Bride: Dayna Louise Isom, 28, Public Relations at Etsy.com
Groom: Ryan F. Johnson, 28, Actor/Poet
Married On: June 15, 2013
Wedding Location: Edgar Allen Poe Museum, Richmond, Virginia
Wedding Style: Harlem Renaissance Era Glam
Ryan and Dayna met at a mutual pal’s holiday potluck party. “When I came in, I put down my mom’s recipe for sweet potato casserole, and I saw this handsome man sitting across the room,” she recalls. “The moment I saw him, I knew I had to talk to him.” So, Dayna made her move. She walked right on over, introduced herself and sparked up a conversation. “From that moment on, it was like no one else was in the room but us,” she says. “We talked all night long.” When the party wrapped, Ryan did the sweetest thing—he gave Dayna one of his favorite books, The Color of Water, which he just happened to have on him. “I have to see you again to get my book back,” he said with a smile. She returned his book and his affections, and they grew closer with each day that went by. Before they knew what was happening, they were head over heels in love.
Garden Of Love
Before Ryan started planning a special proposal for Dayna, he went to her parents to ask for their permission. “Just as I always dreamed he would,” Dayna adds. Now that he had their blessing, next up, Ryan picked a beautiful location to pop the question. One of their first memorable dates together was at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens during the Cherry Blossom Festival. They had another visit planned, so Ryan knew it was his chance to pull off an unforgettable proposal.
One sunny April weekend, the happy couple arrived at the gardens with a few close friends. Ryan led Dayna into the rose garden and showed her some pictures on his camera. Confused, she clicked through each photo one-by-one until she found something unexpected—inside the camera were pictures of her sister, nephew, brother-in-law, niece and cousin, each holding up a sign with a different emotion on it, like, “excited,” “happy,” “elated” and "surprised." She turned to Ryan and asked, “What’s going on?” There he was on bended knee with a giant smile on his face asking her to be his wife. “I cried and cried,” Dayna shares. “It was the most joyful experience of my life.”