I thought it was time to share our story with you. We met on Christian connection in 2018...I had been on the app for a month or so however I was at the point of giving up hope and was in the process of shutting my account, however on this day before I decided to do this I thought I’d have one last scroll and I stumbled across Toby...who I later discovered had only been on the app for an hour in total!! We chatted for a few weeks getting to know each other via messages. I am a born again Christian and have a history of long term relationships before this. Toby had never had a serious relationship.
We decided to meet during half term due to Toby being a school teacher. We decided our first date should be something fun so we met at our local crazy golf course. From this point we went from strength to strength we went on dates to the theatre, out for dinner, to the cinema, for walks, on picnics and many more. We both attended different churches at this point so we both visited each other’s churches and experienced each other’s relationship with God. I got baptised in 2019 and Toby was able to share this experience with me. We meet each other’s families and both instantly felt at home it was really a gift from God. We made the decision in April last year that to take our relationship further we should be sharing our journey in faith together so we made the decision that I would move churches to join Toby which was one of the best decisions we made as a couple.
To celebrate our anniversary we took a trip to the New Forest. We had a magical time despite it raining all the time...typical British weather. Toby had planned to propose completely unknown to me on a walk in the forest but due to the rain, he decided to adapt that plan. During dinner together he told me to cover my eyes and when I opened them he was on one knee asking me to marry him...and of course I said YES! Toby had been planning to propose for a number of weeks and had managed to sneakily ask my dads permission whilst pretending to fix his printer!
We had planned our special day for 2020. We decided on a bit of a DIY wedding...getting married at our new church building and then off to a reception at a local village hall. We had invited over 100 guests to share our special day with us and we were so excited! But then COVID-19 hit the UK. We spent a lot of time trying to convince ourselves that it wouldn’t impact on our wedding and it would all be over by then. However when lockdown hit the UK we knew that was unrealistic, so we had to make the extremely difficult decision to cancel the wedding. As a couple we were so angry at the world it felt everything was turning against us. Not only had our wedding been cancelled but the house we had purchased was also on hold due to it being a new build and still under construction. There was a lot of tears (mainly me) and strops but then we turned to God and spent some time praying asking for guidance, support and peace. It was at this point we had a glimmer of hope, after seeing what our church could achieve tech-wise for a Sunday morning service we decided to pitch the idea of a ‘virtual wedding’. It was something everyone had to think quite carefully about but it was agreed by the church that this would be achievable.
So a virtual live ceremony is taking place on YouTube. This is not a legal ceremony but it is doing what we feel is most important sharing our love for each other in the presence of our family and friends in the eyes of God. We have so many aspects to this ceremony such as readings, worship, preaching, videos from friends and family but most importantly our vows and exchanging of the rings. We cannot be more grateful for all the effort everyone has gone to! We are truly blessed with our church family. We really see this as a symbol of hope and love for everyone and we will not let COVID stop us!
We would like to give thanks to Christian Connection for bringing us together because without you we would not be celebrating our wedding day this weekend
Victoria and Toby