HARLINGEN — On one knee, surrounded by family, friends, fries and burgers, Manuel Monsebais asked the question of a lifetime.
Monsebais and his now wife, Jasmine Garza, met almost two years ago while working at the Whataburger right here in Harlingen.
Monsebais had been working at the location in South Padre Island and Garza was working in Raymondville before they both decided to transfer to the Harlingen location on Ed Carey Drive, where they would meet.
It obviously was meant to be.
They instantly clicked and from then on it was Whataburger dates and walks on the beach until 4 in the morning.
Monsebais had worked with his future mother-in-law for two months trying to plan out the perfect way to propose.
He thought maybe the beach before deciding on the famous burger joint.
“That’s where we met, had our first dates,” Monsebais said. “That’s where it all happened.”
Monsebais is a member of the Army National Guard and had been away in Brownwood, Texas, for training.
He told Garza it would be a few days before he would return.
Garza and her family had just left her brother’s baseball team and went to Whataburger for what she thought was a baby shower planning meeting.
Garza said she thought it was unusual that so many people were going to Whataburger to plan a baby shower, but didn’t give it much thought.
“Nothing ever clicked until my mom started acting weird,” Garza said.
Monsebais made sure Garza’s mother would have her facing away from the door so she wouldn’t see him when he walked in.
Straight from Brownwood, and in uniform, Monsebais entered the Whataburger and covered Garza’s eyes as she broke down in tears.
“When he had covered my eyes, that’s when it all clicked,” Garza said. “I knew what was happening.”
In front of family, friends and Whataburger patrons, Monsebais got down on one knee.
“I just can never stop smiling with her,” Monsebais said. “I still can’t.”
Monsebais is set for deployment to Africa where he will spend nine months.
He said he wanted to make sure Garza was covered when he leaves so the pair got married in a small ceremony this past weekend.
While Monsebais will spend the majority of their first marriage in another country, Garza will begin planning for their official church wedding set for May of next year, almost three years from the date they first went on a date.
“I realized he was the one I wanted to be with when he saw me at my worst and never left my side,” Garza said.
March 2016 – The pair meet each other for the first time
May 3, 2016 – First date
Feb. 14, 2018 – Engaged
March 3, 2018 – Married
May 4, 2019 – Official wedding ceremony