Love at first sight

Groom, Apisalome Tudreu is from Kavewa Village in Nadogo, Macuata while his wife, Torika Sigale Qoro is from Nakavu Village in Nadi. Picture: SUPPLIED

The sheer power of love and their trust in God and in each other pulled the Tudreu’s through their 16 years of courting.

Exchanging their wedding rings in front of family and close friends, the couple started a lifelong journey together as husband and wife.

Groom, Apisalome Tudreu is from Kavewa Village in Nadogo, Macuata while his wife, Torika Sigale Qoro is from Nakavu Village in Nadi.

The couple are both secondary school teachers, being in the profession for more than 10 years.

The couple’s story is a heart-warming one, as it was love at first-sight for the groom.

“It was love at first-sight for me,” Mr Tudreu said.

“We met 16 years ago towards the end of 2004 at the then Fiji College of Advanced Education (FCAE) through friends who introduced us,” he said.

“I noticed her when she first entered teaching college in 2004 while I was in my final year there, but I didn’t have the courage to approach her until November of that year.

“A friend suggested that he introduced me to her and unbeknown to him, she was the one I was dying to talk to all along.

“I was quietly observing her the whole time I was in FCAE and I knew she had all the qualities I was looking for in a woman, she was beautiful and graceful with a kind demeanour. I knew she’ll compliment my character.

“I remember the first night we met, I was just able to say bula and say my name and nothing more because I was so nervous.

“She was standing there waiting for me to say something else and I never uttered a word for about five minutes which was so awkward and embarrassing for me.”

With their embarrassing and nervous first encounter, the couple said goodnight to each other and planned to meet again the following week.

“It was her final night at FCAE as they had to leave the next day and I was to spend another week in campus to prepare for my graduation,” he said.

“I knew it was my last chance, so I told her that night that I loved her.

“I promised her that I was going to love, care, protect and even marry her.

“She was in tears and she surprisingly agreed. The rest as they say is history.”

The couple like many in a long courting relationship went through a lot together.

“Believe us, love life especially long distance relationship is no smooth sailing at all,” the couple said.

“We had our moments of ups and downs, we had our own weaknesses, we learnt from those, we managed to solve disagreements between us, we forgave each other, endured and we held on to our love for each other.

“If there’s any lesson out of this, it is patience, commitment, honesty, forgiveness and endurance.

‘We are not a perfect couple, we’re still learning but learning from our past weaknesses and building on our strengths have helped us mould our relationship and enabled our bond to be stronger than ever.”

The couple said they have lots of fond memories about each other but the best would be the moment they walked down the aisle on August 15 together and said I do to each other.

“Talking to each other and simply just sharing our dreams and plans for the future and spending time together is the best way we spend our spare time together,” the couple said.

The couple’s wedding was a traditional one that was held at the Wesley Mission Church at Butt St in Suva followed by the wedding reception at the Royal British Legion.

“We had our civil marriage on the same date last year which was on a Thursday and because of the leap year we were fortunate that it fell on a Saturday so we could be free from our work schedule and also have friends and relatives to witness it,” the couple said.

“The wedding theme colour was a combination of two of our favourite colours, purple and white and the theme throughout was a Marriage Centred in Christ.”

The couple wore traditional wedding attire during the wedding and for the wedding reception wore a kalavata from Loulani Kollection Boutique.

A traditional ceremony that was held on their special day too was the itataunaki
with other traditional ceremonies which was held at the Royal British Legion.

“Because of the restrictions on social gatherings and the space that we had, more than 60 guests turned up for the wedding,” the couple said.

“We thank the Lord Almighty for being faithful to our prayers.

“We’re always indebted to Lasarusa Cawanibuka and William Levy for setting up the first meeting between us.

“We would also like to thank families and friends here in Fiji and abroad for assisting us in the preparations and during the wedding.”

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