Here’s something you don’t hear about every day.
It’s sometimes said that life is a journey. For Karla and Jason De Los Reyes, preparing for their new life together involved a literal journey — travelling 120 kilometres on foot along the Camino de Santiago in the days leading up to their wedding in Spain.
The couple, who are parishioners of the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington, had both hiked the Camino individually — Karla in 2015, Jason in 2018. As they thought about where to get married, they considered El Salvador, where Karla is from originally, and Texas, where Jason is from.
But nothing struck a chord quite like “the Way,” which pilgrims have travelled to the final resting place of the apostle St. James the Greater since the 10th century.
“We referred to our wedding planning as a camino,” said Karla, a kindergarten teacher.
Armed with a 25-page spreadsheet, the couple zigzagged through Spanish bureaucracy, sans wedding planner, to line everything up for a Catholic wedding last December. They got married Dec. 12 at a former monastery, the Pazo de San Lorenzo in Santiago.
“We had a lot of support from our families,” Jason told the Arlington Catholic Herald, the diocesan newspaper. “We packed everything for the wedding and left it with her parents to bring to Spain.”
Once they arrived at Sarria, the couple spent three-and-a-half days walking 120 of the more than 1,400 km designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
“There were moments of bliss when we could see the sun rise, or when we would see birds flying side by side, we’d say, ‘That’s like us,’ ” said Karla.
The journey also included things that didn’t go according to plan.
Read on to learn what happened — and why they would recommend this to other engaged couples.