Savannah and Derrik were like any other couple, preparing for their wedding and looking forward to the future. Then, terrible head-on collision nearly changed everything. In spite of it all, they were determined to be sealed in the temple on the date they had planned. Their story is one of faith and joy.
Savannah + Derrik
Our love story started out like any other. We met at a game night hosted by a mutual friend in our singles ward, and we just clicked. We dated for a few months and then decided that we were ready to move forward. I bought a ring and proposed in the middle of February. Everything was going as planned up until a month before our wedding date.
On April 14th, I was in a terrible head-on collision on a highway outside of Logan that landed me in the hospital with quite the list of injuries. The doctors told me that I would most likely be in the hospital for six weeks, then a rehabilitation center for some time after that. My sweet Savannah was there at my bedside from day one. We knew that things were going to change for us forever. We had a good talk and decided to keep our original wedding date which was less than four weeks away.
After being in the hospital for a week, I could finally sit up in a wheelchair for a few minutes at a time. After two weeks, we got the doctors approval to leave the hospital. By the time the wedding date rolled around, I was able to be in the wheelchair for just over an hour at a time before becoming completely drained of energy. We made it though! No one thought that we would be able to make it, but we knew the importance of the temple blessings and we wanted them. We almost didn’t get that chance, so it made the experience that much sweeter to us when we did get it.
What WAS WEDDING PLANNING LIKE FOR YOU?
We were very involved in our wedding planning at the beginning. Finding the right colors, the right centerpieces, getting all of the invites out, getting pictures, etc. Things changed once I was in the hospital. Fortunately for us, our mothers stepped in. They saw that neither of us was in a great state of mind, so they took care of the remaining details and helped us have a good experience. They knew us well and actually put together a taco bar for the luncheon after the wedding for everyone to enjoy.
WHAT WERE YOUR WEDDING COLORS AND/OR THEME?
Sunflower Yellow and Navy Blue
DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING STYLE.
LOOKING BACK, WOULD YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY ABOUT YOUR WEDDING PLANNING AND/OR WEDDING?
No, there is not anything that we would change with our wedding. I don’t remember a whole lot of it, just the important parts. I was still in a lot of pain and discomfort, but we were able to make it through just fine. Savannah remembers everything that went on, so it is always fun to reminisce on that day together.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE LDS COUPLES PLANNING A WEDDING?
Don’t get caught up in the nitty-gritty details of the wedding. The ceremony itself should be the center of the focus of the wedding.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEDDING RECEPTION!
Our wedding reception was also pretty unique. By our wedding time, I could only be in the chair for just over an hour, so we thought it best to postpone the reception for a month after our wedding date. By that time my arm was healed enough that I could push myself around a bit more in the wheelchair. We would have a little bit of fun. We would get moving a bit, then Savannah would jump on the back of the wheelchair (in her wedding dress) and we would ride around, just having fun.
We made the best of what we could. We tried to have fun with it as best we could. We even had a “Just Married” sign for the back of the wheelchair.
WHAT IS SOMETHING SPECIFIC THAT YOU REMEMBER ABOUT YOUR WEDDING?
The most vivid memory for the both of us was in the sealing room, right as they pronounced us as man and wife. The joy that entered into our souls was one of inexplicable gratitude. In the kind words spoken by the temple president right before our sealing, he mentioned that we were being sealed in the presence of God, angels and the witnesses there in the room. The veil was very thin during our wedding. We could feel the presence and the warmth from family on the other side of the veil very strongly. Many others could feel their presence as well. We really were in the presence of angels that day.
Our photographer, Brad Peterson, was awesome to work with. He helped us get some really fun engagement photos, bridals and he was really easy to work with. He was also very understanding with our circumstances. We didn’t give him a lot of time after the ceremony to get pictures, but he did an excellent job with the little time he had. We got some really good family portraits taken and he also did a good job getting pictures of those who came to celebrate our special day with us.
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