From High School Sweethearts to an Italian Engagement



My boyfriend and I got engaged a week before Christmas.  We have dated since we were 15 years old, we are both now 24. Patrick was born in New Jersey and grew up in Columbia, Missouri, I was born and raised in Oxford, Ohio.  Patrick moved to the small town of Oxford in 2003, we were both in the 8th grade, however we didn't meet until we were in high school.  At the start of high school, Patrick and I had one class together and didn't talk much-although I always did think he was cute! Patrick had always been the quiet, more reserved type, something about him got my attention though. It wasn't until the tail end of our sophomore year of High school that I had enough courage to finally start talking to him. We hung out all summer around town, I'd drive us everywhere since Patrick couldn't drive despite having a license of his own.  It wasn't until about two years ago I found out this was because his parents had a punishment in place for a previous-ahem.... Mistake of his that he made as a silly 15 year old boy. I always had believed that it was because he just didn't have a car of his own! We were inseparable and dating by the end of the summer.

We didn't travel far when it came to college. We both decided to go to Miami (townies! – I'll use the term endearingly haha!), and lived on campus. We dated until our sophomore year and then took a short break, (I call this the sad summer lol!). Luckily we both came to our senses and were reunited by the start of our junior year. I graduated Miami in 2012, and Patrick stuck around for a second degree, we both have our degrees in Zoology and Patrick also in Psychology. 

I've been working in Mason as an account specialist at Vantiv for the last two years and Patrick started work in West Chester this past summer.  Last summer I FINALLY got the opportunity to go to Italy with Patrick and his family. They go back each summer to visit their family and enjoy the beach and beautiful views. This was the first extended trip that Patrick and I went on together, although we traveled with his family, we traveled on our own for one of the two weeks we were there. We celebrated our nine year anniversary about a month before the trip, and just when Patrick thought he knew all there was to know about me, he experienced me in 90 degree weather walking through the streets of Italy. Not to say that I was difficult, but I had my moments--I blame the heat! I did a lot of the eating while Patrick did the praying (for survival with me, ha!), and there was a lot of love :).  When we returned from the trip WITHOUT getting engaged – I know right??? How could he NOT pop the question in one of the most romantic places on earth??!! – I had no idea what he had in store for me a few short months later!

We had gone to dinner the night Pat asked to marry him just like we would have any other night. In hindsight he wasn't at all nervous, there were zero hints of what was going to happen. We got home and I let our dog, Sal, outside. Patrick had been with us outside one second and the next had vanished. Of course Sal chose to be unruly on one of the coldest nights and chose to ignore me calling for him, just as I was turning around to call for Patrick to help me out, there he was on one knee with the ring. The way he asked was so simple and so sweet, I couldn't have asked for it to be any better. Our relationship has always been just as I described above, simple and sweet. Patrick is truly my best friend and I couldn't be more happy about this engagement.

Now onto the wedding planning.  Patrick and I have decided that we will be paying for the wedding ourselves. Culturally, our families are very different.  I am Vietnamese and Buddhist and Patrick is Italian and Catholic. We've decided on a two year engagement to allow ourselves time to save as well as have a less stressful planning process. We will be honoring my Vietnamese heritage by having a traditional Vietnamese engagement party this summer as well as having a Vietnamese wedding ceremony the day of our wedding. To honor Patrick's religion, we will also be having a wedding ceremony in a Catholic Church. Since our families have known each other for so long, everything has been very smooth and seems to just fit, and I love it.