Girlfriend for 7 years. Fiancee for 7 days.
I worked in Australia in 2009 and went back to Manila in December of that year. Carlo left to immigrate to Canada on February 2010. I was only able to save enough money to visit him by May 2011 for a 2-week vacation.... I never went back to Manila.
And my name actually became a thing where I worked, "Don't pull a Luzee". (Vacation then impromptu wedding.)
We've been long-distance internationally for a little over 2 years. And even when we lived in the Philippines, he was in the southern part of Metro Manila while I was up north. I arrived in Canada on May 3, 2011 to visit my then-boyfriend of 7 years. It actually felt funny when I was saying goodbye to my parents to get on my flight to Canada. Mom and Dad were teary-eyed and I didn't know why. They just kept saying, "Enjoy your time! We love you!" but it felt like they were saying goodbye to their little girl. Parents' intuition like they knew something was going to happen? I guess.
So I landed in Toronto and you could just feel how happy we were to see each other. Our smiles were from ear-to-ear. I remember hugging Carl in the airport and his scent just smelled like home.
We spent the first few days doing tourist stuff and my sister from Halifax even flew over to Toronto to be with us. On May 7, our plan for the day was to head to Niagara Falls with Tito Ton-Ton's family. It was such a lovely day. The sun was out and there was a cool breeze - spring was definitely in the air. Passing the Niagara gift shop by the falls, Carl sees a display of Canadian diamond jewelry and calls to me, "Unggoy ("monkey", that's what he calls me), if you were to pick one, what would you want?" I just stood there smiling inside. I told him, "I'm fine with anything. Actually, double-banded please." I was never one to want expensive jewelry with screaming large stones. Just as long as I have earrings, I'm fine and I can function. Even with gifts, I always preferred food or experiences.
When we got home from Niagara, we were spent but we had to do laundry. While in the middle of gathering our clothes, Carl starts kneeling and I thought he was looking for something. So I knelt beside him and starting to search the floor for "something". When I lift my head, he's there with a ring out, asking me to marry him. I said yes, and smiled, and cried, and hugged him. He whispered in my ear, "I didn't know which knee to kneel on so I just went for both, to be safe."
The next day, Tito Ton-Ton already did the research on forms we needed. We checked when the next opening was in city hall of Whitchurch-Stouffville for a civil wedding. The only open slot was May 13th (because it was Friday the 13th, no one wanted to get married on that day). We took it. We paid for the application and registration, scheduled a one hour sit-down with judge to get to know us and make sure we were in our right minds to want a wedding, and we even discussed that we'd have to have laptops set-up so we could have our families overseas watch our wedding (families from the Philippines and the USA). The city hall said we were the first ones to do that (yes... we pioneered social distancing for weddings). We bought our wedding outfits and bought a small bouquet of flowers. On the day of the wedding, my sister helped me with hair and I did my make-up. We all gathered up in the car and went to the ceremony and finally, Carl and I got married on May 13, 2011. After the ceremony, we had lunch and celebrated at the Mongolian Grill (the all you can eat one). We went to the Distillery District to walk and have some hot chocolate. We finally went home and had Japanese tempura for dinner. The whole wedding and day only cost us $600. (Not bad, eh?!)
The day was perfect. It was beautiful. And we wouldn't have had it any other way.
Here are some photos of our Civil Wedding, Friday the 13th of 2011.
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