With a Little Help From The Internet, Local Photographer Finds His Blushing Bride

rolls royce brideGregory Ralich snapped this bride's photo in Harvard Square on a July afternoon in 2015. Then, he lost track of her.

The photo looks like something from another era. A newlywed bride, clutching a bouquet of flowers, looks out from the back of a stunning vintage Rolls Royce. Her face is partially obscured by her hand, but her eyes are alight, her face radiating joy beneath her white veil, as she waves to someone in the distance.

Gregory Ralich just happened to spot the car—and the bride inside of it—as he threaded his way through Harvard Square on a mid-July afternoon last year. He had a point-and-shoot film camera with him, and he approached the car to ask the bride if he could take her picture. She said yes, and Ralich eventually wound up with the seemingly timeless photo above.

“I really love the kind of magic that comes from things like shooting film, hearing songs on the radio and gabbing away on a landline phone—all stuff that is all of a sudden ‘old school,'” Ralich tells us. (He believes the picture is perhaps the best he’s ever taken, and he shot it on a camera that’s older than he is.)

But once the film was developed and Ralich saw the stunning image he captured, he had no way of finding the bride. That beauty of that old-school stuff is partially in its impermanence, and with no email addresses or cell phone numbers exchanged, no Twitter handles or Facebook tags applied, she was lost. He posted the photo to Facebook, but no one seemed to recognize her.

“This moment was just the best for me because it was so random, and I’m such a sucker for good timing,” Ralich says. “I liked the Rolls Royce because my parents took almost the exact same one to their wedding, and it was just a moment in time that could’ve existed in any of the last five decades.”

So yesterday, more than a year after he snapped the photo, Ralich took to the internet again. And this time, with a little help from Universal Hub (and a few amateur sleuths in the comments section), he found her.

“I am the bride!!!” a user named Tricia commented on the post. “That picture was taken on my wedding day last year 7/11!!!! Thank you for this magical gesture. I am beyond grateful.”

“Greg, Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she added. “You made my day… My month.. My year. I will never forget this.”

Since landlines, for all their beauty, are a little inefficient when it comes to transferring photos, Tricia has reached out to Ralich over email; he’s going to have this photo and a few others he snapped printed up for her. In the words of another Universal Hub commenter, “Best ‘missed connections’ ever?”

For Ralich, this is just proof of the joy that comes from slowing down a little, from taking a step back from the rush or chatting with a stranger or shooting some photos on a camera that’s as old as you are.

“I would advocate that anyone who feels a little dragged down by the state of the world in 2016 should look for opportunities to bring a little of that old school magic back into their lives,” he says simply. “Turn your radio to 740AM WJIB in Cambridge if you need a little inspiration.”