I waited anxiously by the corridor. We hadn’t talked or seen each other since we parted that morning to get ready for our big day. With my eyes closed, I couldn’t help but be amazed by how it was only 5 years ago, on that very same day, that our families, the Gung family and Ho family, met each other for the first time at the Cherry Blossom Festival in my hometown of Macon, Georgia. And like the flowers themselves, we blossomed since that day forward. Over the years, even though circumstances had kept us miles apart, and even countries apart, we had always stuck together. Why? Because I knew she’s the one, and nothing could come in between us.
Standing in the hall with my eyes closed, I could sense her walking towards me from behind. She gently laid her hands on my shoulder. I turned around and opened my eyes. There she was, my bride, and she was beautiful.
This past week had been one of the most amazing weeks in my life — Irene and I finally professed our love for one another in front of our dearest friends and family, said our vows to each other, and officially gotten the blessings from our parents during an intimate Chinese Tea Ceremony.
We feel so thrilled to be able to celebrate with all our loved ones. It’s not everyday that that so many of our friends and family are together in one place, so it was really good seeing everyone. Most of our guests had traveled far to come to Miami for our wedding, some even traveling from overseas. I got to catch up with my college roommate of 4 years, Carl, who I hadn’t seen since we graduated from Washington University in St. Louis nearly 7 years ago, as well as my aunt Jeko and her husband Hank from California who I hadn’t seen since I was a scrawny little kid in high school. I saw my cousins and relatives from across the country, as well as second cousins from Taiwan. I saw long-time family friends and my best friends from AUC. I met a lot of people important in Irene’s life. It was an honor and a pleasure to have shared our special moment with everyone that night. Thank you so much everyone for being there with us. You made it a magical night for us.
Special thanks goes to our parents for raising us to become the individuals we are today and for hosting our event, our long-time family friend Mr. Okuma for leading our ceremony, our friend Vicente Lai for his violin playing, Jimmy and April Ho for the photobooth, guestbook, and everything else you’ve done for us, our bridesmaids, groomsmen, and parents for the awesome speeches and skit, Ana and Lester for the decorations, Tresha Titus for the planning of this most amazing night, Nikki Kidd band for the beautiful music and spirit to get the crowd moving, and the one and only Jim Colman for his amazing work behind the camera!
27 thoughts on “Gung-Ho Wedding”
Thanks Izzy! How’s everything going with you?
Hi Benji! I have been reading your blog for over a year now, as I am a prospective Caribbean med student with hopes of attending AUC this Fall. Through your posts, I have learned not only about AUC and your experience as a med student, but I learned about your precious relationship with Irene as your girlfriend to your now wife and I am so happy you two have finally been able to make things official. From what I have read on your blog, you two truly have something so very special and I am so so so happy you have been able to endure all that you have together and still are as strong as ever. Your relationship has been an inspiration to me as I too was in a long distance relationship with a Caribbean med student. I wish you both all the best in the future, I know without a doubt you two will have a very bright one, both individually in your careers and together as a couple. Congratulations Benji and Irene 🙂
Thanks so much Allysha! It wasn’t easy being so far apart for so long, but we had faith that things would work out in the end and I feel so blessed to have someone like Irene to spend my life with. Best of luck to you this Fall!
CONGRATS, CONGRATS, CONGRATS!!!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! 🙂
Hey man, I’ve been following your blog for a while and I just wanted to give a big congrats for your wedding. Best of luck!
Thanks Wayne! And thanks for reading my blog! Best of luck to you!
Benji! Congrats on getting married! The pictures are amazing! Judging from the many smiles in each picture, the ceremony and reception were great. Many well wishes for you and Irene!
Thanks Deha! We had the most amazing night ever!
Hey Benji, I’m also one of your readers and will be starting at AUC in a couple of weeks. A big congrats for yours and Irene’s big day! Many blessings for the future!!!
Thanks Edna! Best of luck to you this coming May! By the way, I remember earlier you had asked me about if there were any Seventh Day Adventist churches in St. Maarten. I found one, and I’ve posted a link to the church in this post: http://www.caribbeanmedstudent.com/2010/10/religion-at-auc/ . Hope all is well!
I’m trying to survive Physics and Ochem. lol
Congrats!! Both of you look great!
Thanks Jenn! Best of luck with you!
Hey, thanks man! I made contact with one of the pastors there, and I’m already checking out your link. Btw, I had to refer my acceptance but am super excited now that things are for sure now. Anyway, all the best! Greetings to Irene as well.
I’m glad things are now sorted out and that you are about to start your journey! So excited for you! 🙂
Congratulations! This is a big deal. I had a wife and 3 kids by the end of medical school. Just make sure you keep your wife your first priority and everything will turn out well. Good luck!
Med school can be challenging for students with families, and it’s important not to forget to put family first. Thanks for the advice Mike!
Aww, beautiful, beautiful. Congrats! God bless your union…So happy for you. 🙂
Being a frequent St. Maarten visitor from Canada, I too, have been following your blog for the past few years, and I just want to take this opportunity to wish you all the best on your recent wedding.
The wedding photos are beautiful…the ‘Sunset’ one is by far the best!
Thanks so much Cheryl for the wedding wishes! The wedding turned out perfectly and we were so thrilled to have spent this special day with the people we love! 🙂
Oh My God. Congratulations, Benji! Irene looks beautiful. Sorry I am so late.
Thanks E! 🙂
Beautiful pictures, you are such a lovely couple!
I am starting at AUC this fall 2013 and I am very excited. Your blog is so helpful and overflowing with incredibly useful info. THANK YOU.
Best wishes in your marriage and career.
Thanks Amelie! All the best to you this coming September!