American childhood pals get engaged after 'bumping into each other at Edinburgh party'

Two Edinburgh undergraduates celebrated their wedding engagement on May 24 at a garden party in Newington.

Jasper ,21, and Isabella ,20, are third-year students at the University of Edinburgh.

Their whirlwind romance began 13 years prior when the American couple met for the first time at their New York City elementary school.

READ MORE - The last pubs standing in Edinburgh's working class neighbourhoods

READ MORE - Taxpayers forking out £1,400 for Edinburgh Lord Provost to watch Euro 2024 game

They lost touch when Jasper went to a different middle school, but reunited at a flat party in March 2024, neither aware that the other attended the University of Edinburgh.

On reuniting with Jasper in Edinburgh, Isabella said “It was completely surreal.”

Jasper said: “We led these parallel lives. I was supposed to go to the same middle school but ended up going to a different one. We went to high school across the park from each other, a mile apart.

Join Edinburgh Live's Whatsapp Community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages.

“Then, we came here and are in the same housing but somehow never came across each other even though we have 16 mutual friends. We didn’t meet until that party three months ago.”

The couple quickly began dating and said that the prospect of matrimony started as a joke. However, the idea soon became a reality – they began planning a wedding and looking into the marriage process for student visa holders.

Jasper told Edinburgh Live: “After we made the decision, we realised – holy cow – this is a relationship that could last forever.”

When asked what she loved most about Jasper, Isabella said: “I like that he listens. He’s a really good listener.”

Jasper said of Isabella: “I don’t know where to start. She is an incredible communicator, incredibly sane, just so easy to talk to.

“When we talk to each other, I feel like I understand her and she understands me. She’s just really fun to be around, she’s a really fun person.”

Lalit Mistry, a third-year student and Isabella’s best man, shared his reaction on first hearing the news of their engagement.

He told Edinburgh Live: “I thought it was one of her many jokes, but I knew there must be more behind it.

“I invited her for dinner – I wanted to make sure there wasn’t any pressure [from Jasper]. But she told me what was behind it and how she felt really understood by this guy.

“I admire that she is fearless and brave. Above the humorous facade of it all, their lives have more seriousness behind it.”

Lalit was not the only partygoer to be stunned by the couple’s engagement. Havish, third-year student and Jasper’s flatmate, said that he was surprised to see his friend engaged so young.

“I was so surprised. Their love story is not even something you would see in a Bollywood film.

“As his friend, I knew I’d always see him get married but I didn’t know it would be this soon.

“I’ve known him for three years and I know he likes having stability and he is very family-oriented. I think they will work very well.”

Ayo, Jasper’s friend and the party’s photographer, commented on the novelty of a young couple committing to each other amid today’s hookup culture.

He said: “It’s a beautiful celebration of love. When everyone seems so caught in situationships, it’s nice to see two people so committed.”

The engagement party drew a crowd of 200 undergraduate students dressed in black tie.

The couple is crafting home-made rings for each other with a piece of silver they bought on Ebay and a blow torch. They will use the University’s Makerspace to craft the rings.

Jasper and Isabella also look forward to their honeymoon on the Isle of Arran. They plan to officially marry in September.