A Philippine Prayer

For newly-in-love couple Lyka and Gavven, their connection was obvious immediately.

Since their first meeting through OK Cupid they have spent much time together online. A favorite activity is that they enjoy Bible study and devotionals every day. They faithfully pray together and also spend time watching movies and tv.

Very soon after their meeting, they knew they had to be with each other forever.

As Lyka is from the Philippines and Gavven lives in the US, they went searching for information about how they could be together.

They found the Facebook group “Love Not Tourism – Philippines” which is a group where people who have a fiancé or partner in the Philippines can offer information and advice to the group members. A group member suggested looking up Online Weddings Utah to them and they contacted me for a consultation.

Since they met just four months ago, the international pandemic restrictions have imposed a severe barrier to their meeting in person, and because they felt so strongly about each other, they decided that an online wedding was a perfect choice to help them continue their relationship.

Their ceremony was held recently, and through an email interview, Lyka told me that their wedding was a very positive thing to do for her, and that she found it to be an enjoyable and beautiful experience. She also mentioned that her family felt that it was a beautiful and intimate ceremony, even though the concept of holding a wedding online was very new to them.

They are now seeking the advice of an immigration specialist to help them navigate their way through the often frustrating rules and regulations of international law. They have generously offered to help me document their experience so that others can learn from what they have done, so expect to see some follow-up posts about them.

They do plan on having a big family wedding when they are finally in each other’s arms, and I wish them the very best for their future!

A European love story

Meet Daniela and Stephen. The are the very first Featured Couple to appear on this blog, and I will be checking in with them periodically to find out how things are going with their quest to be together

They have a story familiar to a great many couples who have been separated by the barriers of pandemic related travel.

They met online pre-pandemic and fell in love through subsequent in person dates and have now been together for over 3 years.

Daniela is from Germany and Stephen hails from Ghana. In her own words, they “love to swim and go for long walks, and are passionate cooks”.

They feel enriched through blending the best of both cultures and are excited and happy to have found one another.

They are fortunate to be able to spend one week a month together as Stephen currently lives in Italy so they are not as geographically separated as many people have found themselves to be.

However, even with the opportunity to spend short amounts of time together, they are also feeling the restraints of COVID-19 related travel restrictions. They wanted to be able to join together and live in the same house. Fortunately, they found Online Weddings Utah and I have been able to help make their reunion a reality.

Step 1 – Book a date

Daniela booked an online consultation with me on the 6th of January to meet with her and her fiancé. Due to the great time difference, what was late evening for me translated to the early morning hours of 7 January in Germany.

We had a great, friendly call and I was able to speak to both of them about the different steps needed to obtain an online wedding and book a ceremony. For a US wedding, the only “papers” that are required are to show a government ID, and upload a selfie – so nothing additional is needed.

After we had spoken, they chose the 9th of January for their wedding date and set about making plans.

Step 2 – Get a license

In very short order, and under two hours from when we spoke online, Daniela and Stephen had completed the application process, confirmed their identities, and were issued their license from Utah County. As a side note, it seems that very few couples believe me when I say this part is very fast and easy, but it really is. Utah County have done a stellar job at building their system to remove the obstacles associated with getting a marriage license. The days of turning up at a physical office, filling out paper forms and standing in line are hopefully very numbered!

Step 3 – Get Married!

Everyone approaches online weddings differently. To some, they just want to get the legal paperwork out of the way so that they can have an in-person wedding with all the trimmings, pomp and circumstance later.

Some couples though, consider the online wedding to be their “real” wedding, and have approached it that way, with special clothing, wedding dresses or suits, decorating their homes and inviting friends and family to take part and even preparing post-wedding parties!

For Stephen and Daniela, they were very excited to get married, and chose a date right away so they did not have to wait too long! They consider their online wedding to be their final ceremony, and chose to make it an occasion.

They sent out invitations online and made plans and preparations for the big moment! Finally at 2:00 pm Mountain Time – 10 pm in Germany and Italy, on the 9th of January, 2022.the crowd gathered for the big moment!

Family and friends from all areas of the world attended the big event online. Daniela had decorated her home with banners and balloons saying “Mr. & Mrs.” Stephen’s brother was ready with some post-wedding shenanigans and everyone was in a joyous mood, ready to offer their congratulations to the couple. Watch the video below for a shortened version of the wedding!

Now Daniela and Stephen are in the next phase of the process, waiting for their documents to go through the apostille process and they are eager to share their experiences with everyone.

The above photos show Daniela at home with her best friend and her son just after the wedding was completed.

Below, you can see their wedding certificate issued following the ceremony. Sensitive and personally identifying information has been removed for privacy.