Jena and Daman

How We Met

We met in college when Daman transferred in during our third year to play basketball. We had mutual friends and were acquaintances, but never dated. After college, Daman played basketball overseas and then moved back home to Las Vegas, and I was living and working in L.A. About three years later, I was in Vegas for the weekend and Daman and I decided to meet and grab lunch; and despite my being exhausted from a night out in Vegas, we hit it off. A few weeks later, Daman drove to California and we went on our first official date, where we accidentally had horrible sushi and laughed all night long. We have made a long-distance relationship work for three and a half years and can’t wait for everything that’s to come.

How They Asked

September 4th was my grandfather’s 88th birthday and my family was going out to dinner that evening to celebrate. Daman was in Vegas (so I thought!) and wasn’t going to be able to come. That afternoon, I got a text from my Dad asking me if I could swing by Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena – my favorite bookstore in the entire world – to pick up a gift for my grandpa since neither my dad nor my mom could grab it. After work and running late, I hurried into Vroman’s on a mission and made my way upstairs to Will Call. I told them I was there to pick up a book under my mom’s name and they produced a thick, leather-bound book and said that my mom left specific instructions to check the inscription.

Jena and Daman's Engagement in Vroman's Bookstore - Pasadena, CA

Where to Propose in Vroman's Bookstore - Pasadena, CA

Unfazed, I said “Of course” and opened the book. On the second page, staring back at me were the words “Jena my love” and before I was a three-page letter from Daman. At that point, I felt like I blacked out from shock. As I read the beautiful letter (and cried!), I completely missed where he wrote: “Now if you would please turn around, I have something I would like to ask you.” The Vroman’s staff member behind Will Call finally motioned for me to turn around and there was Daman, grinning and down on one knee. He asked me to marry him and I, of course, said yes!

Jena's Proposal in Vroman's Bookstore - Pasadena, CA

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Vroman's Bookstore - Pasadena, CA

As the initial shock began to wear off, the story unfolded and it just got better and better. Daman had truly thought of everything. The leather-bound book where Daman wrote his letter to me also had letters and photos from both of our parents and my grandparents and is truly now one of my most prized possessions. We plan to continue to fill it with letters and memories we make together.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Vroman's Bookstore - Pasadena, CA

He had asked my parents back in May for permission to marry me, and they helped to get the book filled with those beautiful notes and helped pull the whole thing off. He arranged for Ashley, my best friend, to be there to take photos; and Daman’s mom and his best friend, Joey, both drove in from Vegas with him that day and helped to orchestrate things, including a hidden iPad to capture the entire proposal.

We went from Vroman’s to dinner where both of our families were waiting. We celebrated both our engagement and my grandfather’s birthday, surrounded by loved ones. It was even better than a fairytale!

Lastly, on top of all of this, the ring is everything I had ever dreamed of and more! If I had designed it myself, I wouldn’t have changed a single thing, and in fact, I think Daman did a better job than I ever even could have.

My grandparents are two of the most important people in the world to me and knowing this, months before proposing, Daman asked them if he could incorporate any of my grandmother’s diamonds into my ring. Daman custom designed the ring and the two diamonds on the band on either side of the center stone are my grandmother’s, making it even more perfect than it already was.

Special Thanks

Ashley Wall
 | Photographer
Vroman's Bookstore - Pasadena, CA
 | All of the Vroman's staff helped to pull this incredible proposal off! From allowing Daman, his best friend, Joey, my best friend, Ashley, and our parents to come to the store early, set up, and then hide in the backroom, to tricking me with the book at Will Call, they were all in on the surprise and just absolutely unbelievable. The day wouldn't have been possible without them!