Michelle and Nabil are two of the most interesting people I know. I have tried to capture that in this story, but no one could ever do these two justice.
Taylor Holmes

Matron of Honour

Michelle and Nabil
The Story

First, let’s go back. Waaaaaay back.


Nabil was born in Algeria. When he was just 7 years old, his family immigrated to Canada. Despite not speaking a word of English when he arrived, Nabil quickly became involved at his school. His natural competitive streak shone on the soccer field, and he rose to Premier level soccer by age 17. But Nabil wasn’t your average jock: he also excelled at public speaking in his Toastmasters classes.

It’s no wonder that Carleton University jumped at the chance to have him. Once there, he developed a keen passion for computer science and software. As you might imagine, Nabil was no slacker. He was in high demand, leaping from co-op to co-op until he landed at Blackberry in 2010. A career was born! Now, Nabil spends his days working on special projects for Apple.


Michelle was born in Germany to Canadian parents. Being born abroad must have jump-started her travel bug – in grade 10, she spent a year in France with the Rotary International exchange program. A gymnast from age 3, and a competitive cheerleader from age 17, Michelle has always been motivated to move.

Although she took environmental science in university, it wasn’t until after graduating from university that she found her true passion. The year following her graduation, Michelle travelled to Africa, Europe, India, and Nepal, and created a travel blog to keep her friends and family in the loop. The blog drew attention in the travel world, landing her a job in Germany with a travel company where she learned the ins and outs of website design and SEO. She was hooked – when she returned to Canada, she founded a web design company and has been doing it ever since.

They Meet

As it happens, Michelle started a flag football team to satisfy her desire to play sports – and guess whose team she played against in the semi-finals? After watching Nabil’s impressive performance on the field, Michelle scouted him to her team for the following season.

Nabil readily accepted her invitation and they have been playing on the same flag football team ever since.

Sharing a competitive drive both on the field and off, Michelle and Nabil also became fast friends.

They Fall

Bonding over goal setting sessions, travel planning, and business masterminding, their connection grew stronger.

Finally, Nabil asked Michelle on a date.

But what type of first date would two high flying entrepreneurial spirits choose?

Dinner in San Francisco, of course!

And with that, Michelle and Nabil were on the last first date of their lives.

After their magical date in California, they were inseparable.  Everyone around them was ecstatic – the “power couple” was together at last! Even Michelle’s Great Dane Max couldn’t get enough. After backyard renovations, purchasing an Aston Martin, and a few more trips together, Nabil knew it was time to officially merge their lives together.

He Proposes

But how do you top a first date to San Fran?

Plan the ultimate getaway to Puerto Rico!

Nabil whisked Michelle away for a surprise “birthday trip”, and treated her to ziplining, romantic hikes, shopping and delicious dinners.

But the next surprise was the biggest by far: after a short plane ride, they arrived at the Island of Vieques, renowned for its bioluminescent bay. Michelle was euphoric – for 9 years, she had dreamed of checking this place off her bucket list!

So it happened that in a romantic kayak for two, by the light of the stars and millions of shining blue-green dinoflagelates, Nabil asked Michelle to build an empire with him as husband and wife. Watch out world – she said yes!

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