Tony and Maria were born on opposite sides of the world. The Soliven family lived in Metro Manila, and the Birds made their home near the northern coast of Virginia Beach.
The Solivens migrated to the U.S. in 1996 – and as luck would have it, they chose to settle down in Virginia Beach. Though this move exponentially increased the chances of their love story to begin, Maria and Tony never crossed paths until well after they’ve graduated from their respective colleges.
Maria graduated from Longwood University in 2012, and Tony from VCU in 2013. The two lived in Richmond concurrently after graduating and eventually moved back to Virginia Beach… still having never known of one another’s existence.
They officially met in the spring of 2015 when mutual friends hosted a series of kickball games on the beach. It took a couple of years, but the two finally went on their first date on July 4th, 2017. They sat in a Sonic parking space to enjoy some good ole’ American wieners in celebration of their favorite holiday, and the beginning of a wonderful relationship.
After several hairstyles and a few trying adventures in foreign terrain, they learned that they did, in fact, make an excellent team.
On December 19th, 2020, the two spent the day skiing in Lake Tahoe with Maria’s Uncle Val and cousin Karen. Before taking a lunch break, they decided to stop at a scenic spot to take some pictures. Tony bent down to “look for something” in his backpack. He looked up, recited her entire name (Maria Fatima Yvanna DeGuzman Soliven), pulled out a ring, and asked her the easiest question that she had ever answered. She said yes, and to this day, neither one of them can remember what happened in the subsequent moments. They survived the slopes and then celebrated with Maria’s family over a savory dinner.
Maria and Tony plan to say their vows in Virginia Beach at The Church of the Holy Family, and hold a reception at the Lesner Inn on April 2nd, 2022.