How We Met
Jing & I met each other for the first time in the summer of 2016 at an eCommerce conference as both of us own similar businesses. We spent the first two years as friends, but it wasn’t long before the causal conversations became more routine. In April of 2018, as Jing helped me navigate and translate my way through China from thousands of miles away, we started a ritual of saying good morning and good night to each other on a daily basis. The trend continued for several more weeks until our travels once again linked us together, this time at an event in New Orleans. It was Jing’s 29th birthday during that trip, and she wasn’t shy about letting me know she wanted to celebrate New Orleans style. After a night of music and dancing the night away, we returned the next evening for a more relaxed social gathering with our friends. Sprinkle in some matchmaking support from a few of those very same people, our first kiss was shared right in the middle of Bourbon Street just as the midnight hour came and went. We spent the night (literally the entire night), walking around the entire city, talking about what we both see for our futures, and what would you know…we were nearly in sync on everything! As the 5:00 am hour neared, I walked Jing back to her hotel, where I asked her on our very first (but finally as she would say) date. 48 hours later after she flew back to Los Angeles and I back to Chicago, I was back on the West coast celebrating what was officially the start of the most perfect relationship.
How They Asked
I had decided that Jing was the one for me back in early 2020 and had a plan in place for how I would ask her to marry me, but due to our long-distance relationship and the onset of COVID, I had to push our plans back a few times.
I had picked the Niagara Falls area as the spot to ask based on its sheer scenic beauty and relative off the cuff location for engagement.
I summoned the help of one of my old college friends, Molly, who has become quite an amazing photographer in recent years. The original plan was her and I were going to travel up to Niagara Falls in May to scope out the area and find the perfect location for the big day, but our plans were pushed back due to the progression of COVID and the closure of the US / Canada border (Niagara Falls is best viewed from both sides).
As the summer progressed, Jing moved from Los Angeles to be with me in Chicago. Now our planning trip would become a bit more complicated since we were no longer long distance. Have no fear though, I still had a plan.
With an end to COVID not in sight, I convinced Jing that I needed to take a trip to Buffalo, NY in August for a work meeting. I encouraged her to come with me for the ride, but she stayed back at the hotel during the day when she thought I was at my meeting. In reality, I picked up my friend Molly and we drove up to Niagara (just the US side) for the day to plan out all the details and pick what would be our perfect spot.
After returning home, I asked Jing about taking a short weekend getaway before our busy holiday season started with work, and I suggested we go up to Niagara Falls since we were so close to it in Buffalo. Both of us ironically had been there before, but it had been many years since then. She agreed and we planned our dates for the trip.
Fast forward to the big day, Molly was my ultimate hero in making the trip and engagement such a success because she agreed to play the part of “just another tourist taking photos” by standing next to us as we walked up to the falls near sunset.
It was arguably the last nice day of the year in Niagara….unseasonably warm, calm winds, and nearly clear skies. As the clock struck 6:50 PM, and Jing and I looked over the falls, Molly made a quiet comment that “in about a minute, the sunset would cast a great photo opportunity over the falls.” Jing didn’t hear it, but of course, that was my signal…it was go-time. The rest is history.