Let’s start at the beginning. How did you two first meet?
It was, “Love at First Like.” On the first day of January 2015, exhausted from celebrating New Year’s Eve the day before, James was lying on the couch, scrolling through Instagram. On the ‘Discover’ section was a photo of Christopher sitting in a field. As the kids would say, “James slid into his DMs.” (Mom, that means I direct messaged him in the app.) Ten days later, James left work in Burbank at 6 PM and made the two hour drive to Irvine to meet Christopher for the first time. In SoCal, if you get on the freeway during rush hour, you know it’s love. James felt like a baller because his car was in the shop, and his loaner car was a brand new G-Wagon. That baller confidence quickly faded when his card declined at the gas pump. It promptly solidified that neither needed to try to impress the other and that humorous humility would be a staple of their relationship.
How did you know your partner was the one? When did you first know this in your relationship? (these may often be the same moment, but aren’t always)
The two quickly experienced so much life together, including the passing of Christopher’s beloved mother, Dani. James quickly got to know Chris’ family from across the country. Such an impactful life event brings out a person’s most authentic colors, often the dark crayons that we rarely use. It concreted to the two that they were truly there for each other, for better or worse.
Give us all the details about the proposal. How and where did it happen? Was it a surprise? What was the planning process?
In March of 2020, James was in Atlanta, GA (his home state) for work. The two had been apart for a month when Chris came to visit. Amid the COVID chaos ramping up, James’ filming schedule moved around several times, and there were even talks about canceling Chris’ visit. James planned a BBQ for their local friends and family at the Air B&B he and two friends/coworkers inhabited. On the rooftop, with the Atlanta skyline in the background, James asked Christopher to make him the happiest man in the world and be his husband. He didn’t say, “yes,” he said, “yes, yes, yes!” James then proceeded to put the ring on the wrong finger. At that moment, however, that nor anything else mattered.
Location: Forsyth Park
Photographer: ee photography