Christe Chen, 36, and Bradley Robert Dawson, 38, tied the knot in February — with the pair appearing smitten as they locked eyes in a photo on their big day.
The pastry chef-turned-pharmacist wore a flowing, strapless gown and held a bouquet of flowers while smiling wide, perhaps dreaming of their life together.
But the couple’s once-promising future was dashed when Dawson allegedly killed Chen at a luxury resort while on their honeymoon on July 9 in the South Pacific — just five months after their ill-fated nuptials.
The pair got married on Feb. 18 after what one acquaintance said was a “whirlwind romance,” the Daily Beast reported.
Chen and Dawson then hosted a party the next day with about 20 people at a historic inn in their hometown of Memphis, the outlet reported.
The couple’s decision to get married took some by surprise, according to a source who knew Chen professionally.
“It was some kind of whirlwind romance,” the source who asked not to be identified stated, adding that few people in Chen’s orbit met Dawson prior to the wedding.
Everyone who knew Chen is “just still trying to absorb” the shock of her death, the source said.
Guests at their intimate reception the day after the nuptials — where the couple seemed to be elated — feasted on Caesar salad, petite filet steak, and sauteed shrimp in brown butter, according to video of the event obtained by the outlet.
“Yesterday, Christe & Brad were given a gorgeous spring day to celebrate their nuptials amongst their closest family and friends at the beautiful James Lee House,” a photographer hired for the event posted on her Instagram page. “Christe and Brad’s joy radiated all over their faces and was so much fun to capture on camera.”
Dawson, who works at a nonprofit that helps children, remains held in Fiji on a murder charge. A judge ordered him to remain in custody for 14 days before he returns to court on July 27, the Fiji Sun reported.
Friends of Chen, meanwhile, said she was eager to have children and spend the rest of her life with Dawson.
“I am in shock,” Rena Schomburg told the outlet. “I just texted all my friends and my husband, telling them I hope it’s not real. But my husband told me it is real. She was so excited to get married and have babies.”
The couple had met in 2015 while planning a mutual friend’s bachelorette party, the Daily Mail reported.
“It’s so sad,” Schomburg said of her friend’s tragic death. “She didn’t have a bad bone in her body.”
An attorney for Dawson could not confirm how Chen died after being found lifeless in a hotel room, but insists his client is innocent, WHBQ reported.