Our story began in 2001. Melbourne, Australia. On our wedding website, Bill wrote:
Ria and I met my first day at Frank Tate house (a residential dorm for Monash University in Australia). I was being shown around by Jenni Simmonds the person in charge of the dorm and Ria and a few of her friends happened to be moving in. She was in her third semester in Monash Graduate School finishing up a master’s in international business and I was studying a semester abroad. We hung out at first with all the other residents, partied and had a good time. After a while I realized that I really enjoyed her company and thought about her often. My favorite thing to do in class was to discreetly text her and chit chat about being bored in class. We began to see each other and had our first date in St. Kilda (we ate dinner at a café and watched a very nice sunset on the beach).
There was only one catch to our newly found relationship though. We knew that our time together was to be limited to one semester. Knowing this we agreed to make it the best semester we could and spend it together. During the semester we traveled and saw new places and did new things like: scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef and go snow skiing.
At the end of the semester, I sadly returned to the states and she moved back to Brunei for a while and then to the Philippines. We kept in touch several times a week through e-mails, instant messaging, and the occasional phone calls. This often involved us staying up incredibly late due to the time difference. There was even one time when Ria fell asleep in the middle of instant messaging me. It was clear after a time that I wouldn’t be happy unless I at least tried to get her to come to the states. With some encouragement from my sisters I asked her and here we are.
So I moved here in August 2003 to see how things would work out between us. Needless to say, it worked out very well. Bill surprised me in January 2005, proposing at a revolving restaurant in St. Louis.
We were married in September that year at the Old Cathedral in St. Louis, the oldest Catholic cathedral west of the Mississippi and right next to the Arch. We rode in a stretch hummer limo with our wedding party from the church to the reception. We danced to Harry Connick, Jr's rendition of It Had to Be You at the reception, surrounded by family and friends we love. Overall, the day turned out beautifully even with a few minor snags such as the church coordinator forgetting that I wanted BOTH my parents to walk me to the altar, so my mom ended up walking the aisle twice.
Today, we celebrate another terrific year of all plans that played out beautifully and all the snags along the way.
For nobody else, gave me a thrill
With all your faults,
I love you still
It had to be you, wonderful you
It had to be you