Sometimes—especially in the wake of devastating news—it feels like the world is on fire. There’s a lot we all need to do about that (voting, organizing, rallying, having difficult conversations with people in our lives, educating, sharing resources, building community). But there are also times when we just need to take a step back and practice self-care.

One of the best ways to do that is to remind ourselves that there is light, love and good in the world. So here are 8 love stories that will hopefully cheer you up and bring happiness to your corner of the world.

LONGTIME LOVES GET EQUALLY WED AFTER 50 YEARS TOGETHER

Photo by Tara Tomlinson Photography

“The grooms, who are both in their 70s, exchanged rings during a quiet ceremony outside the courthouse in Bradenton, Florida. With the legalization of same-sex marriage, Don and Ted wanted to honor those who fought for their right to marry by making their relationship official.”

“SPIRITED AWAY” HAYAO MIYAZAKI-INSPIRED WHIMSICAL WEDDING

Spirited Away Hayao Miyazaki inspired whimsical wedding, Equally Wed
Photo by 1001 Angles Photography

“Equally important to the brides was that they pay homage to Qifei’s Chinese heritage. The day began with a traditional hair combing ceremony, where the lucky lady of their choice blessed them with a harmonious marriage and a houseful of children (and grandchildren). Next, Mollie was not allowed to see Qifei until she solved 10 puzzles written in DIY note cards, another Chinese tradition.”

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEART PROPOSAL

Photo by Jessica Hunt Photography

“Taylor and Lexa started dating in their early teens, and they have stayed together and grown together.”

OHIO COUPLE’S ENGAGEMENT IS A ROMANCE MOVIE COME TO LIFE

Photo by Depth of Light Photography

“The idea is that no matter how long two people have been separated, no matter how tangled the string of life gets between them, they will always find their way back to each other.”

AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL CONTESTANT GETS ENGAGED

Photo by Edith Hogan Photography

“There were a lot of ‘love notes’ passed around and one from Teresa with the words written backward. She thought, if Michelle can read this, she is a keeper. Michelle ended up not only understanding every word of the letter but later asked Teresa to be her girlfriend written backward in the sand at the beach. Even better, that’s exactly how she proposed to her.”

FLORIDA SEASIDE DESTINATION WEDDING

Photo by Nichole Waters Photography

“After the ceremony, the newlyweds wanted to celebrate in a unique way, with a jump into the ocean. Still in their wedding attire, the couple plunged into the ocean, surrounded by waves and a breathtaking sunset.”

ROMANTIC COUPLES PHOTO SHOOT IN THE POURING RAIN

Romantic couples photo shoot in the pouring rain - Equally Wed
Photo by Joshua Corey Photography

“We had discussed beforehand the possibilities of rain showers throughout the day, but these two are total team players and were down for anything in this nasty, cold, 40 degree weather! From kissing and dancing in the rain, to the intense mud fights and the overall natural connection these two have with one another, this session could not have gone any better.”

VICTORIAN LESBIAN WEDDING AT HISTORIC CHURCH IN ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA

Victorian lesbian wedding at historic church in Alexandria, Virginia couple two brides
Photo by MLV Photography

“Our wedding day felt like a fairy tale, and this reclamation of history for us as an interracial lesbian couple only made it that much more powerful.”

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