“We were pretty determined to stay together and see what happened”
James and Kate share how they met and the story of their unique proposal. The couple join our CEO, Nikolay, on a conference call, while trying to stay warm from the cold British winter weather to tell us all about their life together and their plans for the future…
How did you meet one another?
Kate: So, I’m originally from Palo Alto, a small town just by San Francisco in California and I moved to London. I hadn’t intended on staying longer than three months as I was here for a short-term job. James and I met during my first week in London and we met on my first Friday night here and went for drinks after work as our first date. That was over three years ago.
James: Yeah, that was September 2014.
When did you realise you had met ‘the one’?
I might sound crazy, but I was convinced after two months of dating James that I was going to marry him.
I made the realisation very early on that I was going to marry him and also move to England. I think maybe he took a bit longer, but y’know.
J: Yeah, not two months. But for sure, I knew in November 2014 that it was something special.
I definitely couldn’t let Kate go back to the US without a fight.
I think we were pretty determined to stay together and see what happened. Within the year, I was already thinking she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Do you have a favourite memory?
J: It was our first trip, only after two or three weeks of dating. Kate was studying in London so she was doing a bit of travelling and had a trip to Paris planned. I’m not usually that spontaneous, but I bought a ticket to join her. I think she was a bit shocked about it to be honest but it turned out to be a great investment!
When you picture a romantic weekend in Paris, it was everything you could have wanted. We visited the Eiffel Tower, ate meals out, lots of museums and wine. It was perfect.
K: It was so romantic. I was going to say the Paris trip but James took it so I’ll go with just over a year ago, when we went to the New Forest. It was really romantic, but in a complete opposite way. We went to lots of pubs, hiking, long walks, seeing wild ponies. Nothing fancy, but it was romantic in a more rustic way. We stayed at the most charming B&B where they make their own jam and stuff like that. It was nice and relaxing.
What makes you smile about James?
K: James is really funny so he’s always making me laugh, whether it’s him trying to impersonate my American accent or making fun of my American accent. It’s nice, because even though I’ve lived here for three years, I still get homesick.
He always knows how to put a smile on my face to cheer me up.
How did you propose, James?
K: It’s kind of a funny story.
J: We were at home. That’s the scene. I bought some lamb and was making roast dinner which is pretty rare for me. I’d bought a bottle of champagne and I put the ring in a gravy jug…
K: Okay James you’re totally butchering this story. Okay so…
J: *laughs* Alright, alright, go ahead…
K: And he’d got the champagne because he wanted to put the ring in the champagne flute and he panicked last minute thinking it was too cliché and that loads of people had proposed like that before.
So he put the ring in the gravy boat, which is considerably less romantic than champagne. And the gravy was really thick so it sunk to the bottom so James kept on offering me more gravy throughout the meal trying to get to the bottom of the gravy boat.
J: For some reason, I didn’t factor in the the ring sinking to the bottom but anyway I ended up just pouring it all over her plate.
K: Ruining my entire meal.
J: And because there was so much of it, she didn’t see the ring so I kind of had to fist around her food. And she said “oh you’ve dropped your ring”. So then I went around the other side of the table, picked it up, wiped a bit of the gravy off, and asked her to marry me.
I regret not sticking to the champagne but we have a great story to tell.
Was it a surprise?
J: With Kate and presents in general, things are never a surprise, because she’ll send you a detailed email of what she wants which was really helpful for me. I make sure she gives me a wide range so she never knows exactly what she’s going to get.
To be honest, the ring designs she sent me were kind of what I’d have gone for anyway. I forwarded Kate’s email to my design consultant and she talked me through the whole process. So the ring was a surprise in that Kate didn’t know the exact design I’d go for, but I think she loved it.
K: James and I had already spoken about getting married and I found your website and I loved how you had a lot of designs that were customisable and the fact that you could pick your own diamond. So I sent him like five different rings from your site, only your site, and said “I’d like any of these five – you can pick from there. I only want this jeweller, I like their approach so you have to use them”.
It was still a huge surprise and I absolutely love it. It’s so special.
What are your plans for the future?
J: We got married six months ago. We loved the first ring so much that we actually came back to you guys for a wedding ring.
K: I had a custom wedding band made for me so it matches my engagement ring so that was really special and it was fun to go through what James went through, like going through designs, and seeing sketches was amazing.
K: I guess plans for the future are having a family. Not right now, but maybe in five years or so that would be the next big thing. I’m also trying to get a dog which James is not so keen on. That’s the first thing before children.
We really love living here and we do visit America once or twice a year. I’ve grown to absolutely love England and I love living here now and I wouldn’t want to move. Just the dog for now would be nice.
Wedding photography – Jodie Chapman