Love, travel, and adventure are best enjoyed together

Love, travel, and adventure are best enjoyed together

Rachael Pasternak & Matthew Berbeza

Dec. 9, 2022, in Philadelphia

In February 2020, Matt and Rachael satisfied in what she calls the old-fashioned way – on the web. Each individual experienced not long ago started out courting yet again, and both equally were surprised by how fun and effortless it was to communicate to each individual other. Then Rachael disappeared.

Following a week of silence, she messaged him howdy. Disappearances are not unpredicted in electronic relationship, but Matt was glad to hear from her. Their witty banter was intact, so Matt, a corrections officer at Howard R. Younger Point out Correctional Institution in Wilmington, and Rachael, a flight nurse for PennSTAR, Penn Medicine’s essential care transportation assistance, resolved to meet up with in human being.

Her profile claimed she liked seeking new items, so Matt proposed ice skating. Matt, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, plays hockey with the Philadelphia Flyers’ Warriors – a crew of veterans who have accidents and disabilities. Matt’s a pretty robust skater. Rachael, not so substantially. “Matt went ice skating. I went slipping,” she mentioned. But they experienced a blast.

Quickly following, Rachael knew she had to inform Matt wherever she experienced long gone when she disappeared, and why.

A year before, Rachael experienced been identified with breast most cancers. She was finished with the most rigorous section of her therapy and she and her mom flew to Paris to rejoice. Other guys had ghosted her when they uncovered of her prognosis, but with Matt, Rachael was pretty much more worried that he would not. Matt’s 1st wife, Kristin, died unexpectedly in her rest on Christmas Day in 2018. They experienced been married for nearly a dozen years. Rachael did not want him to go by means of anything like that once again.

“It doesn’t make any difference,” Matt mentioned, undeterred. They seemed to be on the cusp of one thing good, he advised Rachael, and nothing must stop them from looking at where by they could go.

Literally speaking, they could not go several destinations – this was at the peak of COVID-19 closures. Matt persuaded Rachael to purchase a bicycle, even even though she hadn’t been on 1 in decades, and they strike the trails collectively. But generally, they hung out alongside one another at Rachael’s Aston townhouse or Matt’s residence in Wilmington.

“Dating all through the pandemic is like relationship in canine several years – two years was like 14,” Rachael said. “We obtained to know every other perfectly really immediately.”

Two men and women who weren’t searching for just about anything too really serious observed by themselves really major about each individual other.

“It was incredibly simple and quite purely natural to be with Rachael,” said Matt, who grew up in North Wilmington and is now 39. “We did not have to work at it – it just worked.”

“We agreed that existence is variety of challenging at baseline, and an additional individual can possibly make it easier for you or make it worse,” explained Rachael, 36, who grew up in Glen Mills. “Life is so significantly less difficult, and so substantially far more exciting, when we are collectively.”

They admire each other’s tenacity and target on really hard operate that will help other people. And they worth how her operate caring for significantly sick people and his in corrections translates into a designed-in knowing of nuts work schedules and a shared definition of what a bad operate working day actually can be.

Matt remains the much more athletic of the two – in addition to hockey, he’s into motorcycles, mountain bikes, and anything at all outdoor. “I check out outdoorsy issues, but it does not generally go effectively for me,” Rachael explained. She has generally cherished to travel, and now Matt does, also. Among the the areas they’ve been: Cabo San Lucas, Greece, Hungary, and Jamaica. A beloved domestic vacation: New Orleans at Halloween.

The engagement

The two were in Rome just prior to Thanksgiving 2021. Matt understood that the Trevi Fountain is Rachael’s most loved put in Europe, so he booked a resort close by. At following-supper cocktails, they satisfied a regional pair and the 4 talked and talked right up until 1 a.m. By then, Matt and Rachael had been hungry again so they stopped at a McDonald’s to grab a snack. Going for walks back to their resort, they paused at the fountain to toss in some coins – neighborhood lore suggests site visitors who do so will be back again yet again.

Rachael noticed Matt setting up to bend down.

“Oh my God. Did you fall our McDonald’s in the Trevi Fountain?” she requested.

He had not. “I know yet another way to ensure that we come back to Rome,” Matt claimed. “Will you marry me?”

It was so them

On Dec. 9, 2022, the few have been married at Cescaphe’s Down City Club with Journeys of the Heart’s Diane Smith-Hoban officiating. Diane shared the couple’s story, and Rachael and Matt wrote vows stuffed equally with like and humor.

“I admire your really like for enjoyment and how you usually go with the stream, and also how you are prepared to consider dangers and go out on the edge to check out new issues – even if you’re horrible at them,” Matt advised Rachael. “I promise to always support you and stand by you, even when I do not concur with you.”

“I assure to permit you check out the Flyers, earlier mentioned nearly anything else, with the exception of each Sunday, some Thursdays, and some Mondays from September by February, mainly because, Go Birds!” explained Rachael. “I assure to stand by you, and guiding you when you need a very little extra assist. I guarantee to often have your 6,” she claimed, a armed forces reference to a clockface that is shorthand for the situation powering you. In other terms, she’ll constantly have his back.

The reception for 190 highlighted pyrotechnics, a ton of foodstuff and an open up bar, and music by BVTLive band Elevation. “I do not think anyone got off the dance flooring, besides it’s possible to consume,” Rachael explained.

The couple’s first dance was to “Bless the Damaged Road” by Rascal Flatts – Matt’s preference due to the fact of the fitting lyrics and a loving compromise from Rachael, who prefers option and dance tunes.


Four hrs right before the wedding day, it was photo time. Matt walked to 1st Financial institution, where by he would get his 1st look at Rachael in her wedding day dress. “She walked up the ways, tapped me on the shoulder, and I turned all around to see her,” he remembered. “She seemed astounding – so attractive! And it created me so pleased.”

Ahead of going for walks down the aisle, Rachael was energized to see all of their good friends and household collected. “Then the doors opened, and I observed Matt’s smile, and I observed nobody else,” she stated. “Nothing else mattered but going for walks toward him.”

The honeymoon

The two honeymooned in Barbados, and, following sleeping for substantially of the 1st two times, enjoyed singing alongside at the piano bar, a area nightclub, and a one of a kind Friday fish fry. “It was like a fish fry block party, and it appears the full island goes to it,” Matt explained.

What’s upcoming

The few desires to see a lot more of the earth, especially Southeast Asia. They also take pleasure in getting property in Wilmington with Shadow, their pit bull combine. Rachael is cooking up one thing for Matt’s 40th birthday.