Stephanie and Adrian

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How We Met

Submitted by wedding planner Andrea Eppolito…Written by bride:

Adrian and I met while in residency at UT Southwestern/Parkland Hospital.  He was a year ahead of me, so although we knew each other’s names we really did not truly “meet” until the spring of my intern year.  He was a second year, I was an intern, and after a grueling overnight shift a group of us decided to go to breakfast the next morning.  A close friend of ours drove me there (as the low man on the totem pole I had a distant parking spot).  Adrian insisted on driving me back to my car (having, of course, been interested in me all along).  On the way back to my car, he mentioned that he had an extra ticket to an Eagles concert and asked me if I liked the Eagles.

I immediately felt the chemistry between us and instantly said “yes!” (Despite the fact that I only know ‘Hotel California.’). It wasn’t until a few days later that the panic set in.  I was so worried that it would be a date, and that working with someone I was dating would be awkward at best and catastrophic at worst.  So I immediately called my sister and begged for help to get out of it.  She told me to text him and clarify that we would be going “just as friends” and to offer to pay for my ticket.   Adrian was immediately disappointed, as he had hoped for more than “just friends” for us.  He was a perfect gentleman, however, and refused to let me pay for the concert ticket despite the date downgrade.

The day of the concert, he picked me up and we went to dinner.  He immediately suggested sushi (we eat Asian food more often than we care to admit), and when he found out I love sushi he was ecstatic.  (Adrian says it was love at first sight when he saw me properly using chopsticks). We had a phenomenal time at the concert, and he knew the words to every song.  I did not.  He did not seem to notice, however, as he was just having a great time belting them out!

As he took me back home, the chemistry between us became apparent.  We had instantly had such a high level of comfort with each other and I could not wait for him to get home and text me.  He did not disappoint, texting me as soon as he got home and informing me that even though he knew we went just as friends, he had really wanted to kiss me good night.  As much as I didn’t want to admit it to myself, I felt the same way. That night we talked for hours, and despite my continued fear of the potential implications of dating a coworker, I just knew that we were right together.

That was the start of our whirlwind romance.  One day at work, when he did not know I was in the Emergency Department, I had the privilege to watch him talk and take care of an elderly patient.  I think I fell in love with him that day.  Of course, I knew how well he treated me, but watching the way he interacted with this elderly female with such respect, kindness, and patience- I knew that I had truly found the most amazing man.

As people began to find out we were dating, we received nothing but love and support from our colleagues.  In so many ways, it is very convenient to have the same group of friends!  In October of 2015, he took me to his birth place, Hong Kong, to meet his family.  We had the most fantastic trip, and even got to attend a traditional Chinese wedding.  I fell absolutely in love with the rich culture and tradition of both the wedding and his home! After Adrian had his parents and extended family’s blessing, he knew I was the girl for him! It didn’t hurt that I have never encountered a food I wont give a try, and even love chicken feet!

How He Asked

2.5 years later, I was graduating residency, starting a new job, and as a graduation gift, Adrian gave me a trip to Hawaii!  This was our second trip to Hawaii and it has become a place that is near and dear to our hearts because we spent our 1 year anniversary in Honolulu. We were going with one of Adrian’s best friends, Matt and his wife, Ashley, to the island of Maui.  Ashley was turning 30 the same month so we decided to go the four of us as a celebratory trip!  Although people ask me all the time if I knew he was going to propose in Hawaii- the answer is a resounding No! I has considered it as a possibility, but ultimately decided that he would not pop the question in Hawaii because it was a couples’ trip!  Little did I know, that Matt and Ashley were in on the surprise the whole time!  As a seemingly last minute decision on our first day, Matt suggested going to visit the beautiful volcano, Haleakala.

Ashley instantly asked me what I was going to wear, “in case we went to dinner afterwards.”  I stated that I would probably just “throw my hair up” and “put on some warm clothes.”  (It gets into the 40s at the top of the Volcano at 10,000f above sea level).  Thankfully, Ashley subtly convinced me by telling me she was going to wear a dress so I at least did my hair and put a little makeup on! It was an hour trip to the base of the mountain, and then another (harrowing) 45m to the top of the mountain.  At the top, was truly the most awe-inspiring sight I have seen in my life.  We were standing above the clouds and looking out over the most glorious of sunsets.  We stood there looking out at the sun, setting on a blanket of white clouds when I hear Adrian whisper in my ear, “I want to spend every sunset with you for the rest of my life.”

I turned around thinking what a sweet, romantic thing to say but still thinking nothing was out of the ordinary as Adrian is such a hopeless romantic and continuously affirming his love for me with sweet words.  As I turned around though, I was in for a surprise! He was down on one knee! I couldn’t believe it! I was overcome with tears, and was just so blissfully happy.

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I, of course, said “yes!” I could not be more excited to marry my very best friend, the most generous, humble, kind, smart, funny, human I could ever hope to have as my life partner.

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Stephanie & Adrian will be married in Las Vegas in October 2017.

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