MnM Title Photo Montage

Meet the Couple

The Engagement
The Wedding
Happy Times!

Elements of Our Wedding:
Our Traditions
Our Rings

Time and Place

Meet the Couple

Marina Dang
Šạng Phạm Thanh Mai

Marina was born in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She moved to France when she was four months old, and grew up in Aurillac, a small town in the French countryside. After finishing high school, she continued her studies in Boston, Massachusetts. She received her bachelor's degree from Emmanuel College with a double major in Biology and Chemistry, and a minor in Mathematics. She is currently a fifth-year graduate student at Brandeis University, and will be finishing her Ph.D. in Chemistry in the fall of 2009.

Although much of her education is focused on the sciences, Marina taught herself to draw pencil portraits, and wishes she could master watercolor. She has also enjoyed helping many of her friends plan their weddings, including making bouquets, decorating event locations, and providing hair and make-up for brides and bridesmaids.

Michael Philip Short
מיכאל בן פסח ולאה

Michael was born and raised in Swampscott, MA. After graduating from Swampscott High School, he entered MIT where he has spent his entire life since. He received two Bachelor's degrees in 2005 - one in Nuclear Engineering and one in Materials Science. He is currently a third year graduate student in the Nuclear Materials Group, pursuing a Master's degree in Materials Science and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering.

In his free time, Mike enjoys cycling, fiddling with electronics and analyzing interesting materials on the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). He has biked from Boston to New York City a few times, and once from Seattle, WA to Monterey, CA with his long time friend, Jose. His personal website can be found here

How We Met

The short version (according to Mike)

So this one day I was working as a blacksmith at the Lord of the Rings exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science. Then this girl came up to me. She seemed really interested in what I had to say! Plus she was cute!!! The only thing was she was surprised when I introduced myself. Turns out I had met her last week and didn’t remember. I enjoyed meeting her the second time just as much as the first, only this time I remembered her!

The longer version (according to Marina)

How it started

I had planned a 2004 trip to France after graduating from Emmanuel, but unsettling events in Europe kept me in Boston. One day that summer, a friend called me and said that the Museum of Science was going to host a special exhibit on The Lord of the Rings movies. I immediately called the museum for a spot as an exhibit demonstrator.

Meanwhile, Mike was a senior at MIT. As a freshman he had taken a seminar in blacksmithing, casting and welding, and had kept it up throughout his undergraduate career. When The Lord of the Rings exhibit arrived in Boston, the Museum sought out his advisor to find two blacksmiths to make swords, rings and other things for the museum-going crowds on Storrow Drive in order to attract attention and add an element of authenticity to the exhibit. Mike’s advisor selected him as one of the blacksmiths.

One Saturday in mid-September...

I loved my job and often worked without taking breaks. After a few weeks, however, my new supervisor insisted that I spend my 15 min of free time to go see the forging demonstration outside the Museum. I had already seen the demonstration during my training. The idea of watching the old MIT instructor do this again did not seem as interesting as what I was doing at the time. Still, I gave in and went out.

It was a beautiful day, and there was a crowd of interested visitors gathered around the forge. When I got closer I realized that the blacksmith was no old MIT instructor at all! There was a tall guy, working in front of a hand-cranked hot coal forge along with two other people. I watched him as he talked to parents and children. His name tag read “Mike.” When he got to where I was standing, he showed me a knife he had made. I took the knife and saw that it was very straight. When I asked him how sharp it was, he took it back and said "This sharp!" He then grabbed a chunk of his hair and cut it with the knife! He must have seen how horrified I was, because he laughed and explained that he needed a haircut anyway.

I had never met anyone who cared less about his appearance. His shoes were freshly burned, his hands were black with coal, and sweat was running down his face. Still, I enjoyed talking to him. Then I looked past his safety goggles and past his glasses, and I found his gentle blue eyes. Have you ever had that funny feeling that you’ve met somebody before, but cannot remember when or where? At that moment, I felt as if I had just found a long-lost friend.

Please click here for Mike's normal website.