Words by Candess
Our story began and blossomed in Tri-Cities, Washington. Jess cooks for a local bistro, she grew up and attended school in Kennewick brought up in an Asian-American household along with her older sister Jennifer. Jess didn’t play sports or attend school dances much, in that sense we’re very different. I attended all 12 years in a small town on the outskirts of Kennewick called Finley. I showed pigs in 4H, snowboarded and was quite sporty as I played softball for years, wrestled for three and even cheered throughout high school too with my older sister Caitlien.
Over the last few years, for Jess’ birthday, we’ve taken a trip to Oregon. As my nose was so caught up in the details of our getaway I had no way of knowing Jess had her very own plans in the works. I remember thinking she was annoyed with me, but tried not to get too caught up worrying – little did I know she was just anxious for what she had in store.
It was magnificent
The Oregon coast is known for their globes they hide on the beach and as I approached a rock, believing I’d found a hint washed up in a bottle; we were both nearly swept up by the waves crashing down, I turned around and saw the love of my life kneeled down with the prettiest ring for me! Oh, what a treasure!! I was in such disbelief, slowly connecting all of the then obvious clues like our Portland friends tagging along to capture it all!
I had been planning my proposal to Candess since October. Went & checked out rings multiple times before I found the perfect one for her! Luckily I had an old best friend working for a jewelry shop that really helped with the process. Candess & I can hardly ever keep a secret from one another. Keeping this one from her was pretty challenging! I’d been telling her every time she brought up me proposing that I wasn’t going to propose until we had dated for 5 years. (I really did think I was going to wait that long. But then I decided I didn’t want to wait any longer to marry the love of my life) I let a couple of our friends that lived down in Oregon in on the secret so, they could take photos of us as the proposal happened. They were totally willing so the plan came together perfectly! When the day finally came, I gave our friends a bottle I brought with a message inside for Candess to find! Distracting Candess that morning as they hid it for me on the beach. My stomach started to fill with nerves as the moment arrived, where I’d ask the question I’d been anticipating for months. After I got the go ahead text, we made our way down to the beach and Candess soon discovered what we had hid for her. The message said that although it hadn’t been 5 years, it was long enough I knew I wanted to be with her forever! There was almost a look of confusion on her face because she didn’t know what what happening but by the time she turned to show me, I was already down on one knee asking her to marry me! -Jess
A few months later I asked Jess to help pick her ring out as well. Although she didn’t know when I’d have it back after getting sized, she knew her turn was coming. With careful thought, I was just as excited! There’s this park in the heart of Kennewick we picnic at we used to always meet up at. One Tuesday after work we went and got our favourite taco truck. As we talked for a bit about our days I remember asking her at one point sitting there if this was the best “taco Tuesday date we’ve ever had?” As cheesy as it sounds, turning an ordinary day we love extraordinary was all I had in mind and before I knew it we were weeks away from the “I do’s” and sliding back on that very ring! The one she chose has three diamonds to represent past, present and future-defining our hearts’ connection so wonderfully.
We’d already planned an intimate low-cost wedding, keeping in mind our wants and basic needs.
We received so much generosity in the form of gifts for our wedding! Almost all of our vendors were family and friends that kindly donated their time and expertise in getting the whole day together.
It’s amazing to me to live my story inspired and co-written by Jess. Growing up I never witnessed true love first hand. I envisioned such an outrageous list of qualities I saw in my ‘ideal someone’ believing that she didn’t exist. Once I did take the time to get to know Jess, I quickly realised that she was the one for me, ticking off everything I’d ever wanted in a partner.
A month into marriage, I wouldn’t say much has changed aside from Jess’ last name and our relationship status! Marriage to us means loving one another through everything life has to throw at us.
Life gets better together.