The Proposal

December 3rd, 2009

From Thao’s Point of View:

The setting of my condo; location where he proposed on Lunar New Year, January 26, 2009, Year of the Ox. I acquired these lanterns from Vietnam.
lanterns from vietnam

Sunday, January 25th was new years eve which started off with a family lunch gathering at my paternal grandparents home. I had to leave early for a photo shoot at USC. Rob was curious as to what time I’d be done with the photo shoot. It’s not too unusual, but it was a little out of the ordinary for him to ask. Right after the shoot I called to tell him I was on my way home. He asked if I had a tall vase. Curious, I asked if he had bought flowers for his mom for the new year. He answered no so I knew they were for me–aww, I felt so loved that he got me flowers to decorate my home for the new year. He shows up at my place with cherry blossom branches and tuberoses–they smell so good.


cherry blossoms
cherry blossoms

While I was putting the flowers in the vases, Rob was using my printer for some reason; he does have his own. I didn’t think too much of it. Before leaving for dinner I asked if he wanted to call some of our friends out to dinner with us. He said he preferred that it was just the two of us. Not thinking much of that either, I finished up the flowers and we headed off for dinner at TGIF. We haven’t been there in ages and haven’t gone out to dinner impromptu style in a while; and I had the best meal ever. The simplest meal of bacon cheeseburger with fries and spinach dip was heaven! I finished almost every little bit of my meal. We then headed off to Best Buy and made it in right before closing. Rob had been wanting to go for a while and we finally got the chance to. After picking up some xbox 360 stuff we headed back to the condo for a nice evening watching the Oscar nominated movie: Benjamin Button. That was a really good movie–you have to see it! It’s a little long but well done by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.

The movie ended a little past midnight. Rob looked over at me and said ‘happy new year’ and gave me a kiss. I was ready to call it a night but he insisted on lying about on the couch for some conversation. This was very odd because he usually jumps at the first chance to leave home, especially on a late Sunday night. We talked for an hour about so many things: our top places we wanted to travel to, where we’d honeymoon if we got married, plans for the next few years, etc. All things we miss out on discussing during our busy lives. It was really nice to have that sort of conversation with him since they’re so few and far between. I admit I was yawning and nodding off at some parts of our conversation–I was so ready for bed. He finally said it was time for him to go home.

I walked him out to the door and turned on the light to check if any of the cherry blossoms had bloomed yet. We observed them for a bit when he reached into his pocket to pull out 4 new years envelopes. He said since he’s older than me that he’d give me an envelope for luck and told me to choose 1 of the 4. He spread them out in front of me, making sure not to let the light shine thru to give away what’s inside. It’s a tradition where 1 envelope would contain more money than the others. I tested my luck, chose one and proceeded to open the envelope hoping I chose the one with the greatest amount of money. I was dumbfounded to find a piece of paper. Before I could even finish reading what was on it, Rob was on his knees in front of me; confused I proceeded to finish reading the note.

The proposal note with envelopes. He designed it himself.

The first line wasn’t all that surprising…it just took me a while to register what the 2nd line meant. I was so shocked. I put my hands to my cheeks and groaned (almost saying “no”). He presented me with the opened box with the ring sitting inside and asked “Thao Vu, will you marry me?”. I said “yes” and hugged him and kissed him and cried in his arms. Once I composed myself he put the ring on my finger and we hugged again for a while. Luckily I had turned on the light earlier so I can actually read the message and see the ring.

By this time it is 1:30am and I am far from sleepy. Amazing what a proposal can do to you. I wanted to upload a photo to Flickr immediately, but Rob had to stop me since we hadn’t told our parents yet. It took me over an hour of tossing and turning to fall asleep with a million questions and thoughts running thru my mind. I was smiling cheek to cheek falling asleep and waking up the same way. I agonizingly had to keep quiet all day Monday, not wearing the ring, until we told our parents that night.

After informing the parents we publicly announced it to the world on Facebook and Flickr. We had a flood of comments come thru rapidly from both channels. So many people were calling me that I was only able to answer one phone call and the rest went to voicemail. Anne and Frances were the first to call via party-line and screamed their lungs out into my ear from sheer excitement and joy. Jen left me a message with plenty of screaming too; wish I would have kept that recording to remember her pure shock and excitement of the news. I giggle just thinking back at it. Huyen dubbing us “Thaoberto” is also a classic.

The very next day some of our closest friends came over to celebrate with us. We had almond champagne and Remy XO cognac courtesy of John.



My elephant ring holder that I got for Christmas from Secret Santa Hieu even before Rob proposed. It was only empty for a month in my room.
ring holder

The ring itself. Oval cut 2.42 carats.
the ring

6 Responses to “The Proposal”

  1. maryberry on December 3, 2009 4:06 pm

    this is so touching! i always love reading a good story. congrats to you both…i think i love the elephant ring holder more than the ring itself! j/k =P

  2. Thanh Dang on December 4, 2009 12:41 am

    Don’t lie mary. you DO love the elephant ring holder more!

  3. Jen on December 6, 2009 11:39 pm

    Man even though I made you retell me the proposal story over champagne I still got teary eyed rereading this. 🙂

  4. ht on December 9, 2009 7:50 pm

    i bet foberto’s story would make me cry on my knees.

  5. Cat on January 13, 2010 9:53 pm

    Awe, great proposal story! So romantic. Spectacular ring too!

    That was very sweet of Robert to get you flowers too. I love scent of Freesia (smells like fruit loops huh ;-)) …but I believe that the tall stem flowers with the white blooms in the pic above is called Tuberoses (my favorite flower).

    Congrats to you both….and Mericle’s Flowers is here for you 🙂

  6. vy on August 4, 2010 9:11 pm

    your story is beautiful…well written and really detailed. anha (i love her)was also my makeup artist last may 09 and i really wish i had chosen you for my photagrapher. i love your work! so diff, classiy, and antique…
    it’s been over a year and i’ve yet to even pick and choose my 2nd album or even my wedding vid. not bc of the turn around time, but bc im so picky and the quality is so low…i kinda gave up on it and don’t want to look at them at many things are hoo
    im a person that’s loves photos (esp candid ones) at an ametuer level of course, and even tho i dont know what i take and how the heck they turn out, my greatest joy is to capture moments..unfortunately my moments weren’t captured as yours were. reading your blog makes me wish so much i can take back my day and make it better, even tho i know it’ll never be perfect, but at least i can make some changes..
    anyhow i was also with my husby for long(11yrs) before we married so i guess the perfection of the wedding is meaningless when we married our perfection, right?

    congrats on your beautiful (most beautiful i’ve seen by far) marriage and definite prosperous fortune thru life and love together!
    ps. sweet dreams was the icing on the cake!


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