Daniel and AnhDao

Daniel and AnhDao's Engagement in Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool in Chicago, IL

How We Met

Daniel and I met in the summer of 2005 at a Vietnamese summer program. It was not love at first sight. Although, my first words to him were, “I Love You”- I was dared. I still remember him and his cousins, Tiffany and Michael’s faces as I came up while they were together in the hallway and gave Daniel a forced hug murmuring those exact words. I wasn’t even embarrassed then.

Daniel and I did not actually become friends or even speak for years after that. We both went through those pre-teen/teenage years of awkwardness and bad fashion sense. Daniel with his Korean boy-band-wannabe hair and my “scene” moments. We had seen each other at events and exchanged brief small-talk online but that was it.

By my senior year of high school, things had shifted for us. I was on my high school’s varsity dance team and he had just finished a hip-hop dance program with ASM. I remember thinking “when did he get so good?”. I eventually joined that program for one season and after watching me dance, he invited me to join a dance crew that he and his friends had created. (S.O. to INsight Crew lol) We bonded over hip-hop dancing and mutual friends and stayed up talking all hours of the night. He asked me out right before the school year ended. The rest is history.

We’ve spent the last 8 years growing up together. Some things have changed–he still dances and I don’t for example. We balance each other out in the best way and I can’t imagine life without my best friend. He’s my biggest supporter and motivation. I feel like I can always win with him on my side. This past May, we moved in together and got engaged. It was the best day of my life. I don’t know what the future holds for us, but as long as we’re doing it together I know it’ll be good.

Never would I have imagined that those first three words I said to him were foreshadowing our future…

Well, never say never!

– AnhDao Vu

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool in Chicago, IL

How He Asked

I always knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Anh Dao, it was only the matter of when and how. After being together for about 3 years, I started to write secret notes on my phone whenever she mentioned what type of ring she was into, what kind of proposals she thought were corny, her ideal age to get married, etc. I even made sure to get her ring size early by stopping into a random mall jewelry store “just to see”. After 5 years, I knew exactly what she wanted and designing the ring was easy.

I had the vision to make this proposal as epic and as special as I can. 8 is our favorite number, so without a doubt, our 8-year anniversary was going to carry significance. It was the perfect opportunity and gave me enough time to plan the ultimate event, I titled it “8 to Infinity”. This consisted of 8 different surprises, all in a single day, to celebrate our time together. All of these thoughts happened while I was in the shower one day, which seems to be where I have all my deep life thoughts. Needless to say, that was the longest shower I’ve taken.

Where to Propose in Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool in Chicago, IL

SURPRISE 1 OF 8: THE PROPOSAL.

Anh Dao and I discuss the future all the time and, due to our situation at the time, a proposal from me was unlikely—or so she thought. “8 to Infinity” had been in the works for over a year and it took all my efforts to steer her away from the thought of me “putting a ring on it.”

I chose to do it two weeks before our 8-year anniversary to lower any suspicion and because, ultimately, I had other plans for that day (check out Surprise 7 & 8). The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool was the spot. It had a scenic background and doesn’t get crowded with people. I can sit here for a long time and type everything that happened, but trust me, the video explains it so much better.

For the other 7 surprises, explore our YouTube channel or InstagramTV @couplesDNA. It was truly an unforgettable day and if you want to follow us through our journeys (travel, wedding, life), please follow/subscribe to us! We appreciate any love and support!

– Daniel Dinh

Our Video

Watch more proposal videos & follow @HowTheyAsked on Instagram for more stories!

Special Thanks

Hoang Lam
Photographer
Ashley Choi
Logo Design