Welcome to our new engagement series!
In this series we explore local couples who found love in extraordinary ways.
Part One: Meet Soraya & Matt. Their love story transcended the US/Canadian border!
Full names of Bride and Groom: Soraya McCloud & Matthew Wilks
Backgrounds: Soraya is a Hispanic American, from Chicago – Her Mother is from Ecuador, her father is from Mexico. Matt is Canadian, originally from Ajax, Ontario.
How did you meet?
Soraya: Matt and I first met in 2003, on the internet, playing Yahoo Pool. This was before internet dating was popular, photos were easily available, and communicating over the internet was mainstream. All we knew of each other is that we liked to play pool, our icons were cute, and we had great discussions in the Yahoo Pool chat room. We’d meet up almost every night to play against each other and chat.
Matt: I always let her beat me at pool.
Soraya: Eventually after a few months, we exchanged numbers and addresses. We began to call and write letters to each other. My letters were always like 3 pages long, with drawings and stickers. Matt’s tended to be a little shorter, but he has always been good at saying more with less words.
Matt: Quality over quantity.
Soraya: After some time, we decided to meet in person. I traveled to Toronto later that year. Thinking about it now, it was absolutely insane. What if he wasn’t who he said he was? What if he was a serial killer? The even crazier part is that our parents did not know this was happening. I can’t even remember what I told my parents. (Sorry Parents, if you are reading this).
Matt: I knew she’d show up and I’m glad she wasn’t a serial killer as well. I had a feeling she was the one even before we met though.
Soraya: Luckily, everything turned out well. He looked exactly like his 8th grade picture. Yes, that is what he sent me because he said that is all he had. He picked me up in his white pick-up, that he liked to call, White Lightning.
Matt: I sold White Lighting the summer of 2014 after 12 wonderful years together. We still have our first picture together in the truck.
What was your first date? Our first date was Wendy’s. There really was nothing romantic about it. It was the day after the first day we met. We were university students, so we didn’t have that much money – but I think we ordered off the 99 cents menu!
How did Matt propose?
Soraya: Almost a year after living together, Matt proposed! We were on a holiday in Dominican Republic this past December. Just like a fairy tale, Matt planned an unforgettable proposal. It happened on December 17th, mid week through our vacation. The day itself was perfect. We had a couples massage planned in the afternoon, followed by a private, romantic dinner on the beach that evening.
Matt: Oh yeah, Oh yeah. She said yes. I was planning to propose at sunset on a dock. There was another couple getting wedding photos on the dock and I only had 10 minutes to kick them off before the sun went down. Soraya said it was okay to keep walking down the beach, but I insisted we wait for the dock. Luckily seconds later they left with 5 minutes to spare. I got down on one knee and proposed.
Soraya: While it was a complete surprise, I was hoping that he’d propose before the end of 2014 – and he did, so perfectly. I felt like one of those girls in those fairy tale movies, except it was real and perfectly executed.
What are your favourite things to do as a couple?
- Watch hockey at our local bar – I cheer for Chicago (always!) and Matt cheers for the Leafs.
- We like to go on walks, explore the city – but only when it’s warm out! We especially love the Toronto Islands
- We like to go on long bike rides
- We like to watch various TV shows like the Bachelor/Bachelorette – MATT LOVES IT – he won’t admit it to you if you ask him.
- We like going out to eat and trying new restaurants – Mainly I reserve it and he pays for it.
Our funny stories:
- Being from two different Countries we have a lot of differences – like Matt’s accent. Took me a bit to get used to all the Eh’s and Aboots, but I am just about there myself and I can now naturally throw in an Eh in my conversations.
- When I first moved to Toronto, I believe this happened within our first week, Matt randomly work up in the middle of the night to fix his pillow with his head and slams his head down, only it was my face. He completely head butted me. I woke up abruptly, and said ‘whyyy’ as I grab my nose. Matt then woke up and we both laughed about it for an hour straight. It was hard to fall back asleep after that.
What makes your engagement/relationship unique? Our relationship/story is unique because of how we met. 12 years ago that was not common. In fact, I think we made up some lies initially when telling people how we met. It’s crazy how we kind of have felt like we always knew 12 years ago we’d both be the one for each other but the path we took to get here was long and crazy but we never gave up. We promised if we were both still single by 30, we’d marry each other. According to Matt – if this had not happened, this was his plan to marry me.
Question for the GROOM: What do you love about her?
I love her laugh, smile, cleanliness, and EVERYTHING.
Question for the BRIDE: What do you love about him?
I love EVERYTHING about Matt – he is the most generous, kindest, humblest guy I have ever met. He is SOO ridiculously patient with me. He has the biggest heart, and I have never felt so loved and complete by his love in my entire existence.
What was your inspiration or desire for your engagement shoot?
Our biggest requirement for our location was comfort. We live right across the street from Round House park, so we spend a lot of time there.
When is your wedding date? We will be getting married in Chicago on August 1st, 2015.
Wedding Venue: Rivers Restaurant along the Chicago River. The venue is outside surrounded by city lights in the Financial District of Chicago.
Theme/Décor inspiration: Simple City – Overall, we want to keep it simple and our main goal of the night is that everyone is comfortable and has a great time.
Bridal Party : We will have 3 groomsmen/bridesmaid including best man and maid of honor. My bridesmaids are close friends and my maid of honor is my cousin who is basically like the sister I never had. Matt drew straws with his 3 best friends a few years ago – so his decisions were set in stone!
Ceremony type: We will be married at Holy Name Cathedral – Catholic ceremony.
What are you most excited for at your wedding? The overall experience to share our love with all our guests and declare our love once and for all! 🙂
Where are you going on your honeymoon? No idea! That is the only thing Matt is responsible for.
Favourite marriage tip: Be kind and generous to each other.
Final words: The past few months of our life have been a whirlwind. We could not be any happier with our lives and the support we have from our family and friend. I only wish this happiness and love to everyone in the world.
Family & friends leave your comments below ❤
Matt & Soraya’s Wedding Site: http://sm.weddingwoo.com/
Thank you Michelle for sharing your wonderful photos.
Michelle Fox Photography Website: http://www.photographymichellefox.com/
Michelle Fox Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michellefoxphoto
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