When we moved to our little town seven years ago, I wasn’t a photographer. I had just finished my job as a journalist back in North Carolina, we’d moved back to England, and I found out (a bit unexpectedly) that I was pregnant. It was all a bit of a whirlwind, and I wasn’t sure how everything was going to work out.
But we joined a church we loved, and immediately became part of a huge, loving, generous family. I got a job with a local charity, even though I was pregnant and going on maternity leave in six months. (Thanks, guys.)
Matt was my boss’s boss. To be honest, I barely knew him. He was normally hopping on the train off to London, or in meetings with Very Important People. But he was smiley and nice, and I liked him.
Meanwhile, completely unrelated, I became friends with Karen. She had worked as a midwife for years before leaving the medical field to work for the homeless project that Simon was working for. She was fun and kind and would also squish my belly by request to tell me which way Adlai’s head was facing.
Fast-forward six years.
Matt notices Karen at church. Like, they’ve been in the same church family for years, and one day he just looks at her and really sees her, you know? So he asks her to have coffee. And they become friends. And then they realise this is more than friendship. They realise this is it.
And Matt takes Karen to Lyme Park, because that’s where Mr. Darcy’s Pemberley was filmed in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice (Karen is obsessed. She once made me watch the whole thing with her in one Saturday. Six hours long.) And then Matt gets down on one knee and quotes Mr. Darcy and puts a ring on Karen’s finger.
So here we are. July 2016. Matt and Karen’s wedding. Years in the making. Years in the waiting. Years of their own family crises and broken hearts, and years of hope and faithfulness and prayers.
If you were there, you know that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. If you know them, you know that theirs is a story of redemption.
So I’ll just stop talking now and let their pictures tell it.