Boy meets girl, a friendship slowly turns romantic, they get married and embark on an East Coast road trip to celebrate their nuptials.
The difference is, Joy and Richard are aged 92 and 87.
“Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think this would happen,” Joy says.
“My first husband died 36 years ago when he was only 55 and I wasn’t interested in another relationship.
“I hadn’t been on a date since.”
All that changed in February last year.
After 20 years of friendship, Joy and Richard went on their first date.
Both widowers after Richard lost his wife following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, their friendship slowly transitioned into a relationship.
Joy says it was Richard’s “gentleness and caring nature” that really drew her in.
Richard jokes he chose Joy because he needed an older woman: “To tell the truth, it had to be someone of her age – I couldn’t keep up with anyone younger!”
But in all seriousness, Richard says Joy is “just a beautiful person, beautiful personality, very gentle, very kind and very loving”.
“Plus she has a gorgeous smile and she sees something in me that I don’t – it’s a big plus.”
When Richard got down on one knee to propose over a home cooked meal one evening, Joy was taken by surprise.
But she was quick to say yes and a wedding soon followed – the pair not wanting to waste another moment of their twilight years.
They wed on Sunday, April 24, during morning Mass at Semaphore’s Sacred Heart Church, with three of Joy’s granddaughters as bridesmaids and Richard’s son as best man.
The ceremony was followed by a reception with family and friends at a North Haven retirement village, where Richard lives, with people travelling from near and far to attend.
Joy was especially touched that her daughter and granddaughter travelled from Ukraine, where they had been volunteering in the war relief efforts, to ensure they could be part of the special occasion.
“It really was such a happy crowd, with many people who hadn’t seen each other for years,” Joy recalls.
“It was a lovely wedding and a beautiful day – I couldn’t ask for nicer.”
Joy has lived in UnitingSA’s independent living units for the past 20 years – first as a resident in the former Wesley House units and for the past decade, at Willason Grove in Semaphore Park.
Before setting off on their honeymoon, Joy handed in her keys and moved in with Richard to begin their life as husband and wife.
Their first adventure together as a married couple is a three-month road trip through Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, visiting family and friends along the way.
They want to spend their honeymoon enjoying a mix of relaxation and adventure, while also taking some time to plan their future, including the possibility of buying a new home together when they return.
“I am looking forward to just enjoying the companionship really, which is something I haven’t had for years,” Joy says.
“We’ve got a lot in common – we love reading, we love travelling, we love nature, we love cooking.
“To have someone to discuss things with and share life with is amazing.”
Joy says her love story provides a timely reminder for others in older age to “never give up”.
“You don’t know what’s around the corner,” she says.
“Don’t be afraid to take a risk and take every opportunity with both hands.”
As Joy and Richard drive away in their motorhome, they are following this very advice; and proving to the world that it’s never too late for love.