Wedded: Victoria Parshley and Juan Ramirez made a long-distance relationship work

Wedded: Victoria Parshley and Juan Ramirez made a long-distance relationship work
Tori Parshley and Juan Ramirez were married Nov. 12 at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court in Baltimore (Crystal Whitman / Handout)

Date: Nov. 12

Her story: Victoria "Tori" Elizabeth Parshley, 23, was born in Montclair, N.J. She works as an elementary school teacher. Her parents, Tom and Seanna Parshley, live in in Baltimore.


His story: Juan David Ramirez, 25, was born in Pereira, Colombia. He works as a mechanical engineer. His mother, Lillian Marulanda, and stepfather, Mike Curran, live in Parkton. His father, Fernando Ramirez, lives in Colombia.

Their story: The two met at Dulaney High School in 2007. Tori was a freshman manager for the football team; Juan was a running back.

Tori was immediately attracted to Juan.

"He was handsome and intriguing," she said.

The two quickly became friends, and talked daily throughout high school.

"He is very reserved, but once you get to know him he is the most kind, selfless and dedicated person I know," Tori said.

And even when they attended different colleges — she in North Carolina, he in Pennsylvania — they continued to keep in contact.

The summer before Tori's senior year of college, they decided to make it official. Six months into their official relationship, they broke up because of the distance.

But the two continued to be friends. After an additional six months of not seeing each other, Juan told Tori that he couldn't imagine being with anyone but her.

"He was scared of his feelings before, but knew he wanted me and only me and was fully committed," Tori recalled.

Their relationship continued to flourish even though she accepted a job in North Carolina and he accepted a job in Texas.

Distance isn't an issue anymore — the couple lives together in Burleson, Texas.

The proposal: Juan proposed on April 23 — Tori's 23rd birthday.

Tori wasn't expecting it, since Juan had told her that he couldn't muster the confidence to ask Tori's father's permission because he was "too intimidating."


"I was crushed, but didn't want to force anything," she said. "If he wasn't ready then he wasn't ready."

The next week, she flew out to Texas to visit Juan.

They went on a hike to a waterfall in Austin, where Juan told her they were meeting some of co-workers. On the way, Juan pretended to trip on the trail. When she turned around to see if he was safe, he was down on one knee with what Tori said was "the most beautiful ring" in his hand. He then asked her to marry him.

"I instantly started crying and said 'yes,' of course," she said. "I couldn't stop freaking out, however the next question out of my mouth was 'You asked my dad?'"

Juan told her that he made up the story about not asking her father and meeting his co-workers, because Tori always figured everything out.

"It's pretty impossible to surprise me, but he did," she said.

Venue: About 125 guests attended the ceremony and reception at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court in Baltimore.

Flowers and decor: The colors of the wedding were navy and gray. Raimondi's Florist provided the flowers, in shades of green and pale orange. Tori carried an all-ivory bouquet and Juan wore an ivory rose boutonniere.

Her dress: Tori wore an ivory Maggie Sottero gown from Betsy Robinson's Bridal Collection. She also wore customized Nike sneakers that read "Mrs. Ramirez."

Bridesmaids' attire: Bridesmaids wore navy blue knee-length dresses of their choosing.

Men's attire: Juan and the groomsmen wore gray tuxedos from Jos. A. Bank.

Music: Al Walsh and Three Flights Up provided the music. The couple's first dance was to "Just The Way You Are" by Bruno Mars, who is their favorite singer.

Food and dessert: Catering was provided by Royal Sonesta. Hors d'oeuvres at the cocktail hour included Asian spring rolls, beef negimaki rolls, bruschetta with pesto, scallops wrapped in bacon, chicken empanadas and crab cakes. Dinner options were filet mignon, grilled chicken, salmon, and vegetable lasagna.

La Cakerie provided cupcakes, with flavors including peanut butter, Nutella, caramel fudge brownie, pumpkin coffee cake, and vanilla wedding cake with glitter and cookie dough.

Favors: The placecards were matchbooks that said phrases like "It's getting hot in here," "Let's get lit," and "Hunka hunka burnin' love."

Special touches: The wedding incorporated a number of nods from their families' past. The couple toasted with the same glasses from Tori's grandmother's wedding 55 years ago; the cake topper was the one that Tori's parents used at their wedding; and the cake knife was from Juan's mother and stepfather's wedding.

Tori's godfather, Tom White, officiated at the ceremony. Juan's high school football coach, Bruce Campbell, performed a reading.

After the wedding was over, the bridal party and some guests went to Power Plant Live's PBR bar, where Tori rode the mechanical bull in her wedding gown.


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