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Venue: Dolce Hayes Mansion, San Jose, California
Ryan and I met only once during our freshman year at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, and then continued to run into each other throughout our time in college, and eventually became good friends. When we started to have feelings for each other, Ryan took me out to an Italian restaurant and asked me to be his girlfriend in front of a delicious chocolate cake.
We learned a lot about one another in three years of being together. We are both deaf, and one of Ryan's sisters is deaf, as well. Ryan is Catholic, and my family is Buddhist. Ryan's ancestry is French, British, Scottish, and Irish — mine is Chinese and Cambodian. It'll be interesting to see what our kids look like!
Ryan and I decided to perform two different ceremonies for both of our cultures. We had a Chinese tea ceremony, which was important to my mother and her family. Then we chose the beautiful St. Francis of Assisi church for a Catholic ceremony, conducted by Father Loi. This was very important for Ryan's family. Ryan and I were very fortunate to have both families support us 100%. At the start of the Chinese tea ceremony, Ryan gave me roses, smiled at me and said that was beautiful. I was so touched, and the ceremony went perfectly.
During the Catholic ceremony, Ryan and I were nervous about turnning around and facing all of our guests, because we had to use sign language to communicate our vows to one another. We were afraid the interpreter would not be able to catch our signs. However, things went smoothly. We kissed, and then along with our unity of candle, our priest started my prayer by saying, "This prayer is written by Jennifer and is dedicated in loving memory of her father, An Han …" It was really emotional moment for us, and meant a lot to us when the guests stood up and held hands, as a sign of what my father would have wanted — family togetherness.
For our reception, we had a great time partying at Hayes Mansion, took fun photographs (which we loved!) and at the end we enjoyed our five-tier wedding cake.
Both of our photographers and our event coordinator did an excellent job, and we are very thankful to everyone who joined us in our beautiful wedding.
We've been talking about renewing our vows in the next few years, because we already miss our big day!
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