They met online in 2021 and, shortly after, met in person for coffee. “After the 4 hours of chatting, we scheduled our next date for the coming Wednesday. We were both undergrad students, so we met between classes for lunch,” Hyunbi said.
Chris added, “Talking with Hyunbi felt so effortless and it was obvious to me even after our first meeting that she was a genuinely kind and caring person.”
“I wasn’t looking to actively date,” Hyunbi said. “I was looking to dip my toes back into the social world and meet some people. When Chris and I matched just after two days of me being on Tinder, my friends were all telling me to just go and meet him. After our initial date went well, I looked forward to talking to him and getting to see him again.
“After a few months had gone by, I realized that I was craving his company and I really enjoyed my time with him. Chris was also so patient with me and I was able to be completely honest and open about my feelings and thoughts. I felt respected and heard. Chris was ready for a relationship when I wasn’t sure. But his patience, care, and kindness worked its magic into my heart!
“Then I got to meet his family and relatives, and they were so wonderful. I started to imagine what life would be like in the future, with Chris. We had open conversations about so many different topics, about our thoughts and beliefs and values on family, relationships, religion, culture, social settings, etc. I began to feel more like I could actually picture having a future with this person!
“After a little over a year, we started to talk about marriage and our future. I could almost draw out our future and I began to imagine our own future family. We shared so many similar core values and views on life. Now something feels empty when Chris is not here. Going more than a day without being with him makes me feel like something is missing. I can’t imagine my future without Chris. I am so excited to have our own family and build our future together!”
Chris said the proposal did not go as planned. “Bee was away in Nashville for the weekend on a bachelorette party for her friend’s wedding. I decided that I was going to propose to her when she returned to Iowa City.
“I told friends and family on both sides that I was going to propose on Monday the 24th. I had a reservation at The Webster downtown and my plan was to take her to dinner, but not propose at the restaurant to subvert expectations. After dinner, I was going to stop by my apartment with her where I planned ahead of time with a table and drinks where I would propose overlooking the city.
“Bee’s flight out of Nashville on the 23rd got delayed and delayed and delayed. Eventually (after a very long and frustrating day), she was stranded in Chicago three hundred miles from home with no flights out for more than 24 hours. I decided to scrap the plans I had and go to Chicago to rescue Bee. I was a little sad that my planning didn’t work out, but I was determined to make the proposal work despite all the craziness.
“I left Iowa City around 6pm and arrived in Chicago around 11pm. Immediately, I began searching Chicago for scenic locations and places I could still propose to my Bee. Finally, I arrived at Montrose Harbor. The next morning, I told her that I wanted to take her to a nice lunch out on the town before we left. Without telling her, I put the Harbor location into the directions. As we were getting close, I was getting nervous that Bee would notice that we weren’t near the restaurant we had talked about visiting. When we drove near the Pier, Bee asked to get out to take some pictures. When we walked out onto the Pier at Montrose Harbor, I tried putting into words how much Bee meant to me and asked her to marry me.”
Bee added: “We were walking along the pier, enjoying the nice weather and view, when Chris hugged me and kept telling me how much he loves me and what I mean to him. At that point, I briefly thought that maybe he was going to propose, but then I thought that couldn’t possibly be it, since this day had been very unplanned and spontaneous. Then I got really worried, thinking something was wrong. I started asking him, ‘Chris, what’s wrong? Is everything okay?’ But Chris just continued to hug me.
“So to lighten the mood, I jokingly asked Chris, ‘Chris, are you going to propose??’ And he took a step back and just looked at me. I had an internal panic, ‘OH MY GOODNESS, HE’S GOING TO PROPOSE!!!!!’ And he did! He got down on one knee and popped the question, “Miss Bee, will you marry me?” with a gorgeous ring. My answer was, ‘YES! OF COURSE!!’
Bee has the best laugh ever and we had so much fun during their engagement session! I also get to see them next month at another wedding I photographing (she’s a bridesmaid!) so I’m extra excited for that day.
In a full circle moment, we stopped at the same Starbucks where they first met so they could grab some drinks.