Jamie and Topher

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How We Met

Topher and I met working at Creative Artists Agency, a talent agency in Los Angeles. He was a new hire in my department so I took him to lunch his very first day, and we immediately hit it off! Over the next five months, Topher became one of my best friends. And then, one special night at a bar in West Hollywood, we kissed, and our friendship developed into a romance!

Over seven years, our relationship grew, and has been filled with so much love, music, adventure, laughter, travel, singing, friends, family, and overwhelming happiness!

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How He Asked

Topher’s Side: If you know Jamie and I, many things in our life are a musical number, and I didn’t want this occasion to be any different. We work in entertainment, are very creative people, have a community of wildly talented artists and friends, and love pouring ourselves into our jobs and artistic side projects.

I knew I wanted to use all of that to give Jamie her perfect proposal.

My proposal planning started at the Hollywood Bowl in June 2014 at the concert of one of our favorite musicians, Ed Sheeran. During that show, he previewed his new song “Thinking Out Loud.” It was a perfect, beautiful and romantic moment Jamie and I got to share together under the stars! Of course, when the x album dropped a week later, that track skyrocketed, and became the premiere romance and wedding song of the season for many couples.

But I fell in love with a different track off that album: “Tenerife Sea,” with its lyrics “You look so wonderful in your dress, I love your hair like that, the way it falls down the side of your neck, down your shoulders and back…” every time I heard the song I couldn’t help but picture seeing Jamie walk down the aisle on our wedding day.

And I never stopped thinking about that.

A year-or-so later, after we produced a concert version of the film ALMOST FAMOUS at the Troubadour, I had the time to really start planning the proposal. And I knew “Tenerife Sea” had to be part of it. I dreamed up an idea where we’d shoot a music video of that song interspersed with messaging and photographs of our relationship, on handwritten cue cards and note cards, a la one of Jamie’s favorite films: LOVE ACTUALLY.

The first call I made was to our friend Elmo Zapp, a phenomenal musician. He was unconditionally supportive and started arranging the vocals immediately. We were on track! The next call was to Nanea Miyata, a superbly talented director, who was honored to be involved in such a special moment for Jamie, and helped me plan the shoot.

Everything was falling into place! Next, I called some singer and musician friends — James Maslow, Kelley Jakle, Ashley Argota, Chrissie Fit, Shelley Regner, Zach Zagoria, Abraham Lim, Max Wagner, Justin Jones, Austin Farmer, Alex Seller — all of whom were a huge part of our lives and journey together as a couple. Everybody was absolutely thrilled to be involved. It really is such a testament to how wonderful Jamie is that everyone loves her so much to want to help give her the perfect day.

Over the next few weeks, I secretly went into the studio with Elmo and the singers to record the track, and then we filmed the music video at a gorgeous property in North Hollywood. Before I knew it, everything was edited and ready for her to see…

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I decided on November 5th as the day for our proposal to happen!

That Saturday, Jamie was hosting a brunch with her girlfriends, one of those “no boys allowed” situations that would be a great excuse to get away for a few hours to set up the surprise without her finding out.

There is a wine bar by our house that we love, V Wine Room, and I knew it would be the ideal romantic, picturesque setting for this proposal. They were happy to be part of our special day, and let me set up a small screening room so I could play Jamie the music video. Next, I tipped her girlfriends off on my secret plan: they’d have to lead her to V Wine Room after brunch. When I did, their responses were a series of screams, and giggles, and eeeeees, and “about damn time!”

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One of my best friends Dan helped me set everything up that day. As Jamie would walk into the bar with her friends, a chalkboard outside would read, “Jamie, It’s all happening” (the infamous quote from ALMOST FAMOUS, of course). Once inside, she would see my friend Dan, who would give her a glass of champagne, and escort her over to the viewing area, with vases of roses, and rose petals on the ground. Then, her video would start playing.

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When we got a text the girls were on their way, I downed a glass of champagne and hid in the back. Moments later I hear Dan scream out “I’M SO NERVOUS!” and the bartender shouted “DON’T SAY YOU’RE NERVOUS, YOU’RE MAKING ME NERVOUS AND I DON’T EVEN KNOW THEM!” So naturally I also got nervous! A minute later, I heard giggles and voices as the girls entered the wine bar, some muffled excitement, and then the music video started playing. The plan went off without a hitch!

The video ends on a shot of me holding a card “I have one question I’d love to ask” and as it cuts to black, I appeared with the ring, said some words that I couldn’t tell you what they were because you really do black out in that moment, got down on one knee, and asked Jamie to marry me.

And she said yes!

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Jamie’s Side: As far as I knew, it was an ordinary Saturday in November! I was hosting a brunch for a friend’s business venture, and kicked Topher out of the apartment since it was a girls-only event. He told me he was going to lunch with his friend Dan.

The girls and I drank some champagne, and by the end of the brunch they suggested going to the wine bar up the street that Topher and I love. On our way, I asked one of my friends to call ahead to make sure it was open. When we arrived, there was a sign outside of the bar that said, “Jamie, It’s all happening!” I just assumed when my friend called she told them to write that on the sign, so I gave her a big hug!! She rolled her eyes and said we should go inside.

When I walked in, I saw Topher’s friend Dan, who handed me a glass of champagne. I just thought someone let them know where we were going and they beat us there! So, I of course accepted the champagne (how nice!), gave Dan a hug, and started heading to the bar. Instead, Dan redirected me to a spot on a couch in front of a screen, with rose petals scattered everywhere, and bouquets of roses on the table. I noticed that my friends sat on a couch to the side of me, not next to me, and they slowly and not very discreetly pulled out their iPhones to start recording…

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That’s when I finally thought something might be happening for me.

A video started to play, and once I heard the chords to Ed Sheeran’s “Tenerife Sea,” I recognized the song immediately. Topher came out holding cards that began telling our story, and it clicked. I was completely overwhelmed, excited, nervous, and in the back of my head wondering when in the world was he able to record this?!?

When the video ended, Topher walked out, tears in his eyes, and I started losing it. All I could think was how I wanted to run over and hug and kiss him, but somehow I refrained until he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I of course said yes, and my heart felt so full it could burst!!

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Right after, our friends and family started showing up at the bar to surprise me since Topher had given them all the heads up! We spent the rest of the afternoon celebrating with our loved ones. The amount of happiness, joy, and love I felt that day is indescribable. What I thought was going to be an ordinary Saturday turned into the best day of my life.

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Our Video

Watch more proposal videos & follow @HowTheyAsked on Instagram for more stories!

Special Thanks

Abel Armas | 
Photographer
Nanea Miyata
Director / Videographer
Elmo Zapp | 
Music Arranger