How We Met
ASH: I was recently back from my 6rst trip abroad, broke, living in a kind of nook at the top of a friend’s staircase, lol. One day, I was hiding from the world, reading, and Olivia came over to this friend’s (her ex-girlfriend’s) apartment (where she had lived in a couple years before), to play guitar and sing. She walked up the stairs, we were introduced, and oh my goddess, those sparkling eyes, that luminous smile, her radiant beauty. I knew I was in for some trouble!
LIV: I was trying out a new “friendship” scenario with my first significant partner, who happened to mention that she recently got a new roommate (in the apartment we used to share) & she said that she thought the new roommate & I would “really get along.” (Little did she know how well we’d get along, exactly…) I met Ash while walking up the staircase of the apartment I used to share with my ex. Built into the walls of this staircase were these little “nook” spaces & Ash happened to be “hiding from the world” with her twin bed & her books in one of them. We locked eyes, and as Ash puts it, we knew there’d be trouble… ;)
How They Asked
ASH: Ha, welllll. In our first year together, Liv knew she was in this for life. She procured a ring from a kind of mom in my life and asked if I would marry her. I told her yes, but I am SO not ready, let me ask you one day when I AM. 4 years later, I was! I planned an elaborate adventure day for us out in Marin, with nature and some curious places off of Atlas Obscura, that ended with a romantic Tarot spread with rose petals, candles, and the ring in the middle. A little more context though, and I’ll try to make it short. The year before this second proposal, we had broken up for 6-8 months. I had struggled with a drinking problem, (childhood trauma catching up with me), and put Liv through quite some hell. Ironically, the break-up came once I committed to sobriety, so in my heartbreak, I took off to SE Asia to be somewhere Buddhist and deepen my path of recovery through meditation and solo travel.
I ended up in Nepal, and a day after my arrival, was caught a catastrophic earthquake. That’s another story in itself, but suRce it to say, I returned home the next month having broken my 9 months of sobriety, having left before I felt I’d done enough service in the aftermath, and with a touch of PTSD. Thankfully, Liv and I reconnected (at a festival, where we had no idea the other was until we ran into each other), and struck up our relationship again within a couple of months. So, by the time of my earnest proposal, my heart was in it, but I was still pretty emotionally fucked up and had trouble connecting to my life. We stayed together, but had some rocky times. Flash forward to 2018. I returned to Nepal for the third anniversary of the earthquake, and 6nally got the closure I’d been needing. While alone again for a few weeks, all I could think about was my love and want to commit so fully to our life together, 6nally. She joined me, and on our subsequent bus rides through Nepal and India, we talked about 6nally making it happen. Our last couple days there, we got tattoos and diamond rings that matched each other’s (didn’t even plan that), and returned home, loving each other, stoked, and 6nally planning our dream wedding! <3
LIV: I knew I loved her from the beginning. 6 years in, many discussions of, & 3 almost proposals later, my skiddish-about-marriage now-fiancée surprised me upon my arrival in Kathmandu (to meet her for some travel) with a sincere interest in leaving this particular trip with rings on our fingers & a tangible decision made. This trip took us through Nepal & much of Northern India, and throughout that (almost) month we talked a lot about what we were doing in our lives, in our relationship, and where we wanted to go/what we wanted to do next.
During our time at the Taj Mahal, one beautiful morning at sunrise – I literally set up my iPhone on the ground, set the self-timer to 10 seconds, ran back to Ash & accidentally captured what will most likely remain one of our most favorite photographs together (ever) & that quickly became the photo we used to announce our engagement once we returned home to the States. At the end of our trip, back where we started, in Kathmandu, Ash found the ONE diamond store (in the country?!) and we left with stunning, unique, perfect-for-us engagement rings, some once-in-a-lifetime memories, & an engagement story that spans years + even across the globe!