Monday, January 4, 2010

"Hanh, will you marry me?" 12.26.2009

One of my best friends Hanh met her boyfriend almost 15 years ago when we all attended the same middle school. They weren't "going out" at the time, just friends, and they remained friends throughout middle school and for most of high school until... Fast forward to our senior year when Hanh decided to call Don to see how things were going, since they both went to different high schools. There was no rhyme or reason for the call, it was just that inclination to reach out to an old friend. I call it fate. Their connection was instant! If you met Hanh, you would understand how easy it is to become her best friend, let alone want to be her boyfriend. I recall a moment in PE when we were 12, and Hanh came up to me and asked me, "Hey, you want to be my friend? Like, big sister little sister type of friends?" Isn't youth so innocent and sweet? We have been bffs ever since!

Don and Hanh continued to date all through our senior year going to each other's school proms and homecoming dances, wearing ridiculous matching outfits for Sadie Hawkins, making plans for prospective colleges... and then there was college. Don went off to Berkeley (Go Bears!) while Hanh remained 400 miles away in Orange County. And still, they remained together. Today, we are four years out of college, and Don decided it was time. It was time to do what every man must do for the woman he loves. It was time to buy the bling.

Don called me one sunny day as I was strolling down Chestnut in the Marina and told me he wanted to propose to Hanh. I nearly caused a stranger to call the ambulance! I screamed so loud and jumped up and down, laughing and smiling ear to ear, yelling, "OH MY GOSH! AHHH! CONGRATULATIONS!" Geez, you'd think I was getting proposed to...again. So we worked it out so that Mark and I would go to Disneyland with them to document where he would propose in the most creative, endearing, entertaining way I've ever seen. My brother-in-law Chris and our touristy cousin Copy ended up going as well, which made it even less suspicious to Hanh. Chris has been filming and editing small videos for fun and decided to film and edit a mini movie of Don's proposal to Hanh. He did an AMAZING job, and I can honestly say I can see a videographer partner in him one day soon... *hint hint* ;-)

Here's the awesome Chris Sithi video. Ladies, you might wanna grab a tissue.

**Edited note: Hanh is also a photographer in Orange County, so I felt extra pressured to get legit photos for her! Check out her amazing work! Hanh Nguyen Photography

Don & Hanh's Engagement from Christopher Sithi on Vimeo.

And here are some photos I captured.


Our first ride when we got there had to be Space Mountain! And that would be Chris bottom left. He's single, ladies! Doesn't this picture make you SOOO interested? =P





As we skip happily.


Me: "Hey, Hanh. Can we go back to the New Orleans area? I just want to take pictures of the lights. Again. Yea..." (this is where the characature artist awaited our arrival at 7:30pm)


Hanh: "Sure! But let me take (a billion) photos of the purple castle."


Hanh: "$64 for a sketch? NO, babe. That's a lot."
Don: "$64??? Suuuuure. Why not? Let's do this."



With this smile you'd think she knew what was up. But Hanh just smiles A LOT!


Waiting... waiting... the artist was making sure this was PERFECT. Don looks nervous.


No seriously, to the old lady who blurted "OH ARE THEY ENGAGED?!" Shhhhh!


Behind the scenes the painting was coming along quite nicely...

Canon 50D

And then the artist tells them she's done, and that she would like the HUGE crowd to step back so Hanh can take a look at the painting...and this is where her world changed in a matter of seconds.

Canon 50D1

The ring! OooooOOoh... ahhHHhHhhhh...


The newly engaged couple!


What now after all the applause, screaming, cheering, and hugs? TEACUP RIDE!!! That's them in the middle blur. I knew I'd barf, so I opted out. I'm smart.


Big sister, little sister


Chris: "THEY JUST GOT ENGAGED!" to everyone we passed.


And buttons provided by Disney staff to prove it!


Thank you to Mark, Copy, Chris and especially to Don and Hanh for the most memorable Disneyland trip I've ever had! Special thank you to Chris who made such an awesome video collage. Mere photos do not suffice the emotions expressed that day. Cheers to my Sithi productions partner!

(this looks like film. I like it!)

Once again, congratulations, Don and Hanh! You two make the most loving, giving, hospitable, and down right fun couple we know. We are so blessed to be part of this engagement and more importantly part of your lives.


I'm going to end with this photo Hanh asked me to take of old people slow dancing. One day that'll be you guys!



  1. LOVE IT CONNIE!!!! Such amazing photos and the video, once again, GREAAAT!! I'm gonna watch it again just because I love it that much!! :D

    P.S. Smart choice on opting out on the teacups, I threw up the last time I went with the girls, no joke. :( haha

  2. i cry. such a long time coming & so WORTH the wait. CONGRATS to the future Mr&MRS DANG :D

  3. Awesome job Connie!!! Pictures look amazing!! And to your brother Chris: I showed the video to my sisters and their friends and we all sat there crying together!! We loooovvve it! Thanks again guys!! Priceless!!

  4. OMG!! I LOVED it! So cute..makes me want to get engaged all over He used one of my favorites songs too...:D

  5. DUDE! REALLY GOOD PICTURES! I love the collage of pics from the artist... and it was $64?!?! wow.. and did she ever wonder why there were soo many damn people around watching them??

  6. My FAVORITE blog thus far! So personal and heartfelt. I absolutely loved it! Disneyland is the perfect backdrop for a purely innocent and romantic day..Don definitely chose the right place to propose to his childhood and now lifetime LOVE! I've been looking forward to seeing these pictures since you first told me of the engagement and 'per usual' you NEVER disappoint! The first one of Space Mtn is SO crisp and clear I feel like I can touch it! Felt like I was in a fairytale! I'm sure Hanh and Don will cherish these until they are a lil old couple. <3 <3 <3 (if there were a LIKE button to your blog I'd hit it)

  7. Connie your pictures are amazing! I definitely think whoever did the video should team up with you! Amazing Job! I teared up at like 50sec! My mom also loved it!

  8. what a perfect story! sniff sniff! you did a great job caputuring the moment! congrats to mr and mrs hanh ;) ;)

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  10. OMG... What can I say? Thank you so so much for capturing this special moment in our lives. I really can't thank you enough! We will always have these pictures and a video to show our kids and grandkids. The pictures are gorgeous and I felt like I was in the moment again! I cried reading this blog. Thank you for being part of my life and can't wait to share many more memories together! I LOVE YOU!

    P.S. Thanks Mark, Chris & Copy as well! You guys are AWESOME!

  11. Congratulations, Hanh and Don :) Nice blog

  12. Amazing photos!