updated 3/26/2007 1:36:31 PM ET 2007-03-26T17:36:31

When their photographer’s camera was stolen shortly after they exchanged vows, Karen and Tory Nordlinder figured they’d never have keepsakes of their wedding day.

This week, they got a pleasant surprise when the camera turned up in a vacant lot near a lake, a year after it disappeared.

The lot’s owner, Leslie Mason, said that her son was cutting down trees and spotted the camera. Inside was contact information for the photographer, Charles Boesen, Mason said.

When he got it back, Boesen plugged the camera’s memory card into his computer and the photos appeared instantly.

“My reaction, I almost cried,” Boesen said. “I’m thinking, this bride is going to be so overjoyed when she finds out.”

“There’s no telling how long that camera was down here,” he said. “What’s amazing is how those pictures survived the elements — the rain, the snow, the freezing temperatures, right alongside the lake.”

Karen Nordlinder said she couldn’t express how happy she was to see the photos.

“We just thought, ’Oh well, we’ve got our memories,”’ she said. “This is just something I never thought we’d see. Ever.”

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