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To Have & to HOLDEN

Tea Ceremonies with Jen and Jesse

Real Couples

To Have and to Holden is our series where we interview real couples about their romance, weddings, and whatever else comes up along the way. Enjoy!

Today, we're taking you back to Jen and Jesse's wedding, which took place in Jen's hometown of Penang, Malaysia. They'll be having a second ceremony next summer in Colorado, where the two of them currently live. Holden created a custom diamond ring for Jen and our Beveled Profile for Jesse. Jen shared their story with us, as well as some photos from the ceremony.

How did you two meet and start dating?

Jesse and I met in Michigan through a dating app called Coffee Meets Bagel. I lived in Rochester Hills at the time working as a rhythmic gymnastics coach, and Jesse was an automotive engineer living in Plymouth. We texted each other for a while before we met - it was not easy for us to find the right time and place to meet for the first time because our schedules clashed. So finally, we were like, “it will have to be Wednesday at 9pm at Iron Horse, Royal Oak if we want to meet soon, or else we will have to wait over a month before we get to meet.” So we did, and that was our first date. It wasn’t the greatest first date - I was tired, I had to drive thirty-five minutes, and it was raining cats and dogs. We had a good time, but it wasn’t a sure thing.

Our second date was what got us going. Jesse took me to Detroit Zoo in Michigan, and we spent all day together just getting to know each other. From there it just took off, and we started dating exclusively. One day Jesse was like, “Let’s go to the Detroit Zoo,” and I was like, “Sure!” (I never turn down the zoo - I love animals). So we went, and although we had been there several times, we still walked around and took our time. We got to the hidden enclosure (hidden in the back of the Japanese macaque enclosure) meant to temporarily hold animals who don’t have an enclosure. This time the sloth was there because its enclosure was being remodeled. So, we went in, and I was like “Oh look! Mr. Sloth is moving around!” I turned around, and Jesse was on one knee asking me to marry him. I said yes.

Jen and Jesse for Holden

What was most important to you when planning your wedding?

The important part for us was food. To be honest, a lot of weddings I’ve attended have not had good food. I wanted to make sure that at my wedding, no one would say the food was crappy.

Jen and Jesse for Holden

What’s a moment from your wedding that you’ll remember forever?

The tea ceremony. It is a Chinese tradition whereby the bride and groom show their respects towards their elders by serving them tea.

Jen and Jesse for Holden

What was each of your favorite songs you played at your wedding?


Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye


Can't Touch This by MC Hammer

Jen and Jesse for Holden

What’s some advice you have for couples planning an upcoming wedding?

Save your money.

Jen and Jesse for Holden

What was important to you in choosing a ring? What made you choose Holden?

Cost and quality. Great service and communication, and we were extremely happy with the cost and quality of the rings.

Jen and Jesse for Holden

What does love mean to you?

Unconditional support and just enjoying each other’s company….forever…. LOL. Best friends through thick and thin.

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Photos courtesy of: Heng Yee Wei.

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