Alex and Thuy

How We Met

I first met Thuy back when we were 16. We are both Catholic and Vietnamese and our parents wanted us to get confirmed at the Vietnamese Church in Seattle. Throughout the class, there was a Community Service Project that each person had to participate in. The leaders split the class up into smaller groups of about 8 people, and Thuy just happened to be in the same group as me.

During the first team meeting, we had to go around the circle and introduce ourselves to the group with a little bit of background and some hobbies that we had. Back in High School, I was just one of the guys, I wore the same thing pretty much every day (jeans or basketball shorts with my football hoodie) and I remember at the time just getting over a break-up. So a pretty stereotypical high school kid.

Thuy, however, looked super intimidating. Not only because of her RBF (love you honey) but also cause she had this bright Auburn hair that I had never before seen on an actual girl before. When she shared her hobbies and the fact that she lived in Kirkland and went to Juanita High School, the leader had made a suggestion that we should start hanging out (since we were one of the only kids to live on the east-side in the class. Myself, being the nice guy I am, was nice and said “Oh yeah! Maybe we could!”, whereas Thuy, immediately said flatly, “No, I’m good.” So, good first interaction right?

Well as time went on, we had to talk to each other and hang out a bit for two purposes:

To actually do the Community Service we were required to do.
To create a video to present what we had done and learned through this experience

Before we headed out to the retirement home to do our community service Thuy had asked me if I could give her a ride back home after we were done. This was crazy for me since I only had my license for all of a month when she asked me, but of course, I wasn’t gonna say no to her. I was so nervous the whole time we were at the retirement home, but I remember seeing Thuy interact with some of the people there and being so enamored with her and her bubbly personality and that was really when I started developing feelings for her.

Once we were finished, we headed out and I think I mentioned that I was hungry, so we actually decided to go to a Red Robin for dinner before driving her back home. The whole ride we were talking about everything and anything, almost like we had been friends for years instead of just meeting each other a couple of weeks prior. Even at dinner, we never stopped talking which was bad for me since this made me like her more and more. Unfortunately, Thuy had a boyfriend at the time and even to this day, she will argue that this “date” did not count as our first date. You be the judge ;)

I honestly don’t know what drove Thuy to like me back, but once she knew she broke things off with her boyfriend and we went on our real first date only a couple of days after. From the beginning, I have always felt this amazing connection with Thuy and it got me to be obsessed with her, where, for a couple of weeks all my friends at school were tired of hearing about this super cute red-haired girl I met from another school.

We hung out a couple more times and I finally gathered up the courage to ask her out. Which I did by planning to grab lunch together, but to her surprise, I had woken up early to drive to Pike Place to pick up a bouquet of flowers and when I got back to her place I sang her “our song” (Missin’ You like Crazy by Us the Duo) gave her the flowers and asked her out. And we’ve been going strong for 8 years!

How They Asked

For the proposal I had a couple of things to do:

Get Thuy out of the house and distracted for about 1-2 hours
Set up her room with decorations and a note
Set up the second location for the actual proposal
Have someone drive Thuy to the location where I was going to propose

I had Thuy’s best friend Jenny take Thuy out to lunch so that I could set up her room with rose petals, candles, and balloons (with pictures from our entire relationship tied onto them). I tried my best to make it look super nice and romantic. The most important thing during this part of the proposal was the note that I had handwritten for her telling her that today was the day and to get herself ready for pictures and the proposal. (She has told me adamantly over the last couple years that she wants to be looking her best during our proposal pictures, so the time given to her to prepare was essential)

Alex and Thuy's Engagement in Seattle, WA

Once I finished I drove over to Woodland Park Rose Garden in Seattle, WA where one of my friends had found a really pretty gazebo for me to set up with lights. I had about 5 friends come and help me set up the Gazebo with string lights and had another friend doing photography and my little sister doing videography.

Once the Gazebo was set up with all the lights I had a small table with my teddy bear that I’ve had my whole life, a single rose, my phone, and another note for Thuy to read. The idea was to have her walk into the garden through this row of lights and into the Gazebo where she would pick up the note and read it and in the end there was a note saying “When done reading, press play”.

Proposal Ideas Seattle, WA

And when she pressed play on my phone and Kina Grannis’s rendition of Elvis’s “Can’t help falling in Love” would start playing that would cue me to walk in after her and propose. Thank God I had written a long note that had everything I wanted to say to her because right when she turned around and we locked eyes I choked up and started bawling. Pretty much only could get out the words “Will you marry me?” (Although, my friends swear I said “YOU will marry me”)

I originally had wanted to go even bigger and have more people there for the proposal, but Thuy is a lot more low-key than I am so I decided to compromise and have a more intimate setting with a couple of close friends there to celebrate with us. I love Thuy so much and she had been anxiously anticipating this moment for such a long time that I really wanted to give her a night that she would never forget. And I’m glad that I was able to have the support and help from my friends to pull off this special part of Thuy and I’s lives.

Our Video

Special Thanks

Andrew Tran
 | Photographer
Anne Pham
 | Videographer