Ji Young: I never thought I'd ever consider using online dating, but after I moved to Roswell, NM I found out there were no eligible Korean men to date in that city. One of my close friends suggested using Match.com so we looked at guys near Scottsdale, AZ because I was headed there for a week long CE conference. My friend showed me Michael's profile and he seemed to be a good fit for what I was looking for so I decided to sign up. I messaged him the next day and we communicated for about a month and a half everyday until we met for the first time on Nov 1, 2016.
Michael: The first day Ji Young and I chatted on Match.com, I was surprised to find an educated, pretty, and single Korean woman asking me if I wanted to meet up. I of course, could not deny and wanted to meet her right away. After finding out that she doesn't live in Scottsdale and I would have to wait over a month to see her, I got a bit suspicious. I hoped that she was a real person and not a "catfish". I typed her name into Facebook and found her profile to be the same name and picture. Either she was a really good catfish or she was real, so there was no harm in chatting until I actually got to see her with my own eyes. It turns out she was REAL!
From our first time seeing each other and going on our first date, we both wanted to see each other again. Over the next few days, we did so and even got into a fight one night. The next day on Nov 4, 2016 we made up and spent some time at the Scottsdale Civic Center where we shared some ice cream at Sugar Bowl in "Old Town". Later on that evening, we officially became boyfriend/girlfriend. We started the relationship by doing long-distance and seeing each other once a month for a weekend at a time. We used to countdown the days and hours until we finally got to be in each others' arms for a few days and then face the tough reality of saying goodbye when our time was up. We had discussed that long-distance would be temporary and continued this until August 2017, when Ji Young's contract with her former employer would be terminated.
Michael: In April 2017, Ji Young and I decided to meet in California so she could be introduced to my family. After meeting my brother's family, we wanted to spend some time alone so we went to Laguna Beach where we sat down on a bench overlooking the beach. I asked Ji Young to be silent and not say anything to each other for 1 minute so we can just watch the sunset, smell the ocean breeze, and listen to the waves crashing on the rocks. I probably had about a million different ideas and situations play out in my head during that minute; things such as if she was the ONE for me, living situation come August, her job search, the actual move, meeting her aunt and uncle in Michigan the following month, meeting her parents in Korea, etc.
In the middle of August, I took a one way flight to Roswell and we drove her car with all of her belongings to move in with me in Arizona. A week later, it was my Dad's birthday so we were going to California again for the weekend. She suggested going back to Laguna Beach and so we did, but this time with a ring in my pocket. We ended up in the same spot where I asked her to be silent for a minute and as we reflected on the last time we were there, I felt confident in all those things I had thought about a few months earlier; I knew she was the ONE, she chose me by moving in with me, she was interviewing for jobs nearby, the meeting with her relatives in Michigan went well, and I was going to Korea to meet her parents in 2 weeks. So I got down on one knee and asked her the most important question of my life.
Ji Young: In May, Michael and I went to Michigan to visit my aunt and uncle whom have been like parents to me during my time in America. We were waiting in the mall one afternoon to meet a couple of my friends for dinner later on. Michael suggested we go around and take a look at rings just to kill some time. I thought to myself, "Rings? Is he going to propose soon? Will I accept his proposal when the time comes?" I don't own any rings and I knew little about them so I agreed to take a look with him. I had a lot of fun trying on rings and told Michael what styles I liked. I thought he would propose to me in the future, however, the big day came earlier than I expected.
I remember Michael asked me to dress up and wear something nice the morning he proposed to me. I thought he asked me to do this because we were going to have lunch with his parents for his Dad's birthday. After lunch we headed to Laguna Beach where we reminisced about the last time we visited and before I knew it, Michael got down on one knee and proposed to me. He completely caught me off guard, but even though he proposed earlier than I anticipated, I replied "Of course!" I knew I had found my soulmate after realizing that even though we were hundreds of miles apart, the countless hours on the phone and Skype made us stronger as a couple. He also surprised me with a ring that was prettier than what we looked at a few months earlier. Michael told me that he had planned this proposal for months and called my aunt and uncle in Michigan, my sister, and my mom in Korea to get their blessings. Many of my closest relatives knew that he was planning to propose, but I had no idea. Later that night, Michael took me to a very nice restaurant where we had a wonderful dinner together and shared in our joy. I still remember how beautiful that night was.
We were very pleased with our venue because they offered an all-inclusive package with everything we wanted. We both work full time so it was nice that the venue did the hard work of finding reputable vendors and all we had to do was choose between from their list. The venue was located in a quiet and clean golf course with a beautiful mountain background.
Kathy and Danielle were great taking on the job of being our unofficial wedding planners. They were both professional in their engagements and were genuinely there to make our wedding the best one they had ever planned. Anthem's food was delicious on our food tasting day, but it was even better on the day of the wedding!
Our wedding colors were ivory, pink, and green. We wanted the theme to be romantic and elegant yet modern at the same time. The green grass, sound of running water from the fountain, and plants all made the wedding feel like we weren't burning up in a 100°F desert. We used 3 clear cylinder vases with cracked ice, ivory candle, and submerged flower for our centerpiece. We really liked the way they turned out because it fits our theme of elegance and was not too expensive.
Advice for future brides: Enjoy everything about the wedding because you only get to do it once and time goes by so quickly. I know it may seem stressful planning for every detail of your big day, but try to do them with your partner. You can't win every battle, so pick and choose what is important to you and get those things correct. Try not to worry about entertaining your guests because they have come from long distances because they are there solely to see you get married. Finally, try your best to ENJOY the big day and experience everything you had planned.