Brave Jessica Padgett says her wedding day was special – even though she didn’t get to marry the ‘man of her dreams’ after firefighter Kendall was killed by drunk driver
Dressed in a flowing white wedding dress, Jessica Padgett bows her head as she kneels at her fiancé’s grave on the day they were meant to tie the knot.
This heartbreakingly beautiful picture was captured on September 29, when Jessica was supposed to marry the ‘man of her dreams’, Kendall Murphy.
The couple tragically never got the chance to wed after firefighter Kendall, 27, was hit and killed by an alleged drunk driver in November last year.
But on what should have been their big day, 10 months after the tragedy, Jessica bravely wore her bridal gown and marked the date herself.
With her hair and makeup done, the courageous bride was pictured holding a bouquet of flowers as she paid an emotional visit to Kendall’s headstone.
She tearfully knelt beside the grave, with her head resting on her hands, before being joined by other loved ones, who knelt down beside her.
“I wanted to be where he was at,” Jessica said.
The bride, who made “broken look beautiful” and “strong look invincible”, also honoured her beloved fiancé in other ways on their wedding day.
In powerful images, taken by Loving Life Photography in Indiana, US, she smiles beside Kendall’s firefighter gear and gazes at a picture of him.
She also embraces loved ones, and later releases lanterns into the sky.
And in one particularly striking shot from the day, she can be seen looking down at Kendall’s boots, with his image photoshopped next to her.
The late firefighter had worn the boots “every day”.
Taking to Facebook the following morning, Jessica said her wedding day was special, “even though I didn’t get to marry the man of my dreams”.
She wrote: “I can’t say thank you to everyone enough for this entire week!
“I feel beyond spoiled and loved. This week wasn’t the outcome I wanted, but everyone made me feel especially loved.
“I especially want to thank my sister for being my rock throughout everything, through the tears and the late night talks I couldn’t have done this without you.
“Thank you everyone for making my wedding day special even though I didn’t get to marry the man of my dreams.”
The wedding pictures, shared on Loving Life Photography’s Facebook page, also feature Kendall’s young nieces and nephews.
One of them he sadly never got the chance to meet, Global News reports.
Both Jessica’s maid of honour and her fiancé’s best man are thought to have given speeches during the “very emotional” day.
Kendall, a volunteer firefighter from Montgomery, Indiana, was responding to a crash on a rural road when he was killed on November 10, 2017.
Police said he was pronounced dead at the scene after another firefighter responding to the incident, Colby Blake, 26, struck him with his truck.
Blake was said to be driving with a 0.21 per cent blood alcohol level.
He was arrested and charged over the incident, according to local media.
The case is yet to be set for trial.