Princess Ayako, the youngest daughter of Emperor Akihito's late cousin, became officially engaged Sunday to commoner Kei Moriya at a traditional ceremony in Tokyo.

The betrothal ceremony, called Nosai no Gi, is the first in a series of rites leading up to the wedding on Oct. 29 between the 27-year-old princess and the 32-year-old employee at shipping firm Nippon Yusen K.K.

During the ceremony, a messenger from Moriya visited Tokyo's Takamado residence with gifts, including sake and sea bream, to formally convey the proposal.