There are few things more beautiful than the sunset on Yokohama Bay in Hawaii, but for Alyssa Jo Harmon the sunset was eclipsed by her, now, husband Richard Denson on one knee.
“I called her father and asked permission to ask Alyssa to marry me,” Denson said. “Darrell (Harmon) said yes and after that I had to try to come up with an awesome way to propose so I bounced a few ideas off of my friends and my friend Cameron said, ‘You can’t beat a beautiful sunset on a beach in Hawaii.’ I walked her away from our friends and got down on one knee and asked the most important question of my life.”
Yokes, the locals’ name for Yokohama Bay, was one of the couple’s favorite beaches on the island of Oahu, but the couple married at Wilkes Cove in Ozark on Dec. 1, 2018.
“We chose it because I had always wanted an outside venue and Ozark was close to my family in Enterprise and most of our friends in Troy,” Alyssa Denson said.
Alabama weather, however, decided to rear its head during the couple’s wedding.
“It rained all day and we were snapping pictures in between showers,” Alyssa Denson said. “There was literally a tornado watch going on during my reception. About an hour before the ceremony we had to completely flip my ceremony site. The wedding was supposed to be outside in front of an arbor but everything was completely soaked.”
She said that despite the weather, the wedding was still everything she ever wanted.
“The wedding was beautiful,” Alyssa Denson said. “All of my vendors helped me create my Pinterest perfect wedding. The flowers, the cake, the decorations, everything was exactly what I had always wanted and despite the terrible weather everyone still had a blast.”
She said the ceremony itself didn’t just mark the two’s lives truly beginning together but also the end of their time apart.
“Our ceremony was special as well- we had been long distance for two years and the wedding kind of marked the end of it and during the ceremony was when it really hit me that our distance was finally done.”
Alyssa Denson is the daughter of Darrell and Julie Harmon. Her mother was born and raised in Enterprise and currently serves as Enterprise City Schools’ Child Nutrition Director.
She graduated from Enterprise High School in 2014 and proceeded to attend Troy University, where she would meet her future husband.
The two met when Alyssa Denson’s sorority big sister introduced the two at an event one night. However, it was the day after that that really sealed their fate.
“The next day there was a Troy football game and my friends and me were sitting in his fraternity’s section and he came up to me and started hanging out with me and as they say the rest is history,” Alyssa Denson said. “We started hanging out regularly and he finally asked me to be his girlfriend a couple months later.”
The couple’s relationship was taken to the next level when Richard Denson decided to join the Coast Guard and left for boot camp in January of 2017. Alyssa Denson said this was when she knew he was the one.
“All of a sudden our relationship was at a new level,” Alyssa Denson said. “I was making a commitment to a whole different lifestyle by staying with him. In that moment though I knew I didn’t want to be with anyone else.”
Richard Denson said that it was boot camp, itself, that really made him realize how much his future wife meant to him.
“I knew she was the one when I left for boot camp and all I could think about was how much I cared about her and how I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.”
Alyssa Denson said she’ll never forget the day that he graduated boot camp.
“We hadn’t talked to each other except for letters or seen each other in nine weeks so that was a really special reunion,” Alyssa Denson said.
Richard Denson would then get stationed in Hawaii for about a year and half, leaving the two separated by an ocean. That wouldn’t stop them as Alyssa spent her three months of summer before her final year at Troy with her future husband.
“We traveled all over the island and got to free dive with a pod of wild dolphins—it was the best experience,” Alyssa Denson said.
Near her Troy University graduation date in May 2018, Richard Denson received orders, which sent him back to the continental United States in North Carolina for school.
A month before the wedding, Richard received new orders sending him to Mobile, where the married couple currently resides.
Alyssa Denson said their married life isn’t all that different from their lives as an engaged couple.
“Honestly the only difference from being engaged is living together,” Alyssa Denson said. “There really aren’t any major changes. We still function pretty much the same way except now we own a house and have to pay bills together.”
She said that the two of them are excited to finally get to travel the world together throughout the rest of their lives.
“We love to travel and now our distance is over, we’re excited to just adventure,” Alyssa Denson said. “We can’t wait to see and try new things and embrace whatever adventures the military throws at us next.”