Maryam & Juan
I don’t mean to gush, but really, is there any better way to kick off a year of telling love stories than with a tale of how it all began? Engagements are a special one for us, they strip it all back and focus on the story, on the good vibes and the laughter and it’s this, together with Maryam and Juan, photographer Gold & Grit and the beautiful Pyramid Hill that builds the scene.
And the stories? We have plenty of them for you when it comes to these two, and we’re kicking it all off with the tale of how they came to be, in Juan’s words “Like any good ol’ fashioned romance, it started with us both swiping right. I made a really bad pun – one of those ones that almost doesn’t make sense, and lingers for a while. We went on a date and Maryam had me captivated with her storytelling abilities and her smile, and the night just flew by. We went on a few more dates, and before we knew it we were spending all our free time together and falling in love.”
It was in Sri Lanka than Juan asked Maryam to marry him. “This is probably our funniest relationship story! We were in Sri Lanka in a seaside town, just the two of us after breakfast in a courtyard. Juan was acting strange to the point where I thought he had gotten gastro, as he quickly got up and ran to the room. He came back with a small backgammon set and sat opposite me. The ring was hidden amongst so many checkers and rose petals, that when I opened the box I didn’t see it for a very long time. Instead, all I saw were all the petals, and I was so blown away by that simple sweet gesture that I had the box open for ages while Juan just stared at me, not saying a word. Eventually, I started setting up the game up when I finally saw the ring. I was so shocked that I held the ring up and asked him what it was. He mumbled some words to the effect of “I love you …will you …marry me?” to which I responded by bursting out into happy tears. Tears that Juan interpreted as sad tears, and after a little while he asked again to confirm to which I managed to verbalise a “yes!”. Lots of hugging and kissing ensued, and of course, I called my family to share the news.
We were heading to our next destination by bus that morning in which men and women had to sit separately, so we spent the first couple hours of engaged life separated by a bus full of people speeding along the Sri Lankan coast. The bus emptied out and we moved to some middle seats together where he had prepared a much more elaborate proposal speech and that’s that!”
“I love all of Juan’s character/personality traits like that he is supportive, optimistic, fun loving, energetic, funny, kind, affectionate and intelligent” tells Maryam of Juan. “But even more so I love all the tiny details about him that make him who he is. The everyday moments that remind me how lucky I am to have him. He is such a loveable human. I love his heart melting cheeky smile. And of course, I love his food and puns.”
On what he loves about his future wife, Juan tells “Maryam is the most kind, caring, selfless person, you’ll ever meet. She has the superpower of making everyone feel at ease, and when she’s in the room time seems to slow down. She not only encourages my silly sense of humour but often has me in stitches with her jokes. Whether we’re at home on the couch, or on some kind of adventure, she just makes life more joyful.”
These two share plenty of funny memories, but it was date #2 that sticks in Juan’s memory – he fills us in.
“As Maryam will tell you, I’m a bit shy, and was a slow starter when we started dating. On our second date I took Maryam out for a nice dinner, and we had a great time telling stories, cracking jokes, and learning about each other. When the night was over, we left the restaurant and walked together until it was time to part ways. We said goodbye and I leaned in for a kiss, but was apparently not direct enough. Maryam thought I was going for a hug and seemed to dodge with a hug. What followed was a half-missed-kiss, an awkward hug, and an embarrassed walk home thinking “Well I guess she is probably not that into me!”. Somehow I got very lucky and we ended up going on another date, and this time Maryam took the lead, went for the kiss and she didn’t miss!”