Imagine if you lost the only photo in existence of one of your most treasured life moments. You'd be pretty gutted, right? But what if the person who took the photo post it online in a bid to track you down, to make sure you had a copy?
That's exactly what happened to one couple, after the stranger who took the only photo of their wedding ceremony managed to find them thanks to some canny sharing of the pic online.
Twenty-six-year-old New Yorker Nevona Friedman was out for a walk with her partner one Sunday evening, at around 8pm, when she happened to take the snap.
She explained, "I was riding my bike with my boyfriend and saw them so I just jumped in and took a pic. It was really quiet on the Brooklyn bridge, which is usually super busy, but ever since the pandemic started it's been way less crowded. It was one upside to the whole quarantine situation - the bridge would usually never be so empty."
She added: "I thought the moment was so sweet, and super intimate! I couldn't believe they didn't have any family/friends there or photographers.
After sharing it on social media, she found a mutual friend who connected her to the lucky bride, Nikolina Kovalenko, a 32-year-old artist from Sunset Park, and her partner Stefan Ponova 30, from Romania, who is an electronics design engineer.
The couple decided to tie the knot on 26 July 26 - with the date marking a year since they met while backpacking through South America last year.
The wedding minister took two photos of the couple on Brooklyn Bridge after the ceremony, but they didn't know about the photo taken by Nevona Friedman.
They said: "We wanted the ceremony to be very intimate, and because of the pandemic, we knew that our family and friends wouldn't be able to join us for the celebration, so we decided to go very intimate and make this day just for the two of us.
"It was just the two of us and the officiant, no witnesses or even a photographer, which is why Nevona's photo is even more special. It is the only photo we have of this moment.
"We felt like starting together on one side of the bridge holding hands and crossing to the other side already married is a beautiful symbol of going through life together. We crossed so many bridges suspended over the precipice while hiking in Patagonia together, that for us, it became representational of unconditional support to each other, and a life of adventure."
The couple explained they had met in South America while dancing salsa in Cali, Colombia.
Nikolina said: "The next morning, I had an early 6am bus to catch to go to another Colombian town, San Augustine. I said half-jokingly that if we wanted to continue the conversation, he could meet at the bus station and join me, and I wasn't sure if he would come. But when I got to the terminal Stefan was already there waiting."
The couple's first date was a 10-hour bus ride on one of the worst roads in Colombia, but that didn't stop them from talking the entire time before exploring the small village of San Augustine together.
And when it was time for Stefan to go home, the pair kept in touch over the next few days, with Stefan taking a 24-hour bus ride to meet her in Quito, Ecuador.
As they parted ways, Stefan told a tearful Nikolina that he had a flight booked to meet her in Argentina in one and a half months.
They spoke every single day until they were finally reunited in Bariloche, Argentina and have never spent a day apart since. Stefan eventually moved to New York, where Nikolina has been living for the past eight years.
"When Stefan proposed to me, we both felt like it's the most natural thing," she added.
The couple said they had no idea Nevona had taken the picture of their big day and are blown away and humbled by how much their romantic snap resonated with people.
"Maybe it was a welcome reminder that love prevails no matter what," they said.Featured Image Credit: Jam Press