Josh Rivera and Rebekah Facciuto met each other at Cracker Barrel and their love story is straight out of a movie.
When Josh Rivera went to Cracker Barrel for lunch, he found love alongside roast beef and mac n' cheese. On September 1, 2020, he sat at a table at the Casa Grande, Arizona eatery after ordering his usual roast beef, mac n' cheese, carrots, buttermilk biscuits with grape jelly and a Coca-Cola. Rivera, 38, was minding his business on the restaurant's front porch when Rebekah Facciuto sat near him. "We started talking while we were sitting there and decided that we wanted to continue the conversation over lunch," Facciuto, 36, tells PEOPLE. "It was an instant connection." That was essentially their first date which the duo enjoyed.
"After we had lunch together, I had the weirdest feeling – I missed Rebekah right away," Rivera says. "I had never felt that way about someone I had just met before. I prayed, 'Please let me know this person, even if it doesn't go anywhere, please give me the privilege of knowing this person because I really like who she is.'" Rivera, who was head over heels, did not want the day to end and prayed that she would stay. "When I found out Rebekah was a cellist, I knew I had to use the surround sound system in my brand-new car to try and impress her with a new cello song I had just heard," he recalls. "So, as we left the restaurant, I asked if she would like to listen to this new song with me, and to my surprise, she said yes!"
The pair loved each other's company and decided to exchange information to meet again. "Rebekah invited me into her world and as we got closer, our love for each other grew. We developed a friendship and a gradual trust, ultimately leading to me asking Rebekah out." After almost a year of dates and lovely moments, Rivera, who works as a chaplain and a youth pastor, proposed to Facciuto, in front of friends and families, including Facciuto's daughter Elise, on August 14, 2021. "There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to propose to Rebekah at Cracker Barrel," he says. "I started to get lovesick after my first encounter with her and Cracker Barrel played such a huge part in that feeling, I knew I had to propose to her at the same place we met and fell in love."
Facciuto was over the moon with this gesture. "My favorite part was watching the love of my life get down on one knee to be my forever person," she adds. "I do admit that Josh being as handsome as he is didn't hurt either!" They married twice, first in a church on September 5, 2021, in Tucson, Arizona and second in a hot air balloon with handwritten vows on November 5. "We are reminded each day of our vows and how much love we share for each other," says Rivera.
He added, "Those words we said once in a church and again in a hot air balloon come to fruition every time we are together. We learn something new about each other every day and are grateful to be by each other's sides through all the challenges life throws at us." The happily married couple welcomed their son, River Rivera, on August 5, 2022. In order to make it even more special, they celebrated his baby shower at Cracker Barrel. "We don't believe in luck, but we do believe that meeting that one day in September was meant to be," says Rivera. "We will always remember that special moment on Cracker Barrel's front porch in the rocking chairs."