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Woman Spots Neighbors’ Balcony Wedding—Becomes Start of Special Friendship – Newsweek

3 minutes, 37 seconds Read

Who needs a wedding venue when you have a balcony? Who needs a wedding photographer when you have a good neighbor?

A story of unlikely friendship has stolen hearts online after Kelsey Toney (@kelseybtoney) filmed her neighbor’s apartment-balcony wedding from her window, leading to a deep friendship between two strangers and couples. Toney, 40, told Newsweek about the remarkable story—and what she couldn’t have known when taking out her camera to film. Since her video was posted, it has received more than 1.3 million views, nearly 200,000 likes and over 1,500 comments.

“Love actually is… all around,” Toney captioned the video, which documents her neighbor’s balcony-wedding and her own heartfelt reaction to the event.

From left: Kelsey Toney; and her neighbors in her TikTok video. The clip has gone viral after Toney captured the couple’s balcony wedding on video, leading to a beautiful friendship.
From left: Kelsey Toney; and her neighbors in her TikTok video. The clip has gone viral after Toney captured the couple’s balcony wedding on video, leading to a beautiful friendship.
@kelseybtoney/TikTok

Toney told Newsweek that she was brand-new to the Washington, D.C. area, having been in her apartment only for a month when her neighbor got married. Being a writer, Toney said she works from home, gazing out of her and her husband’s large windows that look out onto the neighboring building. It was then that she caught the scene.

“We wondered if they might just be testing it out for another date, but soon, real flowers arrived, the champagne was popped, and a few chairs were set out,” Toney said. “My husband is a landscape photographer, and he had a clear understanding of the power of the view from our side of the alley. From our side, we could see the whole space…That little bit of distance changed everything.”

Toney said she and her husband went out onto their own balcony to introduce themselves and take a few photos.

“They asked us to sit and stay for the ceremony, from our balcony. Like any self-respecting cross-balcony wedding guest, I did my hair and poured our glasses to toast at the end,” Toney said.

Love and rings were exchanged, she added, but there was something deeper at play.

Intersecting Journeys

Toney and her husband eventually connected with Hannah, the bride, and her groom Kevin. After sending them the photos, a friendship started to bloom, and Toney learned about the true meaning of their balcony-wedding.

“Hannah explained that extra bit of emotionality we could all feel watching their ceremony even at a distance. Her beloved father had unexpectedly and recently passed, changing her whole world,” Toney said. “Their large wedding no longer held the same joy, and their priorities changed overnight. Hannah’s dad was a vibrant, life of the party, center of attention sort of guy.

From the beginning, Toney and Hannah’s friendship felt storied. “We texted like old friends… when we saw each other outside the bar, we hugged like old friends,” Toney said.

“I think it’s quite beautiful that I found myself eager for friendship in a brand-new city and Hannah found herself facing a beautiful but challenging chapter of life—and we’ve both found a new friend to walk through it with.”

Love Recognizes Love

Toney said there is a reason she was primed to appreciate Hannah’s love story—she has one of her own.

“I found a late-in-life, second-chance love with my beautiful, wonderful husband,” she said. “My own relationship has shown me that love can bring ease to life—it doesn’t have to be the heartbreaking work I’d always known it to be. I get to face every day with a partner who has helped me learn how to love myself and who never wants me to be less.”

Since meeting, the two couples have had countless adventures, from “Taco Tuesday” to a video-game-and charcuterie night.

Hannah’s world might have shrunk from grief on her wedding day, but through Toney, it grew more expansive than either of them could have anticipated.

“We all love that Hannah and Kevin had a small wedding, that somehow was celebrated by thousands of strangers around the world,” Toney said.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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