“I didn’t really have a moment when I knew she was the one. It was more so our daily interactions, how we were very similar in our background, our passions, and how we communicated with each other. I loved hanging out with her whole family, and I loved when she hung out with mine. I knew my family would love her when the first time my grandpa saw Christine, he asked when we will get married (this was the beginning months of dating her).”
Back in November, Christine’s sister, Angela, our dear friend Melody, and I received a very exciting Facebook message from Andy concerning his ideas for proposing to Christine. Now Christine had told us that this moment would be coming sometime soon, but when I received this message from Andy, my heart leapt with joy for my friend! :)
Christine and I are really good college friends, and I can remember the first couple of months she and Andy started dating. I remember distinctly sitting in the back of Christine’s car with Melody, & our other good friend, Grace, with Andy & Christine up in the front. I’m pretty sure we interrogated Andy about his intentions with our friend nearly the entire ride to our destination (I have no recollection of where we were going, but it was at least a 30 minute ride). I remember that Andy passed that night! ;)
For those of you who don’t know Andy & Christine’s story, I decided I’d let you all into my interview with them both individually on their own love story! ;) So here goes:
Andy and Christine met at our college Christian fellowship, Asian American Christian Fellowship, back in 2009. They served together on the worship team one night and from then had parted ways. Christine’s first impression of Andy was how he was “gentle, kind and quiet.” And Andy’s were that Christine was kind, and she smiled a lot (which you’ll see a lot of in the photos during the proposal). Their paths never again crossed until 2011, when their mutual friend Eric had brought Christine and their friend, Johan, to their church’s basketball tournament. And this is where “the plot thickens”. ;)
We’ve all heard the saying “the stomach is the way to a man’s heart.” Well, it seems that in their story, Andy’s stomach played a little part in their relationship’s unfolding as well! After the basketball tournament, Eric’s group of friends, including both Andy & Christine, went out to eat dinner. Christine couldn’t finish her food, which led to Andy taking home her leftovers.
“Well, very innocently, that leftovers became our reason to start talking to each other on Facebook LOL. Andy thanked me a few days later on fb for the leftovers and we just started to talk randomly on fb! After a month or two we started talking a lot more…so we switched to phone and google chat.”
& There you have it. It started with some left overs, which led to more and more conversations. After quite a few funny conversations, conversations about school, family & deeper conversations about God, they started to grow closer as friends! At first they clarified their friendship as strictly being friends, but later on, Andy began to develop feelings for Christine. When this happened “he didn’t beat around the bush! He confronted me & by that time, I had started to like him also! From then, It took us about a month to officially start dating. We had a lot to pray about (especially for Andy) & we also wanted to let our parents know and see what they thought! During that month, we also went on our “first date” to downtown Disney! It wasn’t called a date at the time–we wanted to hangout and just talk about things but also just enjoy some time together.”
“We made things official Sept 16th, when I went over to her apt and asked her that night!” – Andy
From then on, their relationship grew and blossomed by God’s grace!
Fast forward to the PROPOSAL that I got to witness and capture on camera:
“I came up with the proposal idea mainly through the things we love doing together. We would go to starbucks a lot because I needed to study, so the places we would hang out most is starbucks and at home. Also, Downtown Disney was our first date, so I wanted to incorporate that as well. Christine also loves nature, so it was a perfect fit to propose at a park with a starbucks-theme, and a disneyland theme celebration. Also, we are both big on family, and I wanted both families to celebrate together. I made sure both sides were free that day so we could all celebrate together.”
Andy was very clear on what he wanted his proposal to Christine to be like, but he needed a little bit of help getting it all together, and getting all the little creative details straightened out. With the help of Angela, Melody, our other friend Trisha, and me, we all worked with Andy’s vision and plan to help him come up with a set up suitable for his fiancé-to-be! We were blessed with the extra helping hands of John, Chris, Grace & Andy’s close friend, Bryan, as well during the set up of the proposal! We definitely needed it too! Let’s just say that balloons + wind aren’t a great combination… but it all worked out wonderfully by the time Andy arrived with his fiancé-to-be!
The morning of the proposal, it was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day! Andy had told Christine that he would be working at the hospital that morning, which was a little lie that he would soon reveal to her! Where was Andy? He was at Scharabum Park with me & the set up crew, getting everything ready for Christine’s surprise!
Trisha did an AMAZING job at customizing & painting this sign with Andy & Christine’s name to resemble the Starbucks logo! :)
Thanks to the overwhelming amount of traffic on Colima Road, things were a little delayed, so Angela and Chris had to fix their cameras while we awaited their arrival!
When they finally arrived at the park, we all ran and took our places (behind far away trees). Andy had told Christine that he had been yelled at at the hospital and that he was feeling really sad and a little depressed. It was a very confusing morning for Christine.
“I felt really bad for him and tried to comfort him. Then, Andy kept telling me he didn’t feel like seeing other people right now because of what happened at the hospital…so I was like okay…what do you want to do then? And first he was like let’s go to the backyard…and we were looking at the butterflies (that my aunt raises) & the mountain scenery in the backyard. Then, he was still being all weird & he wanted to just watch something on my iPad. So, I pulled up “The Taste” and I started to watch it while Andy kind of had his head down. 10 minutes later, he was still being weird & wanted to go for a walk somewhere. I asked where..and he said maybe a park? So, I said okay, the only park I remember is that S-park, the national park. Andy said no thats too far, lets go to rowland park. I said okay! But, while talking in the car, I realized we missed the park, and Andy was like “Oops…lets just go to Schabarum Park then!” So, I was like okay! But, then I was complaining that I was starving cause it was 11:30am and I didn’t eat breakfast that day. Andy said okay we’ll stop by to get food. For some reason, I started to feel nauseous in the car so I put my chair down a little & closed my eyes as Andy drove. When I opened my eyes, I saw Andy turn into Schabarum Park & I said HEY! I thought we were going to get food and park next door so we wouldn’t have to pay a parking fee! He just shrugged his shoulder and said I don’t know. That’s when I started to suspect something AND he didn’t have to pay when he drove in the park…so I was SO CONFUSED!”
Little did she know what was going on! I remember when she was re-telling this story to us at the surprise engagement party that came afterwards, she said she was getting a little upset at Andy at this point because she couldn’t figure out what was going on with him and she was STARVING!
It was a day FULL of surprises for Christine!
I asked Andy when they had first started talking about marriage… “We started talking about marriage during the second year of dating. We talked about both of our immediate plans, as well as a 5 year plan. She knew how medical school worked, and she was willing to move to anywhere in the country for me!”
“My first thought was :0….no way…how come I didn’t see this coming today?! Then, I got really nervous and shocked…so throughout the proposal I think I kept giggling…and I couldn’t tell if it was me or Andy shaking as Andy talked and proposed to me . Andy told me how much he liked me and why he liked me. He talked about how much he wanted to spend the rest of our lives together and putting Christ always in the center of our relationship/marriage! Right before he got on his knees, he said I love you Christine! (first time ever he said I love you to me! We actually made a decision when we started dating to not say the words I love you to each other until the day he proposed because we didn’t want to be clouded by TOO much emotions as we prayed about marriage!) Then, he proposed and I said yes!”
WOO!! She said YES!!
As Christine hugged Andy, she saw Angela’s head pop up from behind a tree trunk! At this time, Chris, John, Grace & I were all out from behind our trees capturing this beautiful moment and she was completely oblivious to us until this point (Thank God!)!
After she saw us we all came out to congratulate her before I took her and Andy off for a bit to distract her for her second surprise!
I wanted to make sure I got a photo with my beautiful newly-engaged friend! :)
Couldn’t help making this face once I saw her ring!
We had them re-enact the proposal in the gazebo because the cameras that were set up to record were facing the chairs, where we originally thought the proposal was going to happen! Haha so Angela re-recorded their fake proposal for the cameras! ;)
I had them a few photos under the gazebo before we headed off!
They were so silly! :) So much fun to photograph!!
We had all told her that we had to leave & go separate ways because we were busy so she wouldn’t suspect to see us again! Confused she said bye to everyone as John and I took her & Andy away from the scene to take a couple of photos of her and Andy!
I had a very limited time with the two of them, however, because Andy was going to take her back to his place where she would hopefully suspect the surprise party to be! Christine shared with us that while they were at Andy’s house, she was getting a bit impatient because she was starving and didn’t know why he wasn’t getting food for her! Haha!
I asked the both of them to answer a few questions about their relationship and about each other.
“I love to just spend time with her. I enjoy doing errands with her, studying and hanging out at Starbucks. Of course going to Disneyland is great also, but doing everyday life is fun with her too.”
Andy describes Christine in these five words: “loves God first, then others.” What a great description to be given!
“I love that Andy constantly shows me how much he loves me every single day through his words AND actions! And it’s not an exaggeration when I say “every single day” he shows me how much he loves me! I’m truly blessed & spoiled! Hehe”
Christine also shared with me that she loved about Andy is his humbleness:
“Andy always humbly admits things he does wrong. Even small things! I think 80% of the time he apologizes first (something I need to learn from him!) He’s willing to admit he is wrong even when it is something really shameful. Another reason he’s humble is that he rarely brags about his achievements! He always really thankful and keeps it on the down low.”
One aspect of their relationship that really stood out to me as I read over their answers to my questions, was how Christ-centered their relationship was and how much sacrificial love they had for one another. In the words of Christine:
“I think that’s one thing we do subconsciously…sacrificing time for each other!! I think Andy does it for me more! One time we got into a pretty bad argument on the phone and I had a final the next day. Even though I was okay for the most part before I went to bed, Andy wanted to make sure I was okay. He woke up super early & came to riverside around 5-6am and waited in his car for me to wake up. He wanted to make sure I was okay & took me to Starbucks for coffee and a small breakfast right before my 8am final! Other times when I get upset, he’ll put aside his studies and talk things out with me even if it takes hours and has a test the next day.”
You’d think it was Andy’s back that got hurt from this, but it was Christine… HAHA!
But their relationship wasn’t always running super smoothly. Christine shared with me:
“From the beginning of our relationship we had to really work on our communication! I personally had a hard time opening up about how I felt and I had a lot of insecurities. But, I was amazed at how patient and loving Andy was throughout those longggg conversations. Seeing how Andy really wanted to understand my thoughts and feelings made me realize I could be with this man forever! We also realized through lots of situations that he is the logical one and I’m the emotional one so it helped so much during rough situations! …Honestly, it was and is seriously by Gods grace that we are where we are today! & I know we can only rely on God and his grace as we continue on this journey together!!”
I absolutely love this little detail that Andy does for Christine that she shared with me:
“I’ve actually never told anyone this but one of the things Andy loves doing is telling me “you’re so beautiful today!” Or “did you know you’re so beautiful?” He tells me this almost everyday and he likes to grab my face when he says it. In the beginning I asked why he always says that..and later on he eventually told me that he learned it from his dad. Apparently his dad says that to his mom all the time.”
Oh, how I love the precious details that come out from love stories! So many brownie points for this, Andy! ;)
After the super mini photoshoot I had with them, Andy & Christine left, passing by our original spot where Andy proposed. This was also where the surprise engagement party was to be! How did Christine not see all the people getting ready and coming over to the designated area as they drove by? Andy had her bow her head in prayer as he prayed over their new current state of engagement! Great planned timing, right? ;)
Angela made the cupcakes and the frosting from scratch! It was seriously SO DELICIOUS!
Loved the UP-theme Angela did with the decor!!
Angela did such an amazing job decorating the dessert table! She’s so talented! If you haven’t seen her senior portraits yet, check them out here! You’ll see that she’s also a talented violinist! :)
Andy parked away from the picnic area! Christine shared that she was a little annoyed because at this point she still wasn’t fed and she was starving, and they were coming back to the park to pick up signs from the proposal that they forgot to pick up. She couldn’t understand why he parked far away from the gazebo, since there was parking right next to it! Well… SURPRISE!!
I told Christine John and I had a client meeting so we had to leave early! This is when she saw me and was like “Heyyy!!!” :)
“I was thinking in the car how to surprise them! I really thought we were going to surprise them. But, when Andy opened the door to his aunt’s house, everyone yelled surprise! Andy’s parents were being skyped in, everyone had cameras up, and then I walked in further and found my family there also!! It was a sweet surprise! I didn’t see that one coming either! My cheeks were so tired from smiling after that day!”
Andy had so many intricate details in his plan for her special day! What a blessing to have been able to witness this moment for them!
“After the proposal, I feel very blessed to have such an awesome friend and fiancé. All the issues and disagreements will still be there, and I can’t wait to live life with her and grow together in Christ with her.”
I asked Andy if he had any advice for those single and dating men out there praying for their future wives: “Finding a God-centered woman is by far the most important quality to look for. And of course personality, intelligence, family, attractiveness is all important, but never put anything higher than God.” Wise words, Andy! :)
CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU BOTH! May God bless your time of engagement!