Pha and Matthew

Image 1 of Pha and Matthew

How We Met

I moved to the United States from Thailand when I was 8 years old and started in a new elementary school (Central Elementary School). One day, during recess, I fell off the monkey bars and had to be rushed to the hospital. That was when Matthew learned about my existence and soon after we became friends at school. We were both in the gifted program so spent a lot of time/classes together through high school. Despite being good friends for so long, something clicked for me during my senior year of high school that made me want to be more than friends with him. He was captain of the football team and I decided to make a huge sign to cheer him on for one of the home games.

Image 2 of Pha and Matthew

We went to homecoming together and started officially dating in October 2012. We moved forward to get our degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Matthew visited Thailand and met all my family for the first time when he was just 19 years old! We both had passions we wanted to follow but knew that we wanted to do it together so we applied all over the country for medical and graduate school programs. This resulted in a mutual acceptance at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor so we packed up our bags and moved out of state. Over the past few years, we bought a house together and continue to live out our dreams!

Image 3 of Pha and Matthew

How They Asked

One of my friends from college (Carolyn) is also from Illinois and said she was in town and wanted to meet for breakfast. Little did I know, this was all part of Matthew’s master 10-step proposal plan and an epic scavenger hunt. Another friend from college (Alice) flew on a red-eye to be part of this special day. We went on a whirlwind adventure to take a look back at some special places/memories from our relationship. Matthew got help from our closest family and friends. It all culminated in a magical evening under the gazebo right across the street from Central Elementary School where we first met, now almost 20 years later.

Image 4 of Pha and Matthew

Matthew decorated the park with 200 tea lights, 4400 rose petals, and 1000 LED lights and it was one of the most beautiful and dream-like moments in our lives!

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Our Video

Special Thanks

Mia Engers
 | Planning
Alice Fang
 | Planning
Carolyn Aiello
 | Planning