Love and Sex

Love Looks Like This: We Got Married at the U.S.-Canada Border

Brides is dedicated to supporting ALL couples not only while they plan their wedding but also throughout they experience the highs and lows of their relationship. There is no relationship that looks the same; every love story is lovely, has its own unique past, and faces its own struggles. For our newest feature, “Love Looks Like This,” we’re encouraging couples to share their love stories in order to celebrate that uniqueness. Below, Farah Ali shares her experience.

I had known Malcolm for a few years before we began dating. For a long, we both wanted to be more than just friends, but neither of us wanted to risk anything. Then, in a fortunate turn of events, Malcolm revealed to a friend who was visiting from Vancouver that he was eager to go beyond friendship. Within a few hours, I messaged him to inquire about the dinner plans for the evening. So Malcolm gave me a date. Malcolm first thought of them as being more than just pals at that point.

Later, we went on our first official date. Due to the length of time we spent as friends, we literally can’t agree on what our first date was. I honestly don’t even know if our friends were aware of the initial date because we held off on telling anyone for a couple of weeks to see how things developed.

Although both of our families are from South Asia, our cultures and beliefs are very different. Malcolm’s parents are from India, while mine are from Pakistan. Because we could communicate with our parents in the same language, in some respects, we were very similar. On the other hand, our cultures can occasionally be very unlike. In the end, Malcolm and I have a lot of similar morals. We enjoy eating and taking risks. In Hawaii, my partner and I have been swimming with manta rays. In Costa Rica, we went ziplining. Malcolm and I both like video games, so I took him to his first industry event.

Malcolm ended up popping the question at our new house’s front door on closing day. While we were in escrow, he had requested approval from my parents. They kept asking me, “When is your closure day?” during that time. Our wedding and separation took place in September 2020.

We were certain we didn’t want to wait until things were back to normal before beginning to plan our wedding. We were aware that we wanted a safe manner to marry that would still be possible with the border closed. After doing some research, Malcolm discovered that families had been rejoining at the border. In order to locate any open fields, we first opened Google Maps. Our original idea was to get married alongside the Double Ditch Road so that Malcolm’s parents could witness it from Canada and my folks could witness it from the US side.
Despite the fact that this meant we would be getting married in a ditch, the possibility of having our parents there gave us both a lot of energy. Fortunately, things improved. We made contact with Peace Arch Historical Park, the location of our future wedding.


[The park] crosses the border in Washington and British Columbia. They were closed during much of Covid and not providing visas, but we sought out regardless. Our wedding planner was working with the park ranger and planning for them to finally accept permits again. It was so much nicer than a ditch on the road and it would mean we would not only have our parents there along the border line, but with us.

Marriage Requirements for Non-Citizens in the U.S.

The first time we went to look out the park for a potential wedding, it was the first time Malcolm got to see his mother in over a year. We required two permissions, and each one would modify how we could plan things. The major one was how many people we could invite. The park ranger, Ranger Rick, said something really stuck with me. He said, “So, you’re getting married. That’s great. . And, you’re going to have your family around you. Just remember that this is not a Hilton, and this will not be a Hilton wedding.”
What he was trying to express is that we didn’t have the conveniences that a hotel would. You had to be very careful about which side of the border everything originated from and it was so much difficult to bring goods in. We had no idea how many others could join—whether it could just be us and an officiant, or include a guest list of 12 or 25. We were prepared for any of these circumstances. These were only some of the problems of our Covid-border ceremony.


We had my family friend, who was like a second dad to me growing up, officiate our wedding. A lot of our family pitched in to make it happen. We had to handle the setup ourselves. In my culture, weddings are generally a week or a month long. And, we wanted to bring elements from both of our cultures to the day.

We gained approval and permitted three weeks before our wedding to host 25 people. Then two weeks prior, we discovered out that we could have up to 50 people including vendors, which allowed us to invite some friends, too.  In the end, it was extremely gorgeous.

The wedding motif we were going for was whimsical. I’m really like Disney [so] we put carriages on the table. Malcolm is a math geek, so we wanted to add mathematical motifs. We managed to pull in some math and science in the cake and arbor shapes. Our planner Paruul Maheshwary and I handmade a majority of the decorations. We leased chairs from the park and executed a sort of South-Asian and Western twist on high tea. We showed that through the cuisine. For example, we had Western dessert and Indian tea.

23 Whimsical Garden Wedding Ideas to Inspire Your Big Day \scouple in gazebo

We had so many special moments and we were really grateful to have friends and family [there]. There was this one moment where we had time to ourselves and danced in the gazebo together [for] a makeshift first dance. We didn’t have any intentions for this. Our photographer put on some music and invited us to dance in the gazebo. It was one of the most unforgettable moments of our wedding.

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