Vi and Huy had the perfect spring engagement session in DC last year with the cherry blossoms!
Justice introduced us! Let us explain. Huy spent his entire life on the East Coast, largely in Boston. Vi spent all her life in the Midwest, largely in Kansas City. After graduating law school, Huy took a job with the U.S. Department of Justice, which relocated him out to KC. Worried about the transition and not knowing anyone, he started to become homesick and more notably, he missed eating Vietnamese food (the Vietnamese community in KC isn’t quite as prevalent). Roughly within two weeks of moving, we met through an online dating app and bonded over our Vietnamese roots. Huy appropriately asked Vi where he could find the best recommendation for Pho, one of his favorite Vietnamese noodle soup dishes, and would she like to accompany him. After he arrived late to the first date, we ate and as we were about to leave, we ended up standing by her car for three hours, just talking about who knows what. Since those 3 hours did not do us justice, we decided to spend our lives together.
Food! We literally spend most, if not all, of our time meal planning and exploring new restaurants (we have yet to repeat many of them due to having so many options). For both of us, a meal is much more than just nourishment. It is a way to connect, share, and celebrate life. As children of Vietnamese immigrants, sharing various Asian dishes together helps us pay homage to our roots while planning our future and chartering our own first generation Asian-American family. We also love to travel (mainly via road trips), which we plan around local restaurants and cuisines we want to try. Within the first two years of dating, we have traveled to over 16 states, hopefully visiting all 50 at some point. In fact, even at the early stages of our courtship, we didn’t limit ourselves to the traditional dinner-and-a-movie type of dates. Rather, after less than a month of dating, we decided to test our “honeymoon” chemistry by taking our first trip all the way to Chicago, a nine hour drive from Kansas City. Whenever we reminisce about a certain city, we usually talk about several dishes we experienced while there and it instantly brings us back.
Huy: for me, I’ve always put my career first and foremost, and my personal life would conform accordingly (or so I hoped). But when I met Vi, I realized that my relationship with her was far more important to me than any case that I was handling at work. Before, I woke up eager to overcome any legal challenge that I may have faced that day. Then, one day, I was much more excited to spend my life with her than I was to reach all of my previously set professional goals and milestones. After almost three years together, the excitement to share my life with my soon-to- be wife has grown even more strong.
Vi: Instantly. Just kidding, it was very gradual but I can pinpoint it to three months after we started dating and it was Christmas time. He flew back to Boston for the holiday so we were apart for a week and I missed him terribly. It was a realization of all the fun times we already experienced in the first few months and I knew I did not want it to ever end. From talking in a parking lot for three hours on the first date, to the impromptu road trip to Chicago; from all the unconventional small dates that he would plan, to sweeping me off my feet by asking me to be official by “proposing” with a ring pop to an NSync song (“Girlfriend”), I was infatuated from the beginning.
We were officially engaged at the end of July 2018. Our fondest memories are from traveling and getting lost in new cities together, so popping the question during a trip was only appropriate. The planning process began Spring 2018 and spanned the continental U.S. At the beginning of 2018, we found out that work was relocating him back to the East Coast (DC) so we weighed our options and spoke about getting engaged in 2019. Huy’s family flew from Boston to meet her family in Kansas City to start the discussion of marriage, as per Vietnamese tradition, as well as the possibility of her moving to DC with him. We shopped for rings under the pretense of doing so for strictly for budgeting purposes. We took multiple trips that summer as a last hurrah from Kansas City. Vi didn’t see it coming due to all of the discussions and planning, but his proposal adventures would begin in July and he used these opportunities to steer her in another direction.
Side note: we thought that catching a sunrise in the East Coast and catching a sunset in the West Coast in the same month would be great summer vacation ideas since Boston and San Diego were already planned. As a birthday gift, Huy planned a hot air balloon ride to catch a sunrise in Boston during a Fourth of July trip visiting family. We closed out the month of July in San Diego with a sunset, where he popped the question at Windansea Beach.
Vi: I knew I always wanted a simple ring with a single solitaire on a solid band. Little did we know, there is so much detailing that goes into it! We went to a local store in Kansas City (we love supporting mom and pop shops) and luckily found something I loved at first sight (literally the first ring I tried on). I thought we were just looking for options so we can budget, but it turns out I chose my ring that day. The setting is from A.JAFFE with a hidden halo, quilted band, and cathedral design. It’s simple yet intricately detailed, I love it!Huy: happy soon-to-be wife, happy life.
We already started! We’re planning to have two wedding celebrations, one in Kansas City and one in Boston for June 2020. We both come from large families and an even larger community of friends so we want to include everyone! Living in DC and planning from afar is challenging but we’ve been doing really well with the timing of visits and pretty much all the large tasks are complete.