For Rhiana Guerra and Tristan De Rushe, online friends became lovers, two weddings were better than one

Addiction and mental health student Rhiana Guerra and car service technician Tristan De Rushe’s love story began online, all the way back to when they were high school teenagers. They were e-launched on Skype in 2009 by De Rushe’s cousin Brendan, who went to the same school as Guerra. Brendan thought they might hit it off because of their mutual love of photography.

Tristan was immediately beaten. His opening rule? “I’m going to marry you one day.”

And 11 years later, De Rushe did exactly that.

Since De Rushe lived in Scarborough and Guerra in Whitby, they got to know each other over the next few years through video chat and instant messaging. Despite De Rushe’s initial proclamation, there was not much romance at first, but they became best friends and talked for hours at a time about everything from De Rushe’s love of classic “SpongeBob SquarePants” episodes to Rhiana’s budding Tumblr presence.

By the time their second wedding turned around in the fall of 2021, Rhiana Guerra could be dancing all night at Twist Gallery.  The two decided on the Queen Street West location, where she and De Rushe were visiting on their first date.

Because of the distance, they had not met in person for three years, when Guerra ran into him at a supermarket near her home in 2012. It felt a bit like fate as he lived nowhere near there (he was at the store with the same cousin they had introduced online all those years earlier). Guerra thought, “It must be true love, because my parents also met in a supermarket.”

This time the spark was immediate and De Rushe asked Guerra to finally visit IRL. “Our first appointment ever was a photography appointment. He was like, ‘Let me show you some of my tricks,’ ”Guerra says. They hung out every day for a week at a time. On the last day, De Rushe asked her to be his girlfriend. She said yes, and their adventure began, filled with fun dinner dates and a Niagara Falls holiday every Valentine’s Day.

In 2018, De Rushe executed Guerra’s dream proposal. After buying the ring a year and a half before, he planned how to ask the question at Guerra’s preferred location: Caribana. De Rushe managed to get down on one knee – right in the middle of the parade. “She saw the ring and did not know what to do,” he says laughing. “We actually went viral. Someone else saw, started filming, and we were seen on 6ixBuzz. ”

Addiction and mental health student Rhiana Guerra and car service technician Tristan De Rushe's love story began online, all the way back to when they were high school teenagers.

With the wedding scheduled for fall 2020, they decided to continue mid-pandemic with a smaller guest list and then hold a second, larger ceremony as soon as restrictions were eased the following year. Fortunately, Guerra achieved most of the things they needed for wedding number one pre-closing, including Mr. and Mrs. Skeleton decor and De Rushe’s handmade bow and cake stand.

They held their first wedding on the Ajax waterfront, at Carruthers Marsh Pavilion – where Guerra once spent a summer serving ice cream – with just 17 of their dearest attending, plus a photographer. The couple had a sand ceremony, in which they each poured a different color of sand into a vase. “Now it’s a work of art in our house,” says Guerra. “Although [the sands] were two different colors, once they are together it is impossible to separate them. ”

“I cried, I’m so juicy. I really enjoyed that wedding, ”says De Rushe. “The small amount of people made the nerves a little easier.”

Guerra achieved most of the things they needed for wedding number one pre-lockdown, including mr.  and Mrs.  Skeleton decor.

Fortunately, by the time their second wedding in the fall of 2021 turned around in the Twist Gallery, he was well prepared for a bigger head count of 52. The wedding in Queen Street West was important to Guerra, as this is where she and De Rushe hung out on their first date. During this ceremony, they performed a broomstick ritual to honor their ancestors. “My grandmother really wanted us to jump the broom the year before,” says Guerra, “because during slavery they jumped the broom to indicate fidelity.”

It was at this wedding that they finally allowed a DJ too, which made them boogie that night. “I danced all night,” says Guerra, “from the time the dance floor opened until it closed at 2 p.m.”

All the wedding speeches referred to De Rushe’s legendary passion for SpongeBob – something that Guerra thinks bodes well for a long and happy marriage. “Everyone kept talking about SpongeBob, and his aunt made a very good point that when Tristan loves, he loves something hard,” she says. “When he loves you, he loves you forever.”

The bride and groom wanted all their guests to feel included.

THE DETAILS

Wedding No. 1

Photographer Natalie Prus Photos

Official Hazel Shanks

Clothing Store Norma Reed

Venue Carruthers Marsh Pavilion

Trou nr 2

Photographer Natalie Prus Photos

Videographer Yuri Rabin Videography

Official Hazel Shanks

DJ Goue DJQ

Clothing Store Mona Richie

Skirt designer Enzoani

Make-up artist Darlin Castillo

Venue Twist Gallery

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