SK Love Stories

HANA + JAMES’S STORY

It is officially February, and SK Love Stories are back! If you’re new to this series, every week in February we introduce a couple that we have worked with and who have an extra special love story to share. We are kicking off this year’s Stories with a dynamic couple who have been a part of the SKFJ family for quite awhile. Meet Hana Mayeda and James Murray.

From when James happened to “stumble” upon THE ring one day to Hana dripping in SK jewels on their big day, we’ve been so lucky to work with this fun couple over the years. You might even recognize Hana from our last holiday campaign, Dream Dwelling! It’s been such an absolute pleasure to know them – read on for this lively couple’s love story!

Names:  James Murray + Hana Mayeda Murray

Current Location:  Los Angeles + Jackson Hole, WY

Meeting Date + Location:  March 2017 in Ojai, California

Wedding Date + Location: June 8th, 2019 at Cielo Farms in Malibu, California

How did you meet?

Hana: We were at a yoga retreat in Ojai, California. When our eyes caught I was hit by something electric. We waited almost six weeks to officially start dating. It was my feeble attempt to try to control something and somehow pace myself, when in actuality I’d fallen in love with him the moment we met.

The proposal – please tell us the story!

James: I proposed in Sundance, Utah during the film festival. After a fireside lunch we walked around the resort grounds. I had hired a photographer to hide in the snow-covered bushes. When I got on one knee, Hana instantly fell on her knees too. Best yes I’ve ever heard.

Hana: What was funny was that I was the one who suggested we take a walk not knowing that was James’ plan. The setting was exquisite with pristine snow. I almost asked a woman who was shooting with a long lens but instead of interrupting her I pulled out my phone to take a selfie of us. Suddenly James dropped to one knee, and caught me completely off guard and I fell to the ground. Turns out that was the woman James hired so we got beautiful photos from the day after all!

proposal photo

When did you know that your significant other was the one?
James: At first sight. I’d never believed in such stories. Then it totally happened to me. Hana is a deep beauty, equally compassionate and fierce with a heart of gold. I adore her.

What is your favorite thing about your significant other?

Hana: I love his generosity and the way he moves through the world with such intentionality and gratitude. He’s got a pure heart and has spent a career showing up for others – he truly believes in people’s basic goodness. He’s curious and is constantly growing and learning. He’s creative and driven. He’s basically super sensitive + empathic but manly as ****.

What made you choose this ring?

James: I was just holiday shopping on Abbot Kinney and thought, I’ll just go in here look. SK was the first jewelry store I walked into. I looked all over and was about to walk out the door, when I saw the ring. “Uh-oh,” I thought, I’m not going to be able to leave the store without that ring. I asked your stylist what’s the story with this ring. She said “Oh YEAH, we all love that one, we call it the Wonder Woman ring.” It was very different from what Hana had “suggested” so I got it as an “I love you” gift… it was really clear to me that Hana was meant to have it. It immediately became her engagement ring once Hana saw it 🙂

Hana: I’m still blown away. He hit it out of the park.

Do you have any notable stories that have stood out over the years – hilarious, sentimental, anything!

Our relationship has been full of synchronicities and spontaneity since day one. Both avid travelers, a few weeks after we met James asked what places around the world were on my bucket list. The first place I named was Tibet. He said, “I have a friend leading a group there in a few weeks.” The next day he called me and said, “no seriously, do you want to go to Tibet?” Three weeks later we were in the mountains of rural Tibet.

What’s your favorite go-to date night idea?

We love day dates – like hitting the infrared sauna or going to acupuncture and then getting a burger afterwards. James is a fantastic chef so he’ll make a beautiful dinner or surprise me with tickets to a basketball game or a concert. Or he’ll bring home flowers (always two bouquets!) just because. Seriously, he cooks, cleans and can sweep me off my feet. He’s like a unicorn.

Alright – it’s the morning of your wedding. What’s going through your heads?

Ever the procrastinator, I’d written my vows at 3am the night before when I was too excited to sleep. That morning consisted of a meditation, during which the sun came out for the first time in what felt like weeks, coffee, and GF Gjusta bread with extra butter. It was a whirlwind getting ready – it’s own happy chaos surrounded by my closest girlfriends. I was doing my best to stay grounded and calm but I was so excited, I definitely was jumping all over the place.

What was your favorite part of your wedding?

Our dance was epic. We added a number of personal touches like a custom neon sign, matcha/espresso bar and herbal superfood fresh juice tonics. The best part was seeing our friends and family’s reactions to our dance, the night, and the setting. It’s a cliché but bringing together so many people you love to celebrate love… especially your love… is simply indescribable.

Wedding planning is so different for each couple – what’s your advice for planning a wedding?

Step away from it when it gets stressful. Do something fun with your partner instead. Give yourself permission to be selfish + honor your desires. I had a great team of people helping me which I highly recommend. Remember mistakes will happen the day of and the more you can let them go and laugh at them, the more you enjoy the magic.

James: Definitely do a fun dance. Something that needs to be practiced. It will bring a couple back to love and keep the stress of planning at bay.

Did you honeymoon?

We left right away and went to a spectacular, magical inn on the coast of Northern California called The Inn at Newport Ranch. I was so grateful to James for planning it because I had decision fatigue from planning the wedding. We’re doing a bigger trip this summer to Europe.

If you could add any piece to your SKFJ collection, which one would it be?

The necklace I wore on our wedding day. Gah.

Alright – so what’s next for the two of you?!

Lots of travel. Creative projects. Deepening our roots in our homes and enjoying the time as newlyweds. I just asked a woman I know how long we get to be newlyweds. She said, “honey, we’ve been married forty years and a few of these grey hairs of mine are definitely from him, but if you stay in the gratitude and keep listening to each other, you may not technically be newlyweds when you’re my age but you can still feel like that.”

James: more please.

Do you have an engaging story to share of how you met your love? Stop by here and share for your chance to be the next featured Love Story!