Photographer Restores Wedding Album for Couple Who Lost Everything in California Wildfires

"It gave us a piece of something back after losing everything."

Updated 07/16/19

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When the wildfires ravaged California last November, hundreds of residents lost their homes and belongings due to the natural disaster. For Marc and Mary Taylor, that meant their photo album from their 1999 nuptials was also lost in the flames. But a dose of good luck was thrown their way when their wedding photographer was able to bring them a small piece of the past.

When Mary found out that her precious wedding album was gone forever, she decided to track down her wedding photographers. Although she and her husband hadn't seen them in nearly 20 years, she figured it was worth a shot. "They came back to me and said, 'We dug immediately, and we found them. We have them," Mary told KCRA-TV. "And I told Marc, I said, 'Oh my God, they have them.' And so we both started crying."

Turns out, Richard Briggs, the couple's wedding photographer, has kept the negatives from every shot since 1985. Not only did he have the photos, he actually remembered the couple's wedding day as well. “I remember him crying as she was walking down the aisle, and I thought, 'These people are so much in love,'” he told the news station.

Marc was also shocked when he heard the news. "She comes out and (Mary) says, 'They're gonna remake the album. And bring it and give it to us. We were just like, 'That just doesn't happen,'" he recalled.

According to Briggs, the negatives were slightly faded but very much intact. He used a scanner to digitize each photo while his wife edited the images to bring them back to life. "From those images, I was able to make an album,” Briggs said.

A few weeks after Mary reached out, Briggs delivered his promise to the Taylor's doorstep. A tearful Mary opened the album with shaking hands, in awe of the memories she held in her hands. "It's the only photos that we have from the past. So, it meant a lot because we lost everything in the fire," Mary said. Marc was speechless as well, saying, "It gave us a piece of something back after losing everything. I don't know how to explain it. There's no words."

The wedding album also contained photos of family and friends who have passed away in the 19 years since the couple tied the knot, including Marc's mom, KCRA-TV reports. "My mom, who died six days before Christmas...to see her pictures in there, her photos, it's just....it's a piece of mom," Marc said.

For the Taylors, who will celebrate their 20th anniversary this August, there was no better anniversary present in the world.

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