We’re Engaged!

japan-engagement

I have the most wonderful news to share.

Elliott asked me to marry him!

After five years together, we are officially an engaged couple. Words can’t describe how happy I am!

I wanted to document everything here on my website, to ensure that I never forget a single detail about the best day of my life.

Get cosy – this is going to be a long read!

japan-engagement

As you may know from my previous post, we spent most of November travelling around Japan. Our second stop was Kawaguchiko, in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Mount Fuji surrounded by autumn leaves.

At least, that was my intention! It seems that Elliott had other plans…

We arrived to grey, stormy clouds and a downpour of torrential rain. Notoriously impossible to spot even on a good day, Fuji-san was stubbornly hiding behind a blanket of mist and refusing to show himself.

Not a promising start!

We stayed at the Fuji Onsenji Yumedono, which is easily one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever visited. Each suite comes with a private outdoor onsen (hot spring bath) and we were greeted by the sweetest Japanese hostess, who served us our traditional meals and took care of our every need.

The rain stopped fairly quickly that evening, and the forecast promised a perfectly clear and sunny start to the next day.

On a whim (or so I thought!) Elliott suggested that we get up early and watch the sunrise over the mountain, in order to make the most of our stay. Of course, I agreed.

The next morning we woke up at 4.45am and quickly got ready to head out, not wanting to miss the sunrise. It took us around half an hour to reach the lake, where we could already see the silhouette of Mount Fuji glowing in the darkness.

Elliott took a little stroll by himself while I took some photos – now with the benefit of hindsight I know that he was looking for the perfect spot to propose!

I’m not sure if he is an incredible actor, or whether I’m just completely oblivious (probably the latter!) but I didn’t detect any signs of nervousness from him. I remember commenting that he had a ‘chaotic energy’ at dinner the night before, but that seemed to have dissipated along with the rain from the previous day.

While we were waiting for the sun to rise, I casually remarked that it would be an amazing spot to have your wedding photos taken. I had no idea that it would soon become the scene of my own proposal!

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Shortly before the big moment, someone starting flying a drone nearby. It was fairly loud, and while I was happy to watch it zoom around I noticed that Elliott was getting a little frustrated. Of course, he just wanted everything to be perfect!

Adding to his stress, I kept wandering away to take photos of the autumn leaves and gaze at the beautiful view. He kept asking me to come back, and then a few minutes later I would disappear again. I’m amazed he didn’t strangle me!

But it all came together in the end – our little section of the lake suddenly became quiet and empty, with just the autumn leaves and the mountain for company.

Elliott told me that he was waiting for the sun to hit the leaves so that we could see them glow that incredible fiery-red colour, so I happily stood there and watched the sunlight trickle closer.

Eventually, the sun had risen above the hills and the autumn leaves were glowing all around us. It was the most beautiful sight.

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I’ll never forget what Elliott said next. With Mount Fuji overlooking us across a perfectly glassy lake, he turned to me and said, ‘This is the first sunrise of the rest of our life.’

As I looked at him, he reached into his coat pocket and bent down on one knee. I’m pretty sure I went into complete shock at that moment! With tears in his eyes, he asked me to marry him.

Now, I’d like to say that I graciously responded in the affirmative and slipped the ring onto my finger, completing that picture-perfect moment.

Instead I stood there like a deer caught in headlights, repeating: ‘Are you serious? Are you kidding me?’

It probably wasn’t the reaction that Elliott was hoping for. I think he was a little concerned! Eventually he chuckled and, still down on one knee, said ‘I kind of need an answer!’ to which I finally snapped out of my daze and said, ‘Yes! Of course!’

Then I cried. A lot.

It was the last thing I had expected to happen on that sunny autumn morning. But it was also the best moment of my entire life.

I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect proposal. It was better than anything I had ever imagined!

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We could have stayed out there all day, but the thought of breakfast sent us scurrying back to our hotel.

As we were leaving the lake, a Japanese couple took our place dressed in their wedding finery. They had a photographer with them, and we couldn’t help but laugh as we realised they were getting their wedding photos taken – just as I had imagined!

It’s a testament to how thoughtfully and meticulously Elliott had chosen that particular spot.

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We arrived back at the hotel to a delicious meal perfectly laid out by our lovely hostess, and funnily enough she was the first person that we shared the news with!

Her reaction was perfect – she was overjoyed for us, and brought her friends into the room so that they could give their congratulations.

After breakfast, we relaxed in the onsen and shared the happy news with our friends and family. Hearing their excitement made it feel even more real!

Finally, we took a stroll through the town’s annual autumn festival (yes, I was in heaven!) where we admired the fiery-red leaves and savoured each moment in our happy bubble of joy.

Now, the ring.

It’s the most beautiful piece of jewellery I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe it’s actually mine!

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I keep catching myself staring at it, admiring the way it sparkles and reflects colours in the most incredible way.

As an added bonus, Elliott informed me that the diamond is sustainably sourced. He knows me so well!

Looking back, I do remember wondering why Elliott was so obsessed with the autumn leaf forecast and Mount Fuji’s visibility. He checked online every day! My casual attitude must have driven him insane – being told, ‘Oh, don’t worry too much about it. We can’t control nature!’ must have been so frustrating when trying to plan the perfect proposal.

I’m so happy that everything came together so wonderfully, thanks to Elliott’s meticulous planning (and a little bit of luck!)

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We had a long afternoon of travel to reach our next destination, and I sat on the shinkansen in a happy daze the entire time. I don’t remember what I ate, what I talked about or what I did to entertain myself – if you told me that I just stared out of the window throughout the journey, I’d believe you.

To top it all off, we received a free upgrade when we arrived at our hotel in Hiroshima. It was the perfect end to a perfect day!

Even now, two weeks later, I’m still on such a high. I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

It means so much to me that Elliott put so much thought and effort into the proposal. To be honest, I would have said yes no matter how he chose to do it! But the fact that he asked me to marry him during the peak of autumn in my absolute favourite country just made it even more special.

I can’t wait to officially become Mrs Malone. Now, let the wedding planning commence!

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