And our lucky winner is…. Stephanie Coghlan! Congratulations to Stephanie and her partner Luke who will be receiving a $1500 Couples Photography package. We also have two runners up – Amanda Ward and Rachael Ortlik for submitting some great responses to our love story competition, both will be receiving $300 Portrait Vouchers to put towards a Vivid Photography Portrait Session.
And now for Stephanie & Luke’s love story…
“I was just 17 when I first lay eyes on the man that would change my world. I was so certain that he was meant to be in my future, that I announced in Maths class I had ‘finally’ found someone. I hadn’t had a conversation with him, I didn’t know his hopes or his dreams, I didn’t know where he lived or what his hobbies were, I didn’t even know his name… but I just knew.
A few months later we had our first, albeit brief, conversation. A few months after that we shared our first kiss. One week after that we started dating… and I still knew.
Slowly, the details of his life became apparent to me, but mostly they just seemed so unimportant. We were young and he took my breath away and that was all that seemed to matter, but then they started to matter greatly.
Two years into our relationship he went to Dubai to play in the World Under 19 rugby union championships, then to Perth to play. I didn’t think much of it, I always thought rugby was a sideline to his University studies, but then three years into our relationship he told me he got offered a contract to play rugby in Italy for a year. My whole world was thrown upside down. I still had 2 years to finish my university degrees but how could I say no? It was his dream he told me, his everything. I helped him pack his bags.
Almost immediately Luke got selected to play for the National Italian Rugby Team thanks to his Italian heritage. I still remember the phone call “I think I am going to be here for a while.” For 2 years I travelled back and forth between Italy and Australia, struggling with a long distance relationship.
Then five years into our relationship and a few months before I was due to finish my studies and move to finally be with him I got scared. Totally and utterly terrified. Was I ready to leave my family, everything I knew, my possible career, to move to a completely foreign place on the other side of the world? Suddenly I wasn’t so sure I knew after all… so I ran. I said I wasn’t ready for this that I was going touring around Europe with a girlfriend.
It was almost at the end of my adventure and I still didn’t know. I was sitting on boat, in the port of Split in Croatia, about to leave for the airport when I got a text message “I’m coming to meet you in Rome tomorrow”. It seemed that this time it was he who knew. So I bolted out of the boat leaving an extremely confused friend and I headed straight to Zara. I had been backpacking for months and I had no clean, decent clothes and there was no way I was letting him see me after almost 8 months looking like … well …. a backpacker!
For the next 24 hours I couldn’t function. I couldn’t sleep or eat or manage a conversation. I still couldn’t decide if I was making a terrible mistake seeing him, but evidently I found myself standing at the Rome train station waiting to find out.
It was hot and crowded in the train station as families, tourists and business people hurried onto trains heading for destinations all over the country. Still to this day I can remember every single feeling, sensation and emotion that I went through in the moments leading up to seeing him. From the smell of the coffee, to the African men yelling out to people to buy their wares, it seemed like all my emotions were heightened…. and they all culminated in the moment that he walked off that train. The moment our eyes met I felt all the air was sucked out of my lungs. I couldn’t move…
…but I knew before he even reached me and held me. I was 17 again and I just knew. 100%.
That night he said to me “come and live with me” and I did. One year and half later there has not been a day that I have regretted moving to Italy to be with him. It hasn’t always been easy, there have been trying times, but it has been wonderful, he is wonderful. I feel completely blessed to be with someone so incredible who, after 7 years, I love more than ever.”
Posted in: Uncategorized