The path to matrimony is seldom straight or easy. It is often paved with pitfalls, losses and unexpected turns. But where true love exists, love finds a way. This Greenville couple encountered a unique set of difficulties along their love’s journey. But when Destiny called, needing what only Garrett could provide, he answered.
Bride: Destiny Green Johnson, 27, healthcare credentialing, native of Gadsden, South Carolina
Groom: Garrett Johnson II, 28, financial underwriter, native of Baldwin, South Carolina
Current Residence: Greenville, South Carolina
Wedding Date: November 13, 2022
Venue/Location: 701 Whaley, Columbia, South Carolina
How They Met
(Destiny) We met in September 2017 through the Tinder dating app. On Tinder, if you swipe right on someone who has already swiped right on you, it is considered a match. When I saw Garrett’s profile, his looks were the first thing that caught my attention. He had a bald head and beard that reminded me of Boris Kodjoe. Garrett swiped right first and when I came across his profile, I also swiped right.
I had just moved to Greenville after graduating from Clemson University. I was looking for friends on the app, more than anything serious. We texted back and forth for a week or two, then decided to meet in person.
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(Garrett) She was looking for friends at the time. I wanted somebody to hang out with too, so I was okay with that. She had just graduated from school. I had graduated a year prior. Judging by her profile, she was that person.
Their First Date
(Destiny) Our first meeting was at Cook Out. I wanted to make sure that he wasn’t a catfish, so we went to grab a milkshake and just be sure that he was who he said that he was.
I was working second shift, so it was late at night. We ended up eating inside and spending time getting to know one another. We talked about where we went to school, what we studied, and things like that. I learned that he was a cross-country runner. I honestly never knew any Black people who ran cross country, only those who ran track. The mileage that he could run was impressive. We ended up getting kicked out of Cook Out because they were closing.
We had some really good conversations. Later that week, we went to Wild Wings Cafe on a second date and got to dive a little deeper into getting to know one another.
I can be stubborn. Even though I knew that I liked him, I had just gotten out of a previous relationship less than a year earlier. I told myself that I would not date him; we would just be friends. But he was very intentional about spending time together. That was different for me.
My previous relationships were long-distance, so seeing someone every day or multiple times a week wasn’t realistic. Garrett and I worked different shifts. He was working the first shift, and I was working the second. So, our only real time to hang out was during my 30-minute lunch break, his 30-minute lunch break, or after I got off at 11:00 P.M. Seeing him prioritize making the time to see me and his willingness to miss sleep finally broke me down. I also realized he is a good person who treats anyone like they are an angel. Together, those things finally sealed the deal.
(Garrett) Our first outing was Cook Out. We talked for a little bit and just hung out. Things naturally progressed from there. Around Thanksgiving, her family went to the beach. She could not go because she had to work. I told her that she could join my family for Thanksgiving, but I don’t bring women around my family unless they are my partner. She said okay. From there, the story almost writes itself.
This Is “The One”
(Destiny) Although I felt I could spend the rest of my life with Garrett from the beginning, we broke up after dating for about eighteen months. The breakup lasted for about four months. The best way to describe it is self-sabotage on my part. I did not want to believe that this was real.
One day my tire blew. I am not handy at all, so I called him to help me with my tire. The next day, I got in a car accident. When my dad asked me what was wrong with the car, I could not give him a good description. He suggested that I call Garrett. Stubbornly, I told my dad that I did not want to get him involved again. My dad said, “You are definitely going to have to like call him because I don’t think your car was drivable.” So, I called him again.
That is when things began to click for me. I began to see the love that was still there. We had not broken up on bad terms or anything. We were just not on the same page at that time. I could not have reached out to any of the exes I had dated. I realized I had become accustomed to conditional love.
Garrett helped me get back home after the accident and drove me to Columbia to pick up a spare car from my parents. When I needed to return their car, he went back with me. During those trips, we were able to have some needed conversations. I realized the love we shared was not lost.
Before the breakup, we planned to travel to Portugal for his best friend’s wedding. Garrett had never been out of the country and asked me to help him book his flight. I had been on cruises but never flown to a new country. I knew that making your first solo trip by going to Portugal was not the best idea, so I suggested that we go together. It would also give us a chance to tackle a life experience together and to preview how the future could be.
The more time we spent together, the more we saw growth in each of us. Seeing how he treated me and others kindled a deeper appreciation of him. He is a big-hearted person who puts other people’s needs ahead of his own. Watching him interact with his nieces and nephews let me know that he would be a great dad. Finally, it clicked. He was the one for me.
(Garrett) I was a little surprised when she called me about the flat tire. But honestly, it might have taken something like that to bring us back together. When she had the accident, I was the only person around to help her. So, I did what any good man would do, which was to make sure she was okay.
That opened the lines of communication. She told me she wanted to talk, so I went to her apartment. From our conversations, she knew that we missed each other. We took things slowly, but our goal from that time forward was to get back together.
My best friend was getting married in Portugal the next month. She asked if she could still go with me. The trip helped us iron things out, and we were able to get back on good terms.
Having her there with me was amazing. Experiencing a different culture in a completely different part of the world was huge for me. When we got home, I was certain that this was how I wanted it to be forever, not just temporarily.
I am a very simple, minimalistic person. I don’t like a lot of drama. I have never liked to compromise on certain things and others that would turn me off completely. But with Destiny, it was different. I was willing to do so much that I had told myself that I would not.
Going through those trials together wasn’t easy, and I wouldn’t do it with anybody else. Not that she gets to treat me like a doormat, but whenever possible, I try to let her have her way. That is how I knew she was the one. I was willing to make compromises.
It was also how they carried herself, her mentality, and how she handled things. I want to feel comfortable knowing that if something were to happen to me, my wife can hold down the house. She has those qualities.
(Destiny) We got engaged on December 25, 2021. We bought a house together in June, so I knew we were on the trajectory of marriage, but I was not expecting to get engaged when we did. We had decided to host family and friends for Christmas brunch. I should have known that something was up when my friend visiting from California insisted that I get my nails done.
His original plan was to propose to me after everyone had gotten there and we were having breakfast but changed his mind during our gift exchange. My mother, sister, and his uncle had arrived. We normally give stocking gifts. When I reached into my stocking, I pulled out an empty ring box. I turned around to ask where the gift was, and Garrett was kneeling behind me, holding the ring in his hand. Then he proposed to me. I was both shocked and happy, more happy than shocked.
(Garrett) I called her mom and dad in November and had gotten their blessing. At first, I put the actual ring in her stocking. When she didn’t see a present for her under the tree, she kept asking where her present was. I told her that if she looked around, she would find it.
I wanted most of her family to be there for the proposal. Having her mom and sister there meant a lot. When she saw the ring, she started crying.
(Destiny) Wedding planning was a bit rocky for us. I knew most of the vendors I wanted to work with. The biggest part for us was trying to nail down the location, whether to have the wedding in Greenville, Columbia, or somewhere else. Then came the shock of a lifetime.
We got engaged that Christmas, and I discovered I was pregnant in January. It was not something we had planned, but we were super excited. Garrett was over the moon. We decided to downsize, prioritize our wedding plans, and have a small wedding with immediate family and friends. Amid all this, in February, I suffered a miscarriage.
We went through a whirlwind of emotions, going from being excited to losing that joy. We had originally planned our wedding for Memorial Day 2023. After experiencing this loss together and working through it, one of the things we decided was to get married sooner. We chose November 13, 2022, our dating anniversary, for our wedding date. That gave us eight months to pull everything together.
Not only was timing an issue but so was trying to find joy. Not that it wasn’t enjoyable, but after the miscarriage, we were still working through feelings of loss and dealing with grief. We had fun, but not as much as we would have had dealt with the grief, and then we started planning the wedding.
I did most of the planning myself. I can be a bit controlling, wanting to do things my way, so I definitely did most of the work. We had a day of coordinator who gave me a lot of support in the month leading up to and on the day of the wedding.
(Garrett) Destiny was surprised that I was so excited to learn that she was pregnant. I think I was far more excited than she was. A couple of weeks later, we learned that she was going to miscarry. Going through that was very difficult and challenging. I wanted to ensure she was okay and did not blame herself for what happened because it wasn’t her fault. We both grieved, together and individually.
She totally knocked the wedding out of the park. It was all her, from the décor to keeping everyone on track. I just asked how much everything cost, and said cool.
(Destiny) Our wedding incorporated lots of traditional aspects. The theme was modern bohemian. It was a different theme for many of our vendors, so they had to trust my vision while being responsible for executing it. Our colors were navy blue and terracotta with gold accents. Pampas grass tied everything together.
We had about one hundred sixty-five guests. There were two maids of honor, six bridesmaids, seven groomsmen, and a best man. Garrett’s nieces and little sister were junior bridesmaids. We used the traditional vows and lit unity candles.
The most memorable part of the wedding for me was walking down the aisle and seeing Garrett crying. For months leading up to the wedding, he said, “I’m not gonna cry.” I was like, “Okay, we’ll see.”
I am a big crybaby, so my makeup artist instructed me not to cry during the wedding. As I began to walk down the aisle, I noticed that Garrett was crying. It caught me off, guard. I started looking for other people that I could focus on to keep from crying. That is when I saw that my maids of honor were crying too. It became a running joke between us because he had bet people that he would not cry. I also felt the reception was memorable. It was great seeing everyone together enjoying themselves.
(Garrett) I had two favorite moments. One was when I saw her coming down the aisle. I couldn’t believe that I was twenty-eight and had made it to this point, and now my wife was in front of me.
My cousins were my groomsmen. They made a bet with me that I would cry when Destiny came down the aisle. She kept asking me if I was going to cry. I told her, “I did not know. That is not something you plan, but if I do not cry, please don’t think it is about you.” As soon as she started walking down the aisle, I could not hold back my tears. So, I lost that bet.
The other special moment was walking into the reception. Both families were under one roof celebrating us. We had a great time.
(Destiny) We have not had an official honeymoon. Both of us recently changed jobs. We did have a staycation. We spent a few days relaxing and recouping in Columbia. We are planning to go to Greece for our one-year anniversary.
Advice to Others
(Destiny) Plan as much for your marriage as you do for the wedding. A wedding is truly just that one day. While it is nice to celebrate with your family and friends and those you choose to share the moments with, that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Don’t stress about planning the wedding. The best thing that my coordinator told me is, nobody will know if small things go wrong during your wedding unless you tell them. Your guests will not notice.
(Garrett) Make sure that you both are ready for the next step, not just one party. As far as planning goes, a wedding is going to be stressful and there are going to be things that may fall apart during the process. But remember, this is a part of it, and it’s going to work itself out.
Please take a moment to congratulate Garrett & Destiny and wish them continued love and happiness in the comment section.
Note: Are you engaged, married for one year or less, celebrating an anniversary, or renewing your vows and want to share your story? Click here to begin or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photography/Videography: Smithalee Photography
Venue: 701 Whaley
Wedding Coordinator: DKG Weddings, Darrell Gambrell
Décor: Beyond Expectations, Rena Robinson
Catering: Pumpkins Catering, Gwen Taylor
Cake: Cakes Lamor Bakery
DJ: DJ DNyce
Vocalist: Jasmyne Johnson and Zackery Reid
Bride & Groom Attire: Dimitra’s Designs
Bridal MUA: The of House of Flawless, Alores Cornelius Norris
Bridal Party MUA: Artistry by Paige, Paige Moore
Bridal Hair: Be Bold Beauty & Hair Studio, Shaniqua Dominick
Bartending: GQ Styles Bartending
Bridal Party Florals: Lawanda Juanita Howell
Rentals: Ken Lloyd
Limo: 4 Seasons Limo Services
360 Photo Booth: Captured Moments