When looking at Diyanna and David’s wedding photos, you wouldn’t guess that chronic illness was something that the couple has had to deal with. Although now in good health, Diyanna has lived with cystic fibrosis all her life, and David’s been lovingly along for the ride since they met 16 years ago in high school. It’s been a tough journey to say the least, but they’ve spoken to “in sickness and in health” long before Diyanna finally said “yes.”
The two were both friends in the art department. She’d help him dye his blue hair and glue his spiked mohawk that was so tall, it forced him to drive with his head out the window. They grew closer over the years, and after college, David continuously asked Diyanna to marry him. For fear of ruining their friendship, she rejected him again and again until one Halloween night at her birthday party, they had their first nonplatonic kiss. They dated from that night on, and on the sixth Halloween anniversary of that kiss, they got married. David even proposed in the courtyard of Diyanna’s old apartment where their first kiss took place with a boombox playing the same song that was in the background at her party.
Having such a long history together actually eased managing a relationship while living with cystic fibrosis, according to Diyanna. She was very transparent about it all from the start and made sure David knew what he was in for.
“It’s not easy to be married to someone who is chronically ill, and who may have a shortened life expectancy, but within these challenges are rewards of strength and understanding,” Diyanna told us in an email. “I have never thought of CF as a battle, nor something that defines who I am. It is simply another aspect of my being that requires extra attention, like another job. When sh*t gets bad, we simply try to see the humor in it all and [roll] with the punches.”
When it came to selecting the perfect wedding venue, the two went with Salvage One in Chicago, a unique location with unexpected warmth and a story. The bathtubs and marquee letters added some quirk that reflected the couple’s fun personalities and relationship. Everything was personal, from their handwritten vows to handmade rings. David even arranged a secret surprise first dance that involved Diyanna’s close friend and her friend’s father singing one of her favorite songs.
“I did not marry my ‘best friend’ as so many say, I married someone who loves me for who I am, and who accepts me, all parts of me,” Diyanna said. “My late father once said that I should find someone who makes me laugh, someone who is able to listen, and someone who I could sit for hours on end with in comfortable silence. I found that person, and there is nothing more I could ask for.”
See their beautiful photos!