NyashaMayne | Brother + 1: Wife
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Brother + 1: Wife

Boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. Boy asks girl on date. Girl asks boy on date. They share conversations while gazing into each other’s eyes. They laugh. They hold hands. They begin to fall in love. Coupledom. Boy realizes he fell in love and asks girl for her hand in marriage. She says “Yes”. Dress fittings. Tux measurements. Marriage band purchasing. “I do”. First dance. Wedding cake cutting. Lots of precious moments shared.

Weddings bring out the best in everyone. If you weren’t feeling the love before, you are enraptured with all the wedding festivities: church rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony and the reception to close the celebrations off. As a result, you begin to fall in love as you watch two people commit themselves to each other. The last few weeks have been a haze; but even more so for the bride and groom. July 31st, 2015 marked the day that I witnessed [amongst friends and family] my big brother get married to my beautiful new sister – Erin Zindoga (née MacDonald). Friends and family watched on as these two beautiful souls intertwined and became one against the backdrop of Summerside, PEI.

As a woman who upholds the sanctity of love and marriage, it was a privilege to be able to be one of two Master of Ceremonies (MC) at their wedding reception. It was a proud moment to be able to introduce Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Zindoga to the wedding guests and of course, assist in ushering in this beautiful new couple on their new found journey as husband and wife with their entrance dance (ma steps).
When it comes to weddings, most people don’t get a chance to sit and think because everything is so overwhelming with the planning leading up to the big day. The pressure faced by the bride and groom is just so intense because they want to ensure everything runs smoothly and that everyone has a great time. I can only imagine the pressures faced, but I do have a better understanding now as I got a chance to sneak in some quality time with my sister-in-law before the big day to find out about all the ins-and-outs about planning a wedding –  and more importantly, a wedding on a budget! Baring in mind that everyone’s wedding is so different, and we live in the 21st century, I absolutely jumped at the chance to talk to Erin and get some answers about this wedding planning business because one day it will be me!
Peep the interview below and of course, take your time perusing over the beautiful wedding pictures taken by Jacinta Photography!

Q: How did he propose?
A: It was a Saturday morning and we were in bed. I was still half asleep and Jeff told me he loves waking up next to me.  I did not know what he was doing so being my quirky self I responded “Really?  I’m so puffy in the morning though and my breath is really bad”. A s this was going on I could hear him fiddling around in his night side table,  and in my head I was thinking “my gosh how difficult is it to put away your night guard?”  Then he pulled out a little white box and told me he wanted to wake up next to me every morning for the rest of our lives.  And there was my beautiful ring.
Q: What made you fall in love with Jeff?  When did you know he was “the one”?
A: It was a combination of factors. We were and are best friends – we just get along so well!  He is the yin to my yang; as high energy and silly I am, he is grounded and well thought-out. We have similar values and wanted the same things for our future. He is someone who I knew I could take to any kind of event with any group of people and he would just fit right in. The best thing about him is the fact that he is so accepting of people from all walks of life, and that is such a hard trait to find in a partner.

Q: Were you looking for love when you and Jeff came together? Did you think marriage would come? Why?
A: Yes I was, and yes I did!  I realized Jeff was “the one” after an umpteenth bad first date.  I was constantly comparing the guys I would date to the great qualities I saw in Jeff.  I remember as clear as day, one evening in my apartment in Ottawa (it was an AHA MOMENT!!]) . . . I’m supposed to be with Jeff!! He’s my “lobster!” (if you are a Friends fan you will know what I mean).  So after 10 years of him chasing after me, I decided it was time I pursued him. [Ladies pay attention!! You can go after your man!!]
Q: What were some of the obstacles that you and Jeff had to discuss, compromise and overcome within your relationship in order make it work?
A:  The immediate obstacle was distance – we had a long distance relationship for 1.5 years and we knew if we wanted to grow in our relationship someone needed to move.  We actually dealt with that in a very reasonable unemotional way – like who would be able to find a job more easily and who has living quarters big enough to house both of us. Leaving my job that I loved, and my friends was very difficult for me and Jeff was patient with me and helped me deal with the sadness I had leaving those things behind. Living with a partner was a big learning curve – he’s tidy and I’m  . . . not;  he likes loud music most of the time I like light background noise; I like quiet time when I get home from work and he’s ready to interact when I walk in the door.  We learned to compromise [which is very critical to any relationship no matter what stage you are in] – I get quiet time when I come home, and I am more considerate about my untidiness. It’s sort of like a blessing in disguise because I’m glad we have had some obstacles to work through because we are learning how to work together, improving communication, and feel supported by each other daily.  More obstacles will come our way, and because of the foundation we have and the constant growth we both go through individually and as a married couple, we both know that we can make our marriage work. Jeff is a one-of-a-kind type of man and I am glad I have him in my corner.

Q: We live in the 21st century where race shouldn’t be an issue. But as an interracial couple, have you come across any racially charged issues? 

A: Sometimes I notice people, especially older people, look at us a little longer/staring a bit – but that’s not really an issue for us. We haven’t experienced any racially charged issues or racism. More and more, I/we have changed or started to notice different things because we are together.  We notice mixed couples, and if there is an interracial couple in an advertisement we point it out to each other, little things like that.

Q: When you look at your relationship, what do you think makes you and Jeff the forever kind of love?

A: He’s my best friend! Also, we are not going into this marriage with rose-colored glasses; a good marriage is hard work. We have dealt with and will deal with more difficult situations and the fact that we’ve tackled them together. More importantly, the fact that we will tackle them as a duo is so important and an integral part to making this marriage last. We will only stay a team if we work together as a team. Taking time to enjoy each other, even if there are family commitments, work responsibilities, or other hurdles makes it difficult, but “us time” is a priority for us, so we will have to carve out that time and put us first – which may be selfish but we are in this for the long-haul.[YES!!]

Lookng Out
Q: Do you have a couple that you hold as your role model?
A: My Mom and Dad. They were married on August 10, 1974 and to this day they are still in love.  They always made sure they took time to work on their relationship by getting away from my brother and I.  I see what a healthy and happy marriage is and that’s definitely what I want for Jeff and I.
First Dance
Q: Your union was bound in the Catholic church. How important was this for you, (given that you could have been married anywhere)? And more importantly, how important is faith and religion within your marriage and relationship?
A: Getting married in the Catholic Church was important to us. Our faith plays an important role in our lives; the values we have are, and will be an important part of our relationship and the way we will raise a family.

Q: What is some advice that you can give to couples that are embarking on this forever journey?
A: Especially with weddings, it easy to get carried away and lose sight of the original vision, and I think life can be like that too. Figure out what is important to you as a couple and make sure that is at the forefront of your relationship weather wedding planning or planning for the future.

Congratulations Jeff and Erin! Xo

... N. xo
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