It all began in 2011, when they were teenagers working at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Clay County. Beatriz Daquiog, a junior in high school, was at a job interview at the fast food chain. Matthew Gonzalez was a customer. He spotted her right away. “She caught my eye. I saw her being interviewed. A few weeks later, I was back in there. She had been hired and she took my order.” Matthew decided the best way to get to know her was to apply for a job there, too. His plan worked perfectly. Beatriz described him as the cutest thing ever, and she loved flirting with him. “I would yell to him when I needed fries.” Beatriz said they were clearly a case of opposites being attracted to each other. She calls herself a free-spirited public school girl and he was the shy and quiet type at a private Christian school. Beatriz couldn’t believe that Matthew would pick her up and pay for dinner when they went out on dates. “You don’t expect that from a teenager. I was very impressed.”
When it was time to think about where they wanted to go to college, they knew they wanted to go together. Both were accepted at the University of South Florida. Right after the first semester, they found out Beatriz was pregnant. As Matthew put it, “Life changes in the blink of an eye.” Beatriz said her mom was a big proponent of waiting to get married until they both got their degrees. So they both worked hard in school and got jobs to make ends meet to support their daughter, Azalea. They worked opposite shifts, so someone was always with the baby. At one point, Beatriz worked three jobs. They both majored in marketing and could share books and study together. Beatriz was grateful some of the professors actually let them bring the baby to class. “They were very understanding. We were very lucky. Everyone enjoyed her company.” They were both so proud to earn their college degrees in 2016.
On Dec. 30, 2016, they went out to dinner and then went for a drive. Matthew stopped at Kraft Azalea Park just north of Orlando. He chose the spot because of their daughter’s name. They walked around and could hear a romantic Michael Buble’ song playing on a speaker. Then, Beatriz noticed there were candles burning that illuminated rose petals which spelled out the words, “Marry me?” Matthew had a speech planned out, but he never got to it, because Beatriz was screaming with joy. “I just shortened it to “’Will you marry me?’ and she said yes.”
Beatriz and Matthew were married on Oct. 22 before 80 guests at St. Johns Golf and Country Club in St. Augustine. Their daughter Azalea, now three years old, was the flower girl. She was a bit confused while walking down the aisle and never quite knew what to do. At the very end, she threw one petal in the air and promptly sat down.
The couple did a “first look” prior to the ceremony. Matthew said he will never forget turning around to see his bride. “When I saw her in the dress, it blew my mind.” Their reception followed at the same location. Their first dance was to Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Everyone enjoyed the “potato bar,” where whipped and sweet potatoes were served in martini glasses and guests could choose their own toppings. They described it as a magical day that was worth the wait.
Matthew, a digital marketing engineer, said he loves his wife’s determination. “She has a desire to always push ahead and not settle for things. She is always striving for greatness in everything she does.” Beatriz, a media services coordinator, is happy to have her own personal “Google” in her husband. “I ask him everything because he really knows everything. He is level-headed and keeps me grounded.”
Every once in a while, they can be seen dining with their daughter at Chic-fil-A — and now someone else is there to make the fries.
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