The Surprise Proposal That She (Kind of) Knew Was Coming


It wasn’t lengthy after James Yihua Xi and Suzanna S. Sone arrived on the Washington dive bar he had advised for his or her first date in February 2019 when Mr. Xi realized the situation was all fallacious.

“She was amazing, so I felt like she deserved a much nicer bar than the one I took her to,” he mentioned.

Quickly that they had relocated to a speakeasy of kinds that has caviar on its small-plates menu, the place Mr. Xi spent the subsequent 5 hours chatting with Ms. Sone, who had matched with him days earlier by means of the League.

“He was actually my first date on a dating app,” she mentioned.

At 2 a.m., he walked her again to her place in Washington’s Chinatown, the place every then lived, and so they shared a primary kiss at Ms. Sone’s entrance door. Earlier than the evening ended, that they had agreed to exit once more the next day.

On their second date, the pair, each youngsters of immigrants — her mother and father got here to this nation from South Korea, his from China — fell into one other deep dialog.

“We talked about our childhood experiences, how our parents had sacrificed so much so that we could be successful and that work is not the be-all and end-all,” she mentioned. “At the core, we want the same basic things in life.”

Although the 2 discovered that their upbringings and outlooks on life overlap, they found that their personalities are much less aligned.

“He’s consistent, very levelheaded, patient, kind, very hardworking and all of these characteristics that I lack but really admire,” Ms. Sone, 29, mentioned.

“She has such a magnetic personality — she’s so bright and happy and fun and really cute,” Mr. Xi, 32, mentioned. “I’d never met anyone else like her.”

Two days later got here a 3rd date, after which each knew that they had discovered somebody particular.

A graduate of the College of Southern California, Ms. Sone obtained each a legislation diploma and a grasp’s diploma in international service from Georgetown. She is now an affiliate within the Washington workplace of Clifford Likelihood, a British legislation agency. Mr. Xi, who graduated from Cornell and obtained a legislation diploma from Stanford, is a litigation affiliate within the Washington workplace of the Chicago legislation agency Kirkland & Ellis.

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

The couple grew to become engaged in October 2020, in Hawaii, her residence state. That they had arrived months earlier; she was working remotely and Mr. Xi was between jobs following a yearlong time period as a legislation clerk to Supreme Courtroom Affiliate Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

“I was going fishing every day, just having a grand old time,” mentioned Mr. Xi, who grew up in a suburb of Cincinnati.

They by then had mentioned a proposal. However figuring out that Ms. Sone craved a component of shock, Mr. Xi had been outwardly noncommittal as he concocted an elaborate plan.

“She wanted two things,” he mentioned. “She wanted it be a surprise,” but additionally “she wanted to look good for pictures: Cute outfit, all her makeup done, and surprise her at the same time.”

On the day of their engagement, Mr. Xi had a bracelet delivered to Ms. Sone within the morning, together with a observe that mentioned he deliberate to suggest that day and that he had organized hair and nail appointments for her and a few pals, together with lunch at one in all her favourite eating places and a limo trip to a resort.

On the resort, Ms. Sone was proven a video he had made, which featured effectively needs from as many as 50 of her pals. To place it collectively, Mr. Xi had downloaded contacts from her cellphone late one evening, whereas she was asleep.

Afterward, the limo transported Ms. Sone to the Lanikūhonua Cultural Institute in Kapolei, Hawaii, the place Mr. Xi was ready to suggest. She was blindfolded, he mentioned, till she was a couple of foot from him.

“It was awesome,” Ms. Sone mentioned.

They have been married June 23 by Justice Kavanaugh in his Supreme Courtroom chambers. On July 3, the couple had a bigger marriage ceremony celebration with roughly 100 company on the Castell de Sant Marçal, a citadel turned occasions house simply outdoors Barcelona, the place their pal Trevor Ezell led them in a nondenominational ceremony.

The newlyweds, who now reside collectively in Washington’s Logan Circle neighborhood, are taking the surname Sone Xi.

“We really complement each other and we’re very, very different people,” the bride mentioned. “What’s magical about our relationship is that we’ve made it work.”


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