Sophy & Jesse Lee


Leaves and LightsLeaves and Lights

Jesse Lee Gray


Sophy Chhay

January 27, 2024

Siem Reap, Cambodia
46 days46 d14 hours14 h47 minutes47 min53 seconds53 s

How We Met

Christmas Eve 2017

We met on a group hiking excursion on Christmas Eve 2017. Jesse was by herself and Sophy was with her sister. Jesse overheard them speaking French and gravitated that way. Jesse was taken with Sophy's smile and her joie de vivre. We quickly skipped small talk and dove into the details of our lives. Sophy was surprised by an American who spoke French and loved green mango with spicy salt. We continued to talk on the bus ride back and landed on French cuisine and wine. Jesse didn't want to let Sophy out of her sight and said "Let's continue with a glass of rose." A glass became a bottle and a chance meeting turned into a firm friendship. Four months later, after many meals shared, Sundays spent poolside, and many nights reinventing the world, a romance bloomed. We are still the best of friends, making our dreams come true together, one by one, in the Kingdom of Wonder.

The Proposal

Christmas 2019

We'd had two magical years together. More and more, we both couldn't imagine a life without the other. We were never girlfriends. It was always 'ma femme.' (my woman, my wife). Jesse decided to make it official when Sophy's daughters (her two other loves) were both in Phnom Penh for Christmas. She picked out a ring with their help and hid it in on the terrace, where apéro and presents were the plan. After salmon toast, foie gras and champagne, Jesse sprung the ring from the plant and popped the question. Sophy said yes! To a lifetime of lively debate, dancing in the kitchen, bringing out the best in each other, a table where there's always room for one more, making wishes, building businesses, and having adventures. Together. Forever.