Couple: John Szlachetka & Yvon Wilson
Married At: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Date Married: May 17th, 2008
Where They Live: Quebec, Canada
Our Wedding Story:
My name is John, and this is the story of how Yvon and I met then got married.
Yvon and I first met on an internet dating site. I saw a photo of him, when he had been on a trip to Hawaii. I saw this man with a warm smile, a sparkle in his eye, and around his neck, he was wearing a lei of purple and white orchids. I was head over heels, and we started talking. We decided to meet over cocktails in a lounge in downtown Montreal. As soon as we met, we both knew that we had found our soulmate. At first I was quite scared of the feelings I had for Yvon. I had been previously married to a woman for almost 20 years, with who I had 4 children. It had been a difficult marriage, where I and my children had been abused, both physically and mentally. When I divorced, my oldest child was living on her own, but my 3 younger children lived with me, as I had sole custody. Before, I could commit to a relationship with anyone, I had to be certain, that my children were comfortable with this. Any potential partner would also have to accept my children, and be willing to share in bringing them up.
Yvon met my children, the day after our first date. Immediately there was a connection between them. I was extremely happy about it. After their meeting, Yvon and I sat down and I told him that before I commit to a relationship with him, he must accept me as a parent who's first priority is his children. Yvon told me he had always dreamt of having his own family, and that he wanted to embark on a relationship with me. Things were going very well for us all. After 3 months into the relationship, both Yvon and I decided to find an apartment together with the kids. We all moved into a beautiful 4 bedroom condo-style apartment, and started our lives as a real family. It felt so good, that I decided that I would like to have Yvon as an official part of the family. I first went to Yvon's father and asked him, if he would give me his blessing to marry his son. Yvon's father was overjoyed and gave me his blessing wholeheartedly.
On a beautiful July day, in 2007, at a gathering of our friends and family, I got down on one knee with a diamond engagement ring, and proposed to Yvon. He immediately accepted.
In Canada, and especially in the province of Quebec, gay marriage is accepted. We found a gay justice of the peace, who arranged all the paperwork.
Yvon and I planned a wedding where all our friends and family could participate in our commitment to eachother. We rented a hall in a community centre, where both the ceremony and the reception were held. Due to the picture that I had first seen of Yvon on the dating site, with his Hawaiian Lei, we decided to add a little bit of Hawaii into our theme at our wedding. First Yvon came down the aisle escorted by his sister. When they got to the front, my children put a lei around his neck. I came down the aisle escorted by my cousin, and when we got to the front, the children put a lei around my neck. Yvon and I exchanged vows that each of us had written. Due to the fact that I am an Anglophone, and Yvon is a Francophone, I made my vows to Yvon in English, and Yvon made his vows to me in French.
Being that we were two men, niether of us carried a bouquet of flowers. Instead we decided to build a family bouquet during the ceremony. Each of the children had one flower, which they each put into a vase at the head table, to build our family marriage bouquet.
Our reception was catered, with a delicious, Hawaiian menu. On each table there were beautiful centrepieces of orchids, which Yvon and I designed ourselves. Because both Yvon and I are fans of Karaoke, a portion of our reception was a few Karaoke songs where our guests were invited to sing. The first song was sung by me to Yvon, as a commemoration of the love that I have for him. Later in the evening, our DJ turned our reception into a real dance party, and we enjoyed the day and evening immensely.
We were unable to go on a honeymoon, due to the joys of parenthood, but we are planning on a trip in the near future.
In conclusion I want to say that I never knew true happiness until I met and married Yvon. He is my true soulmate!!! We are both happy to be married and even more happy to be a family!