Heather and Barry Curcio first met at a robotics competition where their teenaged sons were participating on opposing teams. As they kept bumping into each other at various meets, their interactions were limited to casual hellos in passing, until Barry got up the courage to talk to Heather at an off-season event. They went on their first date a week later and both knew immediately that the relationship would last. “I knew when I met her how special she was and that I wanted to spend my life with her,” Barry says. Heather agrees, saying, “I have a hard time letting people in, but with Barry it’s different. I felt close to him right after we met.”
Three years later, at the same robotics event that brought them together, Barry proposed in front of several hundred people. “Barry is a real people person and I am not, so this was quite a surprise and shock to be in front of so many people,” Heather admits.
The couple—who have four kids, three dogs and four cats between them—married on 8-18-18 in front of very close family in Connecticut, where they live. They chose the date because of the symbolism of the infinity sign, which both Heather and Barry had tattooed on their arms. After the family celebration, they traveled to Marginal Way in Ogunquit to honor their union in a private ceremony. Heather spent many family vacations at Marginal Way, and it was her mother’s favorite spot. “She passed away in 2011. I wanted to feel close to her.”
The sunrise ceremony was important because “our connection has always been very spiritual,” Barry says. Heather adds, “We felt strongly about having it just be the two of us. We wanted something intimate where we could recite our own vows and really feel our connection with each other.” The couple made a handfasting cord, an old custom that represents a binding union, with 12 meaningful colors. They sewed charms onto the cord, each symbolizing important things in their relationship and individual lives.
Meeting each other later in life—Heather is 46 and Barry is 54—after many experiences and relationships, helped the couple feel certain they were right for each other. When Heather met Barry, she was finally at a place in her life where she was comfortable being genuinely herself, and that’s who Barry fell in love with. “Knowing I could be 100 percent myself was such a relief,” she says. “Loving Barry has made me a better person, I am positive of that. We bring out the best in each other, and we make such a great team.” As for Barry, “I had to wait half my life to find my soul mate, but now that I have found her, I am so grateful.”
Heather and Barry have similar visions for the second half of their lives, too, and the many years they look forward to spending together. They dream of a home with lots of land and animals to care for, maybe a stream or pond on the property and a swing on the porch, and regular travel to exotic places. And, of course, an abundance of love.