My name is Phil Hawes and this is my wife Lea (Hsin-Yi).
We first met in July 2016 (although Lea never remembers the right date!!) in beautiful Bordeaux on the Garonne river in France. I had been living and working in Bordeaux since 2014 and Lea was spending a six-month sabbatical from her job in electronics manufacturing.
During the period that Lea was spending studying wine & cooking in Bordeaux, we met at a social gathering. At first I was very eager to help her make friends as she was traveling alone and I had been in the same boat when I first came to Bordeaux. Soon after, however, we got much closer than I had thought possible. There’s a fond memory I have of a barbecue and a yellow dress.
After only a few weeks I invited her to stay with me in my apartment as she was at that time living in Airbnb accommodation. After only three months in Bordeaux, Lea had to return to her native Taiwan and she thought that was that. Not likely!
I bought a ticket to Taiwan and a few months after she had left Bordeaux I went to Taipei to give it a try. Deciding that I liked Taipei enough and loved Lea to bits, I moved lock stock and barrel to Taiwan in the summer of 2017.
In January 2019, during Chinese New Year, we visited the UK with Lea’s Mom to see my family (Lea had actually met most of my family after only a month of knowing me as they were on vacation near Bordeaux at the time). During this trip we also visited Iceland where under the beautiful Northern Lights, I got down on one cold knee.
I believe her exact words were “You’re kidding?”
Our wedding plans started in earnest. We were eager to get married officially as soon as possible purely for immigration reasons and to help me not to have to rely on an employer to remain in the country. To do this we had to get married in Hong Kong where both the UK and Taiwan would recognize the union.
For this wedding, we only invited our parents and Lea’s cousin to be witnesses. It was very low key but very special.
Our next wedding was going to be the full-blown family wedding with all the traditional Taiwanese customs and all the stress. Who would we invite? How much was the budget? Where would we hold it? How could we balance the Taiwanese way of doing weddings with Western expectations? A nightmare
This experience of planning two weddings (although Lea has done much of the heavy lifting) is what makes us qualified to write about them on this website. We are a team. Lea directs me and I write it all down as I’m the experienced content writer. It’s a partnership that I believe works very well.
So, thank you for reading our little story and we hope you find our website useful!
Phil is an English teacher by night and an internet marketer by day. He has over 5 years of experience in website content creation both on his own sites and for other companies. He runs several websites connected to various interests and pastimes. The aim is always to create extremely helpful information which will improve the experience of the user. For more information check out: https://philiphawes.com
Lea is a product marketing specialist working for the ‘Internet of things’ department at Acer, Taiwan. She has a lot of experience working with both the manufacturing side of producing products as well as the marketing of those products. She has previously worked for other Fortune 500 companies as well as following her passion by briefly working for a wine company in Taipei.