Imagine you are on a trainee assignment in a foreign land, with only 6 months left to stay and fully enjoying your experience abroad. Out of nowhere came this guy, marching into your life, undeterred by your rejections and attempts to remain distant. You gave in, just for a coffee, only to find out afterward that you are stumbling madly into love with this guy. And a short six months later, he’s on his knee in front of you, with people rushing by all around, while the big screen on the street displayed: Will You Marry Me?
It may sound like a whirlwind love story fit for a romantic novel or movie, but this is the real life love story of Laura and Brandon.
Laura is a dreamer, a teacher, an aspiring writer, and a yoga-loving vegetarian from England who was on assignment in Japan. She met Brandon at a party hosted by a mutual friend. Knowing that she’s only in Tokyo for a short period and wanting to keep focused on her dream of being a writer as well as to fully enjoy her time left in the country, Laura was determined to stay clear of relationships. That is, until Brandon’s persistence made her give in and agree to go out for coffee with him. That rainy Sunday afternoon in the little cake shop in Jiyugaoka made Laura discover what a fascinating person Brandon really is. He’s a business school graduate who had grown up in Taiwan and worked in the States before he came to Japan. Not only does he share the same interests in writing and teaching (Brandon was in the process of writing a GMAT guidebook, which is now published and selling on Amazon), he had also just returned from an orchestra tour from New York, where he played violin on stage with Yo-Yo Ma in Carnegie Hall. Laura was drawn to Brandon as she discovered more and more interesting sides to him; and despite their different upbringings and characters, they just CLICKED.
In the following months, they spent time together and went on several trips. They also enjoyed vegetarian dining and cooking together (Brandon gave up meat for a week as an experiment, and has never touched it since), and by the time her traineeship was over, Laura found herself unable to leave Japan. One Friday evening, Brandon surprised Laura at Shibuya square, as he got down on one knee, with flashing lights from the big screen above the crowd displaying a picture of the two, and huge words stating: “Laura P., Will You Marry Me? Brandon W.” Without hesitation, Laura gave him a firm and enthusiastic YES!
Laura wrote down her story and it was published in BAB magazine. You can read this romantic story as well as see the picture of Brandon’s proposal here: A stunning Proposal, by Laura Jane Pepper. In this article Laura shared her realization of what makes a “perfect relationship”:
I have come to see that the perfect relationship is one that does not get in the way of your dreams, but helps you to find them…
These two lovebirds have since decided to come back to the U.S. and build their new nest here. They also have a fabulous wedding planned in England later this year.
We are very lucky to have the chance to help capture some romantic and loving pictures of Laura and Brandon. When we first met the couple at lunch before the shoot, we were thinking: Oh no! Maybe we made a mistake by bringing them to San Juan Capistrano for the shoot! Since the two struck us as more of a “modern” and “hip” couple and San Juan Capistrano feels more old-town-vintage-like and mellow-toned. However, as soon as we start to shoot, our worries and doubt melted away. Laura and Brandon are so in love with each other and the connection that shows through when they look into each other’s eyes or lock their lips are just so compelling that any background or setting would just be a subtle addition to their loveliness and wouldn’t even have mattered. Actually, we found that their hip and fashionable style really popped with the old town juxtaposition. We will let you be the judge of that. =)
We saw this cute VW Beattle and had to take a picture with it!
They are cool and fun-loving, and so in-sync with each other’s move and mood.
Brandon sporting a cool hat.
Love this look!
Jump and reach for the sky!
So in love. This is one of our favorites from the day:
More of that cool and fun-loving panache:
Loads of smiles :)
We look at these pictures and couldn’t help but to break into big smiles =)
This is our favorite picture of the day. The smile in Brandon’s eyes, the glow on Laura’s face. It’s just stunning and heartfelt.
A bit of flair. Lots of love.
All Aboard! Next stop: Happily Ever After.