Catching Fall colour for Maria and Joseph’s pre-wedding engagement session in Barrie, Ontario
Some love stories involve the girl right next door or high school sweethearts from across town. But for Maria and Joseph, fate had different ideas – it took a genuine, kind-hearted girl with roots in Mexico to a small town way up in Midland, Ontario in order to meet her Tar Heel Prince from North Carolina. Ahh fate.
While I’m not available to shoot their destination wedding next summer in Mexico, I most certainly was up for some Fall photos for their engagement session. We met just outside Barrie on a chilly Fall afternoon – it was obvious how much in love Maria and Joe were. From the way he doted on her, to the way she giggled at his every word – it’s so great meeting a couple so genuinely into one another. They make love look easy.
Let’s hear more about their long distance story in their own words…
HOW DID THEY MEET:
Maria: Joe and I met back in the beginning of 2013 through a dating website. I wasn’t too sure about the whole online dating scene, but I figured with my line of work and being done school, I had little opportunity of meeting people. So I thought why not give it a shot and 3 weeks later we were on our first date!
Joe: We met online, I haven’t had much luck in the past with relationship’s and felt that it was time for a change. Several people had suggested trying it out but I too was very skeptical about the whole idea. But everything seemed to have happened at the right time. We were both first time users and we were each others first online dates.
WHAT DO THEY REMEMBER ABOUT YOU THE FIRST DATE:
Maria: I remember being really nervous to meet him but also excited. He really made me feel comfortable within the first couple of minutes of meeting, almost as if we had known each other for a while. I liked that he was a total gentlemen and had me laughing the whole time . During our date we happened to bump into his parents, so i got to meet them as well, that was very memorable because of Joe’s reaction. I don’t think a lot of people can say they met the parents on the first date haha.
Joe: I remember really looking forward to finally meeting her in person. We had a really good time and shared so much in common. I also remember my parents showing up on our coffee date and feeling really embarrassed. My parents are very friendly so of course they had to come over and introduce themselves.
WHEN THEY KNEW:
Maria: I knew within the first couple of months of dating. We had a bit of a long distance relationship and he would make such a huge effort to come see me after work, even if it meant spending 2 hours together because we both had to get up early the next day. On one occasion he surprised me and it just totally made my day, that’s when I realized there was absolutely no one that could make me as happy as he did. I knew he was very special to me from that point on.
Joe: It completely hit me when I realized that I couldn’t stop thinking about her on football day. I never thought anything in the world would ever distract me from football, especially when my team is playing. That’s when I knew she was a keeper!
THE PROPOSAL, HOW DID IT GO DOWN:
Maria: I had no clue what was coming that day. I was so happy with my distraction gift that I never thought there was going to be more excitement that day. I can’t even remember all the sweet things he said before he popped the question because i was in so much shock! I also loved the fact that he asked me spanish, it was very sweet.
Joe: I initially had planned all sorts of stuff that day but nothing went as planned. I wanted us to go snowshoeing, propose to her on the trail and then ending the evening going out to our favorite steak house. It was all suppose to happen on Valentines day but when I called to make reservations they were all booked up and only had the next day available. So I told Maria we’d be celebrating the 15th instead of the 14th, which she was completely on board with. So I thought, okay i’ll just move everything I planned to the next day. That morning I gave her a “distraction gift” which was a necklace, to kind of throw her off. She loved it! But when it came time to go snowshoeing we looked at the weather and it ended up being one of those super cold days we had last winter. Maria, especially, did not want to go outside and snowshoe. So yet again I had to come up with another plan! I finally did think of an alternative way and just hoped that everything would finally go smoothly. The night finally came and we were off to the restaurant, Maria looked beautiful. The meal was great and I could tell she still didn’t have a clue. After dinner I brought her back to my place played some love songs on the piano and finally played the one I picked to propose to her with “I can’t help falling in love with you” by Elvis Presley. When I was done I turned to her, got down on one knee and asked her to marry me in spanish (I had been practicing that phrase for a while) and she replied with Si!
ONE THING THEY LOVE ABOUT ONE ANOTHER:
Maria: There’s so many things I love about him but if i had to pick one it would be the way he’s always there for me. Doesn’t matter what it is he’s always there to support me when i’m upset or stressed out. He’s so good at putting everything into perspective and helping me see the positives in every situation. He really helps me feel so much better and it shows how much he cares for me.
Joe: One thing I love about Maria is how genuine her heart is. I admire how passionate she is about her field of work, supporting and advocating for people with developmental disabilities, it really shows how big her heart is.
WHAT MADE THEM DECIDE TO DO A DESTINATION WEDDING?
Maria: We decided a destination wedding in Mexico would be the best option for us because my whole extended family is from there and his is from North Carolina, so an all-inclusive resort seemed to be a great meeting spot. This also gives us a whole week to catch up with family we haven’t seen for a while and I know from experience that the scenery, atmosphere and food is amazing!
Joe: I liked the idea of doing our wedding in Mexico because I’ve never been and I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to meet her whole extended family. Also the thought of having most of our family and friends with us on a week vacation sounds like a really fun time!
BESIDES GETTING MARRIED, WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST ON THEIR WEDDING DAY:
Maria: I’m looking forward to sharing our vows and getting to finally wear my wedding dress!
Joe: I’m looking forward to the “first look” and seeing how beautiful Maria looks walking down the aisle.