Mercedes and Josh are proof that nothing can stand in the way of love. Their story is a story of persistence and I guess when two lovebirds set their minds to spend their lifetime together, nothing can stop them, not even a pandemic.
Josh & I were instagram buddies for a year and a half, separated by the Atlantic Ocean. He lives in the UK on a canal boat and I'm in New York in a little place at the River's edge. We messaged about music..... and both enjoyed camping, hiking, sailing and most of all, learning new things. We didn't connect very often but each message got longer and more interesting.
It didn't take long to realize our personalities were a perfect match for a life-long friendship & love. It wasn't romantic, we just thought the other was cool! I sent him a surprise gift box in December 2019 for the holidays and in early 2020 we decided it would be awesome to finally meet. But Covid hit in March. So, since we couldn't meet in person we sent voice messages and videos. After hours of calls and video chats, by May 2020 we found ourselves madly in love.
But you can't fall in love with someone you've never met... right? And lockdown was about to start for an unknown amount of time. So I booked an impromptu flight in June 2020 and we spent two weeks together in isolation on his boat. After the friendship we already had, that time was all we needed to know we wanted to be together forever.
We researched travel bans and marriage requirements for over 30 countries, sharing a google doc with all of the details we could find. He asked for my ring size and I sent him the instagram account for Capuccine, knowing I would like anything you had. We nearly fell asleep on late night calls because of the 5 hour time difference. And eventually we found a place to get married, Gibraltar! The next time we met we would be getting married. Or so we thought -
Nov 2020 we found out in less than 48 hours the UK was going on lockdown again. We would lose our wedding booking because of new isolation requirements. So yet again I got a last minute flight. I made it to the UK just in time to isolate for a month. And on the evening of Nov 21st 2020, while at an airbnb in England, we started walking up the stairs to bed.... I could hear one of our favorite songs playing.... I could see a candle flickering.... and after I entered the room and turned around he was on one knee. A black opal solitaire from the 'Lagoon' set was in his hand. He didn't know this was my dream set, that I'd actually had saved on my computer since before I met him! I just jumped up and down repeatedly until he asked "is that a yes?"
We spent what felt like hours giggling in bed, trying to decide which ring would be the wedding band and which I'd wear for the engagement. A week later lockdown ended and we flew to Gibraltar! It took 8 flights and stays in 7 different rentals over the course of 6 weeks.... it took 4 months of Facetimes, amazon deliveries, postcards and organizing... It was stressful and there was a pandemic happening. But on December 9th 2020, we had a private ritual in a stunning house overlooking Gibraltar and then walked to the Registrar and got married!