Honey and Megan are two Filipino women, who fell in love but needed to endure long-distance to be together. Eventually, they’d find themselves living together in the Middle East. Despite living in a country where their love isn’t legal, and coming from a country without recognition, they decided to elope together to South Africa.
Tell us about the proposal.
M: When we decided to marry, it had been pretty un-romantic. Honey just gave me a call from her office and was like, “Hey, let’s get married!”
I responded, “Where?” she said, “Denmark.” And I immediately said, “Sure!”
That night, we sat at the dining room table, figuring out where in Denmark to get married. We proceeded to draft the invitation cards, the guest list, and looked for vendors.
We already felt married even before the marriage, having lived together for seven years. July 2018.
On a trip home to the Philippines, I asked my friends to give me a video of them trying to convince Honey why she should marry me. My friends were very supportive, and they sent across their videos, and I asked my designer friend to do a digital painting of our favorite photo.
After work one day, I told her to stay still while I played all our friends’ videos. She cried while she was watching the mini-movie I made, and at the end of it, I knelt in front of her. I couldn’t say anything. I took the ring out and showed it to her and said, “Marry Me.” It didn’t even sound like I was asking anymore, but she cried and said yes!
There were ups and downs in wedding planning. What happened?
Leading up to the wedding, we thought that it wasn’t going to happen, and we’d have to postpone it until 2021.
We are Philippine passport holders, and without much travel history, we had multiple visa rejections.
Our Plan C was South Africa.
When we got to the visa center, there was missing information on the paper we submitted. They said we had to prepare it again or schedule for another application and pay again. In terms of finances, we only had our joint savings to rely upon, so we were so stressed we were at the brink of giving up.
Our sister, who was applying with us, urged us not to give up and find a way to get around it. We had to come up with another letter explaining everything at that very moment. We asked the agents if they could wait to make the letter as aptly as possible and submitted everything with crossed our fingers.
Feeling down about the whole process, our sister came to visit with what we thought was a “cheer-up” cake. Then, she smiled and pulled out our passports from her bag and said, “SURPRISE!” our visa was granted!
What lead you to South Africa?
We had our hearts set on Denmark; even the invitation cards we sent out were for Denmark. Our hearts broke when our visas were denied.
We checked online for a wedding coordinator in South Africa and found Kirsty Marmareilles from GayUnityAbroad.com. When researching more on same-sex weddings in South Africa, we realized we wanted more than just a Civil Wedding. We wanted an actual wedding with a real ceremony.
Tell us about your wedding day
Oh my! What a day!
Only two days before the wedding, we found a make-up artist and hairstylist in one of the salons near the place we were renting!
We wanted a sunset wedding, a golden hour ceremony by the beach. The universe granted us that. The wind was beautiful, and the waves were gentle. There weren’t many people at the beach at that point, and it was a lovely experience. Our only guest was our sister, and the rest of the people that surrounded us were the wedding organizers, photographer, and the video team.
There was no fancy entourage and no walking down the aisle entrance. We just stood in front of the minister, smiling as he shared his sermon.
Andred, the minister, spoke about commitment in marriage, growth in relationships, being more than just married couples, and best friends, confidante, critique, and listener. Everything he said was the relationship that Honey and I shared; being excited to talk about everything and anything every single day and choosing each other always. Succeeding and failing together and learning from them and never failing to dream for ourselves and each other.
The only music was the waves crashing to the boulders around us and the winds’ gentle breeze that made us just want to cuddle. Our vows were things we’ve gone through and somethings we expect to go through and a promise to conquer everything together, the good and the bad. Then the minister pronounced us as wives, and it was the best thing we’ve heard for a very long time!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
For those in a same-sex relationship, please do not allow anything to put you in a box and limit what you can and cannot do. As long as you love the person you’re with, it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you do or who you’re with.
You just need to be entirely sure that you want to spend the rest of your life with your significant other– and you can.
No country, belief, religion, or tradition can stop you from choosing yourself and the person you love. Do not let other people define and draw your life for you. Choose your path the way you feel is best for you.
If your country does not recognize same-sex marriage, do it in another country. If your family does not support your decision, move out! And, if the friends you’ve known do not take your coming out well to them, let them go, good riddance! There’s nothing you can’t do with love, and love does not take a specific form or shape. It doesn’t have to fit a particular category.
It’s true what they say. Love wins, always.
Photographer Jilda Gildenhuys
Cake Wades Cakes
Ceremony Venue Bakoven Rocks, Capetown, South Africa
Cinematographer Popped Red Balloon Production
Gown Designer Top Shop, Debenhams
H&MU Excentric on Kloof
Transport Novak Tours