After seven long years of dating, Hannah Darr and her fiancé, Layne Merriwether, couldn’t wait to tie the knot in front of all their friends and family last year.
Sadly, things took a turn for the worse when Layne was involved in a tragic car accident that claimed his life, just four months before their wedding.
The accident, of course, left 22-year-old Hannah absolutely devastated and heartbroken. But she was determined to make Layne proud.
“My house is full of all my wedding decorations just waiting for my wedding day that will never come,” Hannah wrote on Facebook shortly after the accident that changed her life forever.
In a desperate attempt to heal and start moving forward, Hannah decided it was finally time to do something to honor her late fiancé and the life they shared together.
That’s why she reached out to photographer Holly Gannett and asked if she would be interested in doing a unique kind of bridal shoot.
“Even though I will never get a wedding with him, I wanted to at least have a picture of him with me in my dress to […] remember him as my future husband,” said Hannah.
So, in spite of the pain left behind by her immense loss, Hannah put on her wedding gown and posed for the photos she had dreamt of taking with Layne.
In one particularly emotional photo, Hannah can be seen holding up a chalkboard that read: “Remember the love, not the loss.”
But perhaps the most wonderful photos were the ones in which Holly managed to Photoshop Layne next to Hannah.
Though she shed many tears that day, Hannah says the photo shoot really did help her heal after losing Layne so close to their wedding.
“The shoot gave me some closure and helped me accept the fact that I won’t get a wedding with him, but I am thankful I at least have pictures with him. The pictures are something I will cherish forever,” she said.
After everything she’s gone through in the last year, Hannah ended up creating a Wordpress account to document her journey through love, loss, and finding herself once again.
“A lot that I share is my triumphs in my grief journey, but I think it is important to share the struggles and the hard times too: This morning I was driving and found the cutest coffee and wine bar- Grind & Grape. For some reason my heart was racing and I felt a little sick. Then I realized this place was so "Layne and Hannah." I would order some girly coffee drink, Layne would get something with 3 or 4 extra shots of espresso, and as usual I would complain about how that's going to cost me extra money!” Hannah wrote, in part, in one of her emotional posts.