It all began for Jennifer Patrick and Kristopher Huen in 2005 at a car meet in Simi Valley. They met as teenagers — and they found each other as dazzling as their souped-up wheels.
“He was the best-dressed man I’d ever seen in my life,” Patrick said. “No ripped-up jeans and T-shirts for him.” Huen was more succinct: “I thought she was drop-dead gorgeous.”
The problem was, they were both in relationships. So they became best friends, sharing advice on their love lives and staying up all night on the phone. They were crazy about each other — but neither wanted to admit it and risk a great friendship.
Fresh out of high school, Huen was playing drums in an alt-rock band and performing at the Hollywood Palladium. By day, he worked at In-N-Out Burger. But he felt that he’d be going nowhere without more education, so he went to Phoenix to study automotive technology at the Universal Technical Institute. Patrick and Huen missed each other terribly, but neither let on.
When he returned to Southern California after graduating in 2008, they both realized they could no longer ignore their feelings. Their first date was a ballgame at Dodger Stadium. After years as best friends, even holding hands was a bit awkward at first.
“It felt like your first boyfriend when you’re a kid, giddy and nervous,” she said. But love went from zero to 60 in a flash.
The couple now lives in Port Hueneme. Huen, 24, works as an auto technician for Firestone. A former private school teacher, Patrick, 21, intends to become an event planner — and if her own wedding is any indication, she’ll be a great one.
They wed April 29 aboard the Scarlett Belle in Channel Islands Harbor as the sun set into the ocean, then guests enjoyed a romantic beach-themed reception and coastal cruise.
For their first dance, the newlyweds chose “Your Guardian Angel” by the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Huen had first played it for Patrick when they were still best friends. Then a dance mix came on and drew everyone out on the floor. As Patrick put it, “Even the grandmas danced — to hip-hop.”
– Maxine Nunes, Custom Publishing Writer
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