they asked if they could meet us in New Orleans to exchange Christmas gifts before we headed back to DC. My family lives about 2 hours away from New Orleans in Mobile, Al. They came up and we went to breakfast, strolled thru the city for about an hour and ended up in Jackson Square. We walked up to listen to a jazz band playing on the street and the lead singer turned to me and started serenading me with Louis Armstrong "what a wonderful world". I was so into it and danced along as he led me to the bench in front of the band. At this point I still didn't suspect anything because people are always entertaining in New Orleans. After the song ended he said, "this young man wants to ask you something." Darrell dropped on one knee in front of my family and a crowd full of strangers and professed his love for me. He asked for my hand in marriage and I said yes! I was so surprised and in shock by the whole event. The crowd cheered and everyone took pictures and celebrated with us. It was so romantic and magical. Darrell also had a photographer that he hired for our surprise engagement shoot that we did minutes after the proposal.
From the Groom:
I felt calm. The morning of I grabbed breakfast and thought to myself what a wonderful day it would be. We shot with the photographer and I thought that it was a great way to start of the wedding day talking and laughing with my bride to be. There was no pressure because there was no family and friends around. I just thought about being with my spouse and I prayed that the weather would be perfect and it was. An hour before the ceremony I made a hand written letter for my bride, got dressed, and didn't have a worry in the world. At time of the ceremony I looked her in eyes and was reassured that this was the best thing that I have ever done.
From the Bride:
My wedding day was so relaxing. I woke up and took a bath in my ocean front suite. I had the pleasure of looking out at the Indian Ocean and a beautiful rainbow! I love rainbows so I was pretty excited. Darrell and I had separate suites the night before the wedding so I also had time to meditate and pray alone. We met for breakfast, took some photos with the photographer, and even had time to go to the beach! Our ceremony started at 4:30pm and time felt like it was in slow motion. Our wedding was short and sweet since we didn't bring along any family or friends. Our location was arranged by the hotel and was a surprise. A car came to pick us up and brought us to a secluded private beach. The day was beautiful and perfect for us.
What makes your love special?
What makes our love special is the fact that we have so much in common. We both love God, people, and music. We feel connected in so many ways. We have found so much comfort in being ourselves with each other and accepting each other for who we are flaws and all. We respect each other and can agree to disagree.
What was your best/most memorable moments?
Bride: The whole day was memorable especially going to our surprise location for the wedding. We didn't know the exact location of the ceremony. The element of surprise and the beauty of the location was truly memorable.
Groom: My most memorable moment was seeing my bride for the first time. She took my breath away.
What was your favorite wedding detail?
My favorite was my bouquet that was made of the fragipini flowers that are native to the Seychelles islands. They are one-of-a-kind. Darrell's favorite detail was simply getting married on the beach.
What advice would you give to future couples on their wedding day?
We would advise couples to enjoy the experience of the wedding and becoming one with your spouse. Try not to stress about the small details. Your love is bigger.
Congratulations to the happy couple! Wish you a wonderful marriage with many more years of wedded bliss.