It was a cold, December night in 2014 when Robert was celebrating out on the town with former coworkers during the holiday season. I had just come from a concert across the street and was convinced by friends to continue the fun at one of London’s well-known cocktail lounges. Our eyes met from across the room and the next thing I knew, Robert was making his way over to our table. He later admitted to me that this was very uncharacteristic of his personality but after feeling a strong pull, he “psyched himself up” by reminding himself of a quote he once heard from a movie that went, “Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.” We struck up a conversation and immediately hit it off. At the time, Robert was living three provinces over in Nova Scotia but was home on vacation visiting family. It was such a chance encounter that turned out to be love at first sight; we knew it was fate.
The next ten months included many long phone calls across different time zones and frequent flights back and forth while we built and strengthened our relationship despite the physical distance keeping us apart. Eventually, I made the move to Manitoba, where Robert had moved to and was living at the time. Since then, we have undergone successive periods of distance because of Robert’s job, each of which we undertook with a heavy heart but which somehow galvanized our relationship even further. Distance truly does make the heart grow fonder.
Robert is not very good at keeping secrets, or so I thought, and was completely surprised when he popped the question in December 2016, the two-year anniversary of our first date during a vacation in Bermuda on a cliff at sunset. I immediately said, “YES!” and a new chapter of our lives began.
When we returned home from Bermuda, we wasted no time planning out our dream wedding. We would move once more to Québec the following year for Robert’s job. Initially, we began scouting out locations in Ontario, since that’s where we are both from originally and that’s where most of our family and closest friends still reside. We quickly realized however, the difficulties of planning a wedding so far from where we were living at the time. With our busy schedules, it was nearly impossible to fly back and forth with the requisite frequency to shop for venues, sample food, and coordinate all the other tiny details that go into a traditional wedding. After hitting several walls in the planning process, we floated the idea of eloping jokingly, knowing how much simpler it would be but also knowing how uncertain our geographical future was with Robert’s ever-advancing career. Add in the fact that we are both fairly private people and it’s easy to see why what started as a joke became all the more appealing and eventually took hold.