Nathania and Joseph’s Wedding

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  • Joseph had proposed to Nathania on May 24, 2014 at St. Joseph’s College chapel in front of the alter at the exact same place where they got married.

    Engagement Story – May 24, 2014

    Joseph’s Point-of-View

    The ring that Joseph ordered for Nathania arrived a little earlier than anticipated, so he needed to act quickly to carry out the proposal. To surprise Nathania, Joseph asked their priest Father Glenn to send a made-up email, asking them to sign “Form 3” at St. Joseph’s College on the University of Alberta campus (where they go to church for Mass). Of course there was no form, it was just a clever excuse to go the College chapel while it was still empty and they could be by themselves. Having arrived early, they waited in the chapel alone. Joseph’s heart was thumping. Nathania asked if he was okay and Joseph responded by saying he was out of shape and that was the reason his heart was beating quickly!

    Nervous, Joseph first shared his favourite memories of Nathania and their time over the course of their relationship. Next, he led Nathania up to the alter in hand to the exact spot where they are to marry nearly a year later. Joseph mentioned that he spoke to Nathania’s parents the previous day and received their blessing to marry her. Joseph took out the box that housed Nathania’s engagement ring, went down on one knee, and asked her if she would marry Joseph and be his wife. She said yes!

    Nathania’s Point-of-View

    Nathania knew that a ring had been ordered, but had no idea that it would come so quickly! It was completely unexpected when Joe told her that he had spoken to her parents and went down on one knee and asked her to marry him. But looking back, there would have been some clues. The day before the proposal, Nathania received an email from Fr. Glenn stating that they needed to fill out another form. Nathania knew that Form 3 had not been mentioned before. In addition, he was asking them to come in a full 1 ½ hours before mass. That was pretty inconvenient. But Joe didn’t seem bothered, so Nathania didn’t put much thought into it. Then, the day of the proposal there was a big football (a.k.a. soccer) match. The team that had been trailing for most of the game tied it up at the last minute and the game went into overtime! Usually, Joe will not miss a football match for any reason. However, this time he matter-of-factly stated that they had to leave so that they wouldn’t miss the meeting with Fr. Glenn to sign the mysterious Form 3. This was a little strange, but Joe has not been able to turn Nathania into a soccer fanatic, so it didn’t really matter for her to leave the game early. Off they went to the chapel. When they arrived, Fr. Glenn’s door was closed and the light was off. Nathania wondered whether Joe was annoyed. He could have watched the end of the game! But instead of saying anything to that effect, Joe suggested they wait in the chapel. The rest proceeded as you read above. You might be surprised that Nathania did not catch on that something out of the ordinary was happening until Joe said that he spoke with her parents. What?!? And that’s when her memory becomes blurry. But she does remember saying yes and feeling very happy.

    The photos below were taken right after the proposal.


  • Prior to our matrimony, we took our wedding photos (of ourselves and with family) at the University of Alberta campus and at the Rutherford House. While the morning started off a bit gloomy, the clouds began to lift, leaving a bit of overcast, and therefore making it a perfect afternoon for photos.

  • Sacrament of Marriage

    On Saturday, May 16, 2015, we were wedded in Holy Matrimony. Since it was a small and intimate wedding, we invited our closest and dearest friends and family to our special occasion. The marriage ceremony was liturgically focused – a communal reverence to the Sacred by reflecting on the Word (Biblical readings) and celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage (one of seven expressions of God’s grace). In the Catholic faith tradition, the Sacrament of Marriage is a visible sign of God’s love to a married couple, and through them, a sign of Providential love and living presence in the world. This love is characterized by the Scriptural definition of covenant (pledge or commitment). Similar to God’s permanent covenant with His people, our marriage will be a solemn and eternal promise of faithful commitment to each other.

    In addition to the Word and the Sacrament, Nathania and Joseph’s wedding also incorporated Filipino marriage customs.  These traditions involved Sponsors, namely our family members, who can attest to our readiness and freedom to marry.  The white top that Joseph changed into is called a Barong Tagalog.  It is an embroidered formal shirt which is considered the national formal wear for men in the Philippines.  It is lightweight and worn un-tucked over an undershirt.

    St. Joseph’s College

    St. Joseph’s College has been our faith community for several years. It is where we attend Catholic Mass every weekend and frequently participate in faith-based discussion groups during the week. In front of the alter within the College Chapel was where Joseph had proposed to Nathania on May 24, 2014. It was the exact same spot where we celebrated the Sacrament of Marriage a year later.

  • After the wedding ceremony, we walked over to the Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site. The house was the home of the first Premier of Alberta, Alexander Cameron Rutherford, from 1911 to 1941. It is a beautiful historic building where we had the chance to catch up with all of our guests. It was a stand up reception with some seats available throughout the house for guests to rest. Like the ceremony, music was played by harpist Kerri Lynn Zwicker. There was plenty of hot and cold appetizers provided by Culinas Restaurant and Catering. Culinas is a great Edmonton caterer that sources its food from local producers, and offers gorgeous seasonal food. The wedding cake was provided by Winnipeg-based Jeannes Bakery. My sister Sheryl and her husband Jerrett drove the cakes all the way from Winnipeg.  Its desserts are engrained in Winnipeg folklore, baking cakes since the early 1930s, and have been continuously used for celebrations and birthdays for the Ahorro family for many years. Drinks were sourced through Bin 104, a boutique wine and spirits store located in south Edmonton.


  • Since the majority of our wedding guests were from out-of-town, we drafted a list of places we recommended to see or try during their stay in Edmonton.

    Restaurants and Pubs:

    Whyte Avenue Area

    MEAT

    The menu is small and simple, which means they focus on excellent meals around delicious meat dishes – pulled pork, beef brisket, BBQ ribs, smoked chicken, friend chicken, and sausages.

    MKT Fresh Food & Beer Market

    Thursday nights are $4-5 specials for all beers on its extensive international beer menu.

    The Next Act Pub

    Conveniently located off Whyte Avenue and 104th Street, the Next Act is a popular spot for drinks. They also have a pretty good brunch!

    Elephant and Castle

    Joe often shows up here with friends to watch English Premier League games, particularly Liverpool, the club he supports. They have a decent breakfast and are open late as well.

    O’Byrnes Irish Pub

    A favourite spot to go for drinks after work on Whyte Avenue. When the weather is nice there’s a large patio with tables. The food’s pretty good – Joe likes the Cobb salad.

    The Sugarbowl Bar & Cafe

    This University-area restaurant is nearly always busy. They have a short but tasty food menu and a long list of beers with rotating taps and happy hour 5 – 7PM. Try a beer from Alley Kat or Big Rock, both local breweries.

    Wild Earth Bakery

    A busy but tranquil local coffee shop with selection of breakfast pastries, cakes and light fare. This is a favourite place for both of us to meet up with friends or grab a quick bite on a weekend morning.

    Famoso Neopolitan Pizzeria

    A local restaurant that has been popular enough to expand rapidly. They serve Neapolitan style pizza with some traditional and creative combinations. The original location is on Jasper Avenue west of downtown.

    Downtown Area

    Craft Beer Market

    A very popular place for the downtown after-work crowd. Cracking atmosphere – make sure to get here early or make a reservation.

    The Underground Tap & Grill

    There is a wide selection of beer (on tap) from around the world.

    Woodwork

    Go here for a taste of southern comfort food. Or for a really well-made cocktail. Or both.

    Viphalay Laos and Thai Restaurant

    This is a favourite when we want to go for Thai food. The downtown location is in a lovely old house, but the second location close to Chinatown was often where Nathania would go with co-workers for lunch.

    Tres Carnales Taqueria

    A Mexican Taqueria with tasty selections of tacos, accompanied by totopos (corn chips) and spicy salsas. Again, you may need to stand in line for a while to place your order in this small and busy restaurant, but it’s well worth it!

    North of Downtown

    Handy Bakery

    A Portuguese bakery on the north side of town that sells a variety of delightful baked goods. Try the pastel de nata or buy a slice of cake. The tiramisu is Nathania’s favourite!

    Tau Bay Restaurant

    One of Joe and Nathania’s favourite restaurants to have Vietnamese Phở. Cash only but great value. Strangely, it’s seemingly closed for 2/3rds of the year. If you’re lucky to find it open during May long weekend, it’s worth the visit.

    124th Street Area

    Duchess Bakery

    Buzzfeed considers this one of the best bakeries in the world! A fantastic local bakery with scrumptious desserts. Try their meringues – the flavours change daily! It’s often full, but usually a seat will open up during the time you stand in line to place your order.

    Glenora Bistro

    A favourite place where Joe and Nathania have gone for brunch.

    That’s our list. For more ideas, see “Edmonton’s Best Restaurants“.

    Things to do:

    Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market

    A bustling indoor market with local food vendors and crafts. There’s also plenty of snack food for purchase. Try to arrive early to beat the crowds (8:00 – 3:00). There’s free parking in the lot next door.

    Downtown Farmer’s Market (104th st on May long weekend)

    If you want to enjoy local foods and crafts in the fresh air, check out the downtown farmer’s market. The crowds are less dense and you may also want to check out some of the stores along the street, notably Credo coffeeshop.

    West Edmonton Mall

    Main attractions- lots of stores, Galaxyland and World Waterpark. Our most recent visits to the mall have been for the waterpark or IMAX theatre. Otherwise we generally avoid the place.

    Muttart Conservatory

    The Muttart is a rejuvenating place to visit, especially for eyes starved of greenery in the middle of winter. It has four pyramidal greehouses, each containing plants from a different ecosystem: tropical, arid, temperate and a rotating feature pyramid. In the foyer, you can enjoy weekend brunch or lunch at Culina cafe.

    124th street

    Also known as High Street, 124th street has many interesting local shops to browse just north and south of Jasper. A little farther north is Duchess Bakery.

    River Valley Trails

    Edmonton has the longest series of trails in North America – or something like that. There are trails along the North Saskatchewan River and up into the many creeks and ravines that flow into it. Rent a bike, run or walk to explore the city’s extensive green space.

    Whyte Avenue

    Lots of local shops and restaurants to explore. Many of the places above are located on Whyte Avenue!

    High Level Streetcar

    Catch the historic streetcar outside the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market and be transported across the river above the high level bridge. You’ll get an amazing view of the river valley and city. You can get dropped off downtown to explore, or take the streetcar back.

    For a comprehensive list of attractions, visit “Top 30 Things to do in Edmonton“.

2 Comments +
  1. Laura says:

    Very excited to celebrate this special day with you both!!

  2. Reesa says:

    Join hands and with your hands your hearts!
    Can’t wait!

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