Ruben and Nicté García-Rivera have loved each other almost as long as they have loved Volkswagen vehicles.
“Growing up in Mexico City back in the seventies and eighties, the VW brand was in every single household,” explains Ruben. “Everywhere you looked around, you saw Beetle taxicabs, you saw buses.”
But the couple was first united by a different set of wheels – namely, roller skates.
On November 20, 1987, Ruben attended a roller skating festival in downtown Mexico City, an annual family-friendly event. The city’s cobblestone streets, however, were less than friendly for actual skating.
“I saw a girl falling down right in front of me,” Ruben remarks, recalling the first time he met his wife. “I held her hand to stabilize her a little bit. Once we were able to get to the asphalt, I let her go a little. But then, she didn’t want to let me go.
“After that, the rest is history.”
The teens began dating, but parted ways a couple of years later. Ruben moved to San Diego, eventually settling in Las Vegas for school. Nicté stayed in Mexico City to finish her communications degree. They kept in touch on and off, but remained star-crossed until 1995, when they reconnected as a couple.
Shortly after, Ruben proposed. Nicté said yes.
Now came the next question: what would they do about rings? Not only were standard wedding bands too expensive for their shoe-string budget, but the designs of existing rings struck them as generic and unimpressive. The couple wanted something unique, something that would better reflect who they were and their passions. They wanted VW.
Over the course of their relationship, the couple discovered they had a lot in common. They both loved music and travel. They also both loved Volkswagen vehicles, an appreciation stemming from their respective childhoods. It seemed fitting that their commitment their favorite brand would be a reflection of their commitment to one another.
The couple gathered what gold pieces they owned and what their families could offer—earrings, rings, chains—and asked a local jeweler to melt them down. The ask? Custom designed wedding bands that somehow incorporated their shared love of Volkswagen vehicles.
Ruben and Nicté tied the knot in a small, Chinese chapel, with the VW logo on their ring fingers.
According to Ruben, when people hear the story of the rings, they don’t believe that it is true or think it’s some sort of joke. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“People just don’t realize how much [Volkswagen] represents for us as a family,” he says. “It’s a lifestyle.”
That lifestyle has kept the García-Rivera family on the go. Piling into their Volkswagen Vanagon or one of their Jetta GLIs, they hit the road whenever they can. From Montana to Vancouver to Washington, they spend many a weekend and vacation seeking their next adventure. And they show no sign of slowing down.
“The VW brand is something that we will always drive. And it just feels beautiful driving your own car when you go on a road trip.”
Ruben and Nicté have now been married for more than 20 years. They’ve traveled across the country in their Vanagon, celebrated their love for VW at countless car shows, passing their VW passion to the next generation. (In fact, their eight-year-old son Diego already knows a lot about Volkswagen cars, boasts his dad. Ask him any question. He can tell you the exact make and year.)
So what’s the secret to wedded bliss?
“It is just about trusting in each other and providing for each other,” remarks Ruben. And if you have a VW, that makes it even better.”