Loretta and Justin’s story is a pretty amazing one. They met, a long way away from their homes, in rural Kenya where he was researching potatoes and she was working in maternal and child health and HIV prevention. It took only two weeks for Justin to move out of the farm where he was living and into Loretta’s cozy apartment – they knew there was something more than a little special there. Loretta said to me that their relationship was founded on cooking for and consuming delicious food with each other and their friends. That sounds just like my kind of existence to be honest.
But it wasn’t easy. Justin had to soon move to Bologna, Italy where he was doing his Masters and Loretta remained in the countryside of Kenya. However, they had a much bigger goal in mind at the end of their respective adventures, one that was worth the distance and the heartache – they knew they wanted to be married and whatever it took, that would happen. Even that was going to be a challenge in its own ways. Loretta’s family are from Melbourne while Justin, an American, lived in Sacramento, California – both were half the world away from home. And organising a wedding in a few months from two different countries, separated by time-zones, work schedules and regular life as well as thousands of kilometres is more than a challenge. But Loretta and Justin are brave people, they follow their hearts and let their dreams take flight. They gave themselves a 10 day window to come to Australia and have their celebration. But more than that, how Loretta described it to me in her first email made perfect sense and simply is perfect for saying what these two beautiful souls are about.
Ultimately, this wedding is not about us: it’s about our families and friends meeting for the first time. It’s about making sure everyone leaves with sore stomachs from overeating, and sore legs from dancing too much. We don’t know when we will be in Australia again, so this wedding is a celebration of just being together.