About the couple
Onicia was born and raised in St. Maarten. She is the second of three girls. Her parents Cheryl and Gabriel live in St. Maarten.
Remigio was born in Wisconsin and raised in Ecuador. He has an older sister and a younger brother. His parents Jane and Remigio live in Tampa, Florida.
The couple currently lives in Chicago where Remigio works as a non-profit administrator and Onicia as a writer and creative project manager.
Despite being an interracial, intercultural, and interfaith pairing, OKCupid algorithms found Onicia and Remigio to be a strong match. Immediate family travelled to Chicago in September 2015, where Onicia and Remigio were married in a joint-faith “micro-wedding” ceremony.
Why a micro wedding?
Remigio: Because I don’t like large parties. I think large weddings are a waste of money. You don’t want to start your life out in debt. My sister and my brother-in-law eloped. Her sister had a small ceremony. So, I didn’t think it was a big deal. We don’t believe in the pomp and circumstance.
Onicia: I didn’t know “micro weddings” were a thing – found the term while researching. I never wanted an over-the-top wedding, but I knew it could be sizable because of my family. In the end, I think limiting the ceremonies to immediate family and close friends was a good thing. A good wedding doesn’t require attendance from everyone who ever mattered in your life.
How did you meet?
Onicia: We met on OKCupid and only discussed how to meet up. I did not ask anything about him. We met for the first time –
Remigio: I think it’s important to say you messaged me back in April 2013. I replied that I couldn’t meet because I was busy so I asked you to give me a month. Then I contacted you a month later but you said “no” because you were going to Canada. You promised to get back to me in September. Who contacted who in September?
Onicia: Who knows? Lies. I do know, because I probably saved your messages. No! I didn’t. I was trying not to be obsessive. I had low expectations for our first date. Legit, right before the date, I told my friend Alice, “Let’s have lunch. I don’t want to stay just because I’m hungry and want a free meal.” I wore a laundry-day outfit. All my clothes were dirty. I pulled together a combination that I have never worn since that day.
Remigio: It was when we went sledding.
Onicia: I was thinking about that date, too! Why do you like that date?
Remigio: Because it was fun.
Onicia: I remember hurting my butt.
At what point did you realize you were “the one” for each other?
Onicia: It was Ash Wednesday and I went to church. For about two weeks, you kept asking about a package that hadn’t arrived yet. Then in church you said, “It’s a signed Vanessa Carlton CD.” My first thought was I got to marry this dude; he buys me signed Vanessa Carton CDs. In that moment, I realized I was a cheap date.
Onicia: You know what was a memorable date? For my birthday when you got me ice cream and I said, “I love you.” Not because of you, but because I was really excited about the ice cream. Then we went to the play where I got my period. I took my bra off while in the theatre. Then I puked on the taxi ride back.
Remigio: I knew you were the one from the time you took my [expletive] back.
Onicia: Really?! That’s not good.
Remigio: It’s true, though. That’s why I dumped you. I was like [expletive] “I really like this girl.” When you took me back, I was like “This don’t happen often.”
Tell me about the proposal?
Onicia: Officially, I asked you to marry me, but also we kind of asked each other. We would have these meetings – The Talk. We’d schedule it on the Google Calendar, prepare questions, and compare notes.
Remigio: Oh yeah.
Onicia: You kept saying, “I made up my mind about you.” So, I see the proposal as joint, because I asked you days after having one of these talks.
Remigio: I remember telling you, “Look, I ain’t going nowhere. I’m just waiting for you to make up your mind.”
What was it like planning for your wedding?
Onicia: Semi-stressful. The logistics weren’t hard. Standing up for myself was hard. I don’t like confrontations, but this was our day. Y’all gonna respect me. Right?
Remigio: The immigration stuff freaked me out.
Onicia: So, you didn’t care about the wedding? You don’t know about the wedding – I did everything!
How did you go about planning the wedding?
Remigio: I’ve known for a long time that I was going to wear a guayabera. I had that new, white guayabera and the blue one. So whatever.
Onicia: I knew I wanted a dress to wear until I was too fat to fit it. We went to Urban Outfitters outlet to find dresses for my friends Alice and Marta and found my dress. They bought it as a wedding gift to me.
What next for you as a couple?
Onicia: I think it’s okay to say we have nothing going on. We’re not trying to renovate or buy a home.
Remigio: We’re trying to get settled to have babies.
How has married life been?
Remigio: People always ask that. Honestly, best roommate ever is what I say.
Best advice you’ve received about keeping a marriage together?
Onicia: To quote Pastor Milenko Tanurdzic, “It’s you, your spouse, and Jesus. Everybody else out – including kids.” To anyone who says, “You’re the wife and you should do X, Y and Z,” the partner should reply, “I am the spouse. Since I am not complaining, please don’t give any advice on what they should and shouldn’t do.”
Why is marriage still important in today’s society?
Remigio: Marriage is important, because I believe in a nuclear family.
Onicia: I don’t know if marriage is the important thing. Having a clear agreement on relationship status is more important; both parties must agree. If you are living together, let the other person know they are not squatting and have both y’all names on the lease. If not, at least know why.
How do you plan to make your marriage last?
Remigio: Why all these hard questions? We don’t know anything.
Onicia: If we continue to communicate and remain willing to seek help, we’ll be alright. We took premarital counselling with both his priest and my pastor. We continue to meet regularly with my pastor – can’t wait to be done.
Remigio: Just remember, you signed us up for this.
Onicia: Visit St. Maarten.
Remigio: And visit Ecuador.
Best advice for finding love online?
Remigio: Mind the trap of thinking people are disposable. Don’t say, “Oh, if this doesn’t work out, I’ll just go back online.” You’re gonna find your magic list, but that’s a trap too. That person doesn’t really exist. In fact, you might not want them.
Onicia: Agreed. There is an endless stream of 5ft-8in blue-eyed Sheilas out there. Also, don’t put your entire life story out there. It’s too much for people to digest and it’s not who we are. It is and isn’t, because it’s out of context. Get offline as soon as possible and leave something for the other person to discover.
Remigio: Smell is real – it’s better than anything else.
Onicia: Yeah, pheromones. You liked me, because I smelled nice. You believed in those pheromones.