She married the son of her « work mom »
Long before former Rebecca Kumar met her husband, Andrew Dissanayake, she met her mother. Eighteen years ago, mortgage specialist Rebecca transferred to a TD Bank branch in Pickering. There she was introduced to Chanez Dissanayake, who trained her for the new gig. The two hit it off right away: they joked, shared stories and sometimes, when Chanez saw Rebecca waiting for the bus during the freezing winter, she would stop and offer to take her home.
“She became like a mother to me at work,” says Rebecca. « She was always interested in my life and always encouraged me to do bigger and better things. » Rebecca left the branch after about a year and moved out of town, but continued to visit Chanez and her family when she returned to Toronto for the holidays. During her visits, she would occasionally meet Chanez’s son, banking analyst Andrew, and the two would speak briefly – but they didn’t think they had much in common.
« Andrew looked like a sportsman, » says Rebecca. « Obsessed with sports, a guy’s guy. She, on the other hand, hadn’t even been able to bring herself to play Red Rover as a child. When Rebecca moved to Grimsby and finally started working in Toronto in 2014, Andrew, at her mother’s request, invited her over for a drink of friendship. « But it was just a little awkward, » he says. « Nothing came of it. »
Then, in June 2016, shortly after moving into a new condo, Rebecca bumped into Andrew in the elevator. « We were both like, ‘Wait, what the hell you do here? Said Rebecca. Turns out Andrew lived in the building. That night, he had partied with friends on the rooftop of the apartment, but was kicked out by staff to make room for a private party Rebecca herself was throwing. She quickly invited her group to join.
After that evening, the couple talked constantly. Rebecca spent the summer traveling with her twin sister, Rachael Kumar, sharing her adventures with Andrew via text message. They finally clicked. When Rebecca got home they started dating and, six months after their lift meeting, they officially became a couple. Rebecca accompanied Andrew to his family’s home for Christmas Eve. At that point, Chanez and her husband Bernie knew something was wrong. « What’s going on with you two? » she asked.
« He’s your son, » Rebecca said. « He should tell you! »
« But you are my daughter, » Chanez replied. « You should tell me.
When the couple finally admitted they were an object, the family was overjoyed. Almost three years later, Andrew and Rebecca got engaged while on a trip with friends to the Rocky Crest Golf Resort in Muskoka. « I knew she was the person I wanted to be with, » Andrew says. “His strength and independence are just amazing. It’s like watching LeBron James play basketball.
Although marriage wasn’t always something Rebecca wanted for herself, she knew it was a journey she wanted to take with Andrew. « He’s the most awkward and kind person. He always tries to make people around him feel loved and comfortable, » she says. « Seeing how he treated me, seeing how her parents were treating each other, it changed my idea of what marriage could be. »
The couple originally planned to wed in 2020, but the pandemic had other ideas. They therefore waited until June 2022 and got married at the PORT, a modern and refined restaurant with a majestic decor. water views in Pickering. Two nights before, Rebecca and Rachael hosted a mehndi party, where the entire bridal contingent, along with Chanez, covered their hands and feet in ornate henna designs. « There’s a myth that if your mehndi turns out really dark and lasts a long time, your mother-in-law and husband will love you (even more), » says Rebecca. « Mine lasted throughout our honeymoon. »
Not that the couple needed reassurance that Rebecca was already part of the family. On the morning of the wedding, Andrew got dressed at his parents’ house, while Rebecca got ready at the couple’s house with her twin. Mid-morning, Chenaz showed up to hang out with the bride and help her “daughter” finish dressing.
The nuptials were meant to celebrate the parents: Rebecca’s twin walked her down the aisle, and later they shared a first dance together. Andrew’s father led a lively session on Limbo. And, while Rebecca had long been a valued honorary member of the Dissanayake clan, that night was different. « I was so happy to officially join the family,” she says.
SPECIAL TO THE STAR
Photography and videography four the dream
Bridal saree and wedding party dresses Hira Thanvi
Combinations king and bay
Bridal party makeup Neena Porsha Beauty
bridal party hair Julia’s beauty salon
Balloon decorations Make it appear!
Floral decorations Zoran
wedding celebrant Celestial ceremonies
live music Strings and Keys