1) How did you meet and fall in love?
Leesin and I first met at a music gig where I charged up to him, firmly shook his hand (like you would with a new colleague), and said, "Hi, I'm Lauren. It's nice to finally meet you." He was caught completely off guard, and while it wasn't the most flirty first interaction, it's one we still laugh about.
Lee was my boss's brother-in-law who she was living with at the time, so for months before the gig she had been mentioning him at work, telling me about his antics and what a great guy he was. So when I recognized him at the gig, I took the opportunity to introduce myself. Nothing really happened after that until a couple of months later when my boss offered for me to stay at their house after an upcoming event. I went in thinking I would stay one night in the guest room, but it's fair to say that I never really left. Love was instant for us because, as corny as it sounds, we were best friends from the very beginning.
2) Tell us about your proposal?
We had always talked about our future together but had never put a timeline around engagement or marriage. It was something we both wanted but honestly, I wouldn't have been surprised if it was another 10 years before we finally got around to it.
My family was back in NZ for the first time in almost a decade, and it had been three years since we'd last seen them due to COVID. We'd arranged a lunch at a local brewery with both our families to hang out & catch up, so I was surprised when Lee sprung it on me that he was going to play golf with his dad and brother in the morning beforehand. This was out of character as he never plays golf, but I thought he must have received a pity invite because the other two are enthusiastic golfers.
We arrived at lunch and the boys were nowhere to be seen. Eventually his dad and brother arrived, but no Leesin. His brother then handed me his car keys and phone, with Google Maps open, and told me to drive to the programmed location. I spent the five-minute drive losing my mind until I finally pulled into the driveway of a beautiful barn-style homestead. Down the long drive, I could see Lee standing in the picturesque doorway, and I knew it was happening.
I met him at the entrance surrounded by flowers, candles, and all our favourite photos. His proposal was slow and composed, filled with kind words and genuine promises. Of course, it was a yes, and there were many, many tears. We spent some time just the two of us before our families eventually joined us to continue the celebrations.
2) Tell us about your Nolan and Vada engagement ring and why you chose it?
My ring is absolutely perfect. I cried during the proposal, but I wept when I saw the ring for the first time... Lee knows how much I love coloured stones so he wanted to get me a green gem, making Nolan & Vada the perfect choice. Although we had never discussed styles in detail, I love vintage-inspired silhouettes, so as soon as he saw N&V's Ava design online, he knew it was on to a winner.
Sustainable and ethical sourcing is something I'm particularly passionate about, and that was another significant benefit that Nolan & Vada offered, which helped seal his decision. With one-on-one consultations, Rachel helped Lee find the perfect stone to customize the ring with, and within a matter of weeks, they collaboratively created the perfect piece. With the amazing support of the team at N&V, Leesin was able to give me the ring of my dreams, which was more perfect than I ever could have imagined.