Papago Park Anniversary – Ada & Brandon

We’re in the wedding biz: we make a huge deal out of romantic moments. That’s what we’re here for. What, then, is more romantic in our society than love at first sight? It’s the thing movies, music, television, all our media tells us to strive for. Love at first sight is the ideal.

When Noah met Allison in The Notebook? Love at first sight.

When Jack sees Rose for the first time in Titanic? Love at first sight.

When Brandon met his now-wife Ada? Love at first sight.

When Ada met Brandon? Oops.


She wasn’t thinking about marriage–she was much too young at 20. She wasn’t even really thinking much about dating, to be honest. That doesn’t mean she didn’t like Brandon. Her first thought about Brandon was… actually, not much at all: she mostly just ignored him.


Sounds rough, doesn’t it? A true, fated love, seemingly doomed by disinterest; a love-smitten guy that just wanted a chance; a beautiful woman too busy to give romance a fleeting thought; it could be the plot for the next big romance movie. Brandon kept trying to talk to Ada, though. He didn’t want to be disrespectful. That’s not what Brandon is.


But back in the days of MySpace? When online dating sites were creepy but social media was just starting to come en vogue? Brandon figured he may as well message Ada on occasion, hoping that he’d at least make a new friend. Even if she ignored him, he wanted to at least say he tried. You don’t let The One go without at least that.


Turns out Ada thought he was pretty cute… but she didn’t speak English. Her ignoring him wasn’t a lack of interest: it was because she was learning English! Romance hadn’t been on her radar, but she was certainly open to it. All she had to do was cross that language barrier. After all, Cantonese is vastly different from English. What better way to learn a new language than a love-smitten native speaker?


It was straight-up romcom. Life even threw another barrier into the mix: Brandon lived in the United States, but Ada was across the globe in Hong Kong. How would they get together? If the meet-cute of their romance was MySpace and a language barrier, how would they overcome the next obstacle in their way? How would they take their next big step after 2 years of online dating?


Simple: the military. After all, being deployed outside of the United States meant that just about anywhere was closer to Ada than Brandon’s hometown. Their first date was going to be Ada’s very first solo trip to visit Brandon. (It sounds scary. After all, there are so many tales of stranger danger online, and Ada’s parents wanted nothing but safety for their daughter. Understandable. Ada’s brave, though: she booked the flight and went without a second thought. She knew that Brandon was safe, that their love would win over anything else. After all: he had been persistent, but always respectful!)


Four long years culminated in their very first date. Normally it’s the other way around! These two lovebirds were excited to meet each other–it didn’t matter how long it took.

Do you guys watch How I Met Your Mother? We promise, this is relevant. Brandon was so excited to finally meet Ada after a long-running virtual relationship that he ended up pulling a bit of a Ted Mosby.

(It’s okay if you don’t know what that means: he asked her to marry him! On the first date!)


It wasn’t a red flag for Ada. She definitely said no: it was their first date, after all. She knew, though, the same way that she knew traveling to visit him would be safe, that Brandon was worth the wait. Her answer to that question being popped was the obvious one. “Uhh… no. This is our first date.” That didn’t mean it was her forever-answer. Waiting had become a theme with these two. Brandon waited for Ada to say yes to dating him; Ada waited until the perfect time to meet Brandon; the two of them waited until their hearts ached to finally come together offline.

Brandon didn’t want to wear Ada down: he just wanted to understand her. Every chance he got, he made sure they were on the same wavelength: “Are you ready to get married yet? When I propose, you’re going to be ready and not say no.” Love always finds a way, but communication helps. That’s what Brandon did.


Finally, Ada’s answer was different. It took a few years… and the answer wasn’t a simple “yes”. Nope, Brandon had to meet the parents. It wasn’t an obstacle to their romance, though: it was a reinforcement of his devotion to her, especially after Ada’s parents had worried so much about their meeting. (They liked him, if you were wondering.)

It had taken a while, but Ada was finally ready for him to propose. Meeting offline only reinforced their love, and the always-scary meeting of the parents had gone well. Ada knew she was ready to be with Brandon through thick and thin. Even when Brandon was stationed in Kuwait, limiting their time to 17 days a year, Ada knew that Brandon was The One. It wasn’t love at first sight, but love will bloom in a million different ways. For Ada, it was the respect and devotion that Brandon showed throughout their long-distance romance.


Even if he got overeager sometimes. She said the all-important “yes” and knew that they would soon be joined in sickness and in health, no matter what life threw at them.

She didn’t know how soon that was, though. Brandon’s next thought once they made it through the happy tears? “Get ready, our wedding is on Saturday”. Ada had three days to prepare. The guests had been invited, the venue had been booked, everything was ready. Except Ada.

Where do you find a dress in 3 days?! Especially for someone as petite as Ada?

We said it before, though: love finds a way. The whirlwind of finding a dress took over Ada’s life, another part of the romcom that her life had become, but it all came out well: she found the perfect dress, getting it bespoke to boot. What had become a tornado of ceremony and shopping and romance was fine in the end, all for the sake of those two magic words: “I do.”


It’s been nearly a decade now. What began as long-distance courtship became as important to Ada and Brandon as breathing, and after waiting through the process of learning English, through a first date years in the making, after waiting through Kuwait and post-marriage bliss, Ada and Brandon found their way to each other in 2014: Ada moved to the United States.

Eight years of love. Eight years of patience, of devotion, of longing, all culminating in these two sharing their international love story with us. Every word they spoke showed the love they share: we couldn’t be happier for them.

Ada and Brandon, thank you so much for sharing your love story with us. We’re glad that the two of you found each other on this huge planet. We know you’re meant to be, and we wish you many magical memories ahead.


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