Juliana and Jake's Sweet Marriage Proposal in Tokyo

Image 1 of Juliana and Jake

How We Met

Jake and I have both been living and working in Hong Kong for several years, and it is in this crazy/wonderful/fast-paced city that we met and began our love story. We were both attending a charity event hosted by a mutual friend when we spotted each other across the room and locked eyes. There was intense eye contact and an instant spark, just like in the movies! We weren’t close enough to say anything to one another, but later in the evening, I walked up to him and dished out a cheesy “What does a girl have to do to get a drink in this place?” line.To top off the silliness, the event was being held at a venue with a VERY cheesy name: “Penthouse Funky Club”. And so it began, two Americans transported thousands of miles to Asia, found their new homes in one another. We have been dating ever since!

how they asked

Jake and I had both left our jobs earlier in the year to take some time off for travel. We were fortunate enough to be able to go to 17 countries in a year! I must admit I was HOPING he would pop the question during all of this travel, so I made sure my hair, makeup and outfits were always on point. After each romantic stop that he didn’t propose in, I would sigh and think “WHEN?!” Eventually I stopped expecting it to happen and just enjoyed our time and adventures together. Jake has always done things in his own way. He tends to be a perfectionist and I knew that when it did happen, it would be very special. (But patience is hard.)

Fast forward a few months to our final trip of the year. We were going to visit a friend who had recently moved to Tokyo. We were crashing on the futon in his second bedroom and it was a very casual quick weekend trip, so I wasn’t expecting anything! We love Japanese food and the weekend was rainy, so, uncharacteristically of me, I planned absolutely nothing for the trip besides… eating. Our last full day there, our friend suggested we go to an ancient poetry garden a bit outside of the city. Our friend is a photographer and wanted to get some photos of the grounds area.

On our way over, we realised that we had no umbrellas and had to stop at a convenience store to pick some up. Jake seemed very concerned about picking out a tasteful looking umbrella, but I didn’t think twice. He’s a man that knows more about fashion than I do!

Image 2 of Juliana and Jake

Once we got there, we were wandering around the absolutely gorgeous gardens and Jake suggested we get a photo together since our friend had his camera on hand. We went to stand on a beautiful bridge (that was over 300 years old!) and as I’m posing and smiling for a supposed “photo”, Jake turns to me and says, “Juliana, I have a small confession to make. It was actually my idea to come here today.” Then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!

Image 3 of Juliana and Jake

Image 4 of Juliana and Jake

He has always known that I didn’t want a proposal that was too theatrical. I will watch endless flash mob proposals online, but for my own big moment, a larger than life proposal just wasn’t me. I’ve always said that I would be happy if he proposed to me in the grocery store as long as it was a personal moment and something just between us. The downside of that is: we couldn’t really get a good photo if he dropped to one knee in the dairy aisle. This was the best of both worlds and the ideal proposal for me; in a city we love, in a gorgeous setting, intimate and personal, a total surprise, and we got great photos!

We followed the proposal with tea in a traditional Japanese tea house and then live music at one of Tokyo’s coolest jazz clubs. It was the perfect day!

Image 5 of Juliana and Jake
Image 6 of Juliana and Jake

Special Thanks

Michael Sloyer
 | Photographer