TAN & LIZ – Columbus, OH
Tan Nguyen, creative director and entrepreneur
Liz Lee, sociology professor
When Liz and Tan met on Match.com almost seven years ago, Liz was struck by Tan’s “beautiful, very deep and personal profile about facing one's fears.” Tan noticed that Liz had viewed her online profile, yet hadn’t reached out to her, so she “decided to contact [Liz] anyway because she was super cute.” Liz asserts, “I loved that she wrote me, and I loved that she invited me to go get Korean fried chicken (even though I am a vegetarian). We went on two dates in one day the next time I was in NYC.” Tan calls it an “epic date day that just felt right from the very beginning,” and the pair’s connection soon bloomed into a full-blown romance.
Tan and Liz wed last year in a Columbus, Ohio, ceremony in their new home, packed with family members and friends. Tan recalls, “We had a casual weekend together with an open house the first night, reception the second, and brunch the third—so we could have more time with our guests. We managed to get the wedding we wanted in a way that really represented us.” All, Tan says, sans the stress typically associated with nuptials. Liz concurs, “The most memorable part of our wedding, for me, was that it was even more awesome (and much less stressful) than I thought it would be.”
The duo manages to balance career and romance by remaining “each other’s biggest supporters.” Tan formerly ran the number-one food truck in D.C. called Rebel Heroes, which the Food Network featured on the show “Eat Street.” Tan’s journey with her wildly successful food truck required her to relocate merely three months into her relationship with Liz, which proved challenging. The pair agrees, “Skype really saved us. We would watch movies together via Skype when we were too tired to talk. We never missed a night connecting with each other.” Despite the distance, they fell in love even further.
And there’s a lot to love. Liz cites Tan’s “unbridled joy and enthusiasm, followed very closely by her work ethic” as some of Tan’s best qualities. (Also, when Liz offers Tan a bite of food to try, “She doesn't ask what is it, she just eats it!”) Tan adores Liz’s “smile and warmth. She’s got the biggest heart in the world. She's also a great marathoner whereas I'm a sprinter. She gives me a different perspective that I don't see sometimes but trust—and that's invaluable.” Disagreements diffuse quickly: “Tan forgets why she’s mad at me!” says Liz, and Tan amusedly concedes. “Liz is the most supportive and patient person I know,” says Tan. “That’s really hard to find. We’re always able to work together, no matter how hard it sometimes can be, to become better people and partners.” The couple is about to embark on a long-awaited, 24-day long honeymoon, and say “it’s all about the present right now.” Liz reflects, “After almost seven years, I think it’s better than ever every morning when I wake up. I think we’re going to be happy wherever we go and with whatever we do, five, 10, 20, 50 years from now. And if the backdrop of wherever we are happens to be Vietnam, Argentina, or some other far flung place, we'd love it!” So would we.