On Christina's parents' 25th Wedding Anniversary, Johannes asked them for her hand in marriage. When Johannes asked Dr. Pham if he and Mrs. Pham had a moment to sit down and talk, Dr. Pham said, "I think I already know what this is about," with a michievous grin. Patrick, Christina's younger brother, and Christina stuck their ears to the door to eavsdrop on the conversation. Wide-eyed and listening intently, 13-year-old Patrick turned to Christina and decided that he would never get married!!

All turned out well, however, and Johannes proposed to Christina two months later on September 28, 2000. The short version of the story is that Johannes surprised Christina, kidnapped her and took her to Sonoma Valley, where he proposed and had a fabulous weekend planned for her. The weekend ended with an informal engagement party in San Francisco with their closest friends. For the long version of the story, click here.

On Sunday, November 26th, 2000, Johannes' and Christina's families formally met and gave their blessing for the couple's engagement in a formal celebration done in the Vietnamese tradition. The elders gave Johannes and Christina their permission to take the relationship to the next step; the ancestors were invoked and to give their blessing; and the heads of family spoke of how happy they were to begin the process of accepting Johannes/Christina into their respective families. See pictures of the day here.

See the Engagement Program:

Order of Events
Vietnamese Culture 101
Tidbits of Tradition

Johannes and Christina will have been engaged almost two years by the time they get married.