After his first date with Shawn Patrick Lamb in January 2019, Jarrold Jenn-yu Wong started crying. “It was the first time I felt like I could really be loved unconditionally for who I am,” he said.
Dates had never given him much pleasure. “It wasn’t a lack of effort,” said Mr. Wong, known to friends as Jay, “but there is a lot of anti-Asian racism in the gay community and after some disappointment, I’ve decided to focus on my career and self-love .”
Mister. Lamb shared his concern.
“I had a great job, great friends, and a great family, but I was skeptical about romance,” Mr. Lamm, 33, said. After suffering through a handful of bad relationships, he was almost certain that Mr. Right wouldn’t show up anytime soon — if ever.
Both were on Tinder, and they started dating in December 2018. Their playful text banter led to a first date at a bar in Denver, where they lived. Fear quickly gave way to relaxation, and after several drinks, Mr. Lamb broke his “no first-date dinner” rule and suggested moving to Bar Dough for his favorite pizza.
Hours of conversation included topics that are usually taboo on a first date: both said they wanted children. They also learned that they both grew up in close-knit, supportive families, Mr. Lamm in Springfield, PA and Mr. Wong in San Francisco. Both sets of parents were active in PFLAG, a self-help group for parents of LGBTQ children, which had played an important role in accepting their sons’ sexual orientation.
Afterwards, the two had a long goodbye but no kiss. This is when Mr. Wong got emotional on his way home.
Mister. Lamb felt the same way. “I’ve had so many one-sided dates where I’ve carried the buzz,” he said. “It was very different.”
The next evening they met again and a kiss sealed the evening. A few months later, on St. Patrick’s Day, Mr. Lamm, in neon green and white striped overalls and fluttering fluorescent green false eyelashes, uttered the first “I love you.” Mister. Wong, surprised, eagerly repeated the feeling. By 2020, the two had moved together in Denver.
Mister. Lamb holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in university administration from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY. He now works at Deloitte Canada in Toronto, where he is Campus Recruiting Manager.
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After graduating from Columbia University with a dual major in economics and East Asian languages and cultures, Mr. Wong attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and earned a dual degree in management and marketing. Today he is Executive Vice President at Exclusive Resorts, based in Denver.
A year after moving in together under the guise of a business trip, Mr. Wong made a secret trip to Mr. Lamb’s hometown of Springfield to seek his parents’ blessing.
Just before sunset on March 29, 2021, under cover of taking Mr. Lamb to a surprise dinner, Mr. Wong connected Mr. Lamb before a driver took them to a beach pavilion, where Mr. Lamb’s surprise was met by his younger sister Maggie Lamb, Mr. Wong’s younger sister Reese Wong and two close friends who flew in secret that day. On bent knees, Mr. Wong slapped a tearful Mr. Lamm, who enthusiastically accepted, before her sisters draped her in garlands of flowers.
Later that year, the couple bought a home in Toronto, where Mr. Wong had lived before moving to Denver. They now split their time between Toronto and Denver.
On Dec. On Feb. 3, the couple wed in an outdoor ceremony before 129 guests at the Lanikuhonua Cultural Institute in Kapolei, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu, after a rainstorm cleared for their late-afternoon ceremony. Jessy O’Neill, Mr. Lamb’s best friend who became Universal Life Minister for the event, officiated. The men wore tailored tuxedos with Louboutin shoes, the slick red soles of which were destroyed after walking a coral path.
“With a fateful swipe of a finger, Jay came into my life at the perfect time and made everything in life exponentially better,” Mr. Lamb said in his vows, before pledging to be an “amazing father to our children” and Mr. Wong “to be.” the car DJ and choose the wine.”
In his vows, Mr Wong cited the many things he loved about his partner, including his spontaneity and determination, before promising to listen, be the couple’s trip planner and, as often as he could remember, shut his mouth chew. “I couldn’t be more grateful for the life we’ve built together,” he said. “A life better than any rom-com.”