Ruby and Brian

Ruby and Brian's Engagement in Brooklyn Botanical Garden, NYC

How We Met

During the summer of 2016, I decided to take a leap of faith to go on a two-week medical mission trip to the rural countryside of Cao Bang, Vietnam. By the grace of God, I was placed into the dental team. I was so excited to be learning more about dentistry. I was getting suspicious of why this boy, named Brian, from the medical team kept coming over to my team. Later, he told me he just wanted to watch teeth being extracted, and didn’t even I know existed! But his many trips over to my team eventually developed into friendship. After two long weeks, our friendship strengthened through the same experience of serving the people of Vietnam. When the trip ended, we decided to keep in touch. I went back to Los Angeles to start dental hygiene school, and Brian headed to Arizona to start medical school. The distance did not keep our friendship apart. After one year of texting, Brian worked up the courage to ask me out on a date. We alternated between visiting each other in California and Arizona. Things got more rocky six months in when Brian had to move to South Carolina for his clinical rotations. The distance changed from 400 miles to 2,400 miles and it was difficult at first. But through long night conversations, plane rides, and more exciting adventures, we continued to grow closer and closer. I had never met someone who loves God and shares the same values as me. Brian is so caring and attentive even though we are miles apart.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Brooklyn Botanical Garden, NYC

How They Asked

In October 2019, Brian made a surprise visit on my birthday from South Carolina. During dinner with my family, he asked my dad for permission to marry me. He then got to work planning the proposal. I was surprised when he suggested we take a trip to New York City during the Christmas season. I had a feeling that he would ask then, but I didn’t know why New York because it didn’t have significance in our relationship. I was excited to see what amazing idea he would come up with. On Christmas Eve, he “hired” one of his friends in New York (that I never met before) to do a photoshoot for us in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

Before the photoshoot, I saw a “Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden” area and I suspected he would ask me there because I love Japanese culture and cherry blossoms. We took pictures under the not-in-bloom cherry blossoms and I was disappointed when he didn’t ask me then. Afterward, we went to a walkway facing the orange torii gate in the lake. He then hugged me from behind, whispered in my ear the many reasons as to why he loved me, helped us recount the past two years of dating, and said that Christmas Eve was the two year anniversary of our first date! After his thoughtful speech to me, he then surprised me with the question! And I said yes! So amazing and thoughtful! We completed our photoshoot afterward and then we had dinner together with his friend! Even though our relationship is not always perfect, I can’t wait to ride through life with my witty best friend.

Brian was so thoughtful in choosing my engagement ring. The band is rose gold, one of my favorite colors. The center stone is bordered by London blue topaz gemstones, another of my favorite colors. The tiny center accent stone is a ruby, chosen for obvious reasons (my name being Ruby). Engraved on the ring is the Bible verse 1 Peter 4:8, which says “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly since love covers a multitude of sins” (ESV).

Special Thanks

LIana Hinds
 | Photographer