This Surprise Proposal Turned Into a Whimsical Same-Day Wedding at The Hummingbird Temple in Hollywood Hills, California

There’s a reason grand whirlwind relationships anchor so many blockbuster hits—they’re just so romantic. Persis Kham- batta (34, a real estate agent)

There’s a reason grand whirlwind relationships anchor so many blockbuster hits—they’re just so romantic. Persis Kham- batta (34, a real estate agent) and Crystal Ramos’ (34, a clinical specialist) entire relationship has been like a real-life fairy tale. So it’s no surprise that the day these two wed (April 15, 2023) was just as epic.

Before planning a secret wedding and a proposal-turned-vow exchange, you’d better be very sure your partner will be okay with it. Persis was so certain about her connection with Crystal that she actually started planning the proposal after a mere four months of dating. Though she didn’t pop the question until seven years into their relationship, this over-the-top day was years in the making.

Let’s start at the beginning. Persis, who was living in Vancouver, Canada, at the time, matched with Crystal on a dating app while on a November trip to Los Angeles, Crystal’s home city. From there, things went from standard dating app encounter to rom-com-worthy in the blink of an eye. The couple immediately bonded over a shared love of travel. Within two weeks of messaging, on a whim, Crystal invited Per- sis to join her and some friends on a trip to Aspen, Colorado, in January. But why wait two whole months to meet the woman you can’t seem to stop thinking about? For New Year’s Eve, Crystal extended a playful invitation to Persis to come back to Los Angeles. “Without missing a beat, Persis booked her flight, and two days later, we went on our first date,” Crystal says. “And so began our love story.”

As with any good happily-ever-after tale, the heroines need to have something to overcome, like a spicy “will they, won’t they” moment. The lead-up to Persis and Crystal’s first date was just that. Not only were they preparing to meet, but it would be a full weekend getaway. Persis was even going to stay at Crystal’s place. The couple recalls that “the stakes were high. This was the first time we were going to see each other in person, without even a single FaceTime call to precede the international date. A risky move, admittedly, considering we could’ve been catfished. Luckily for us, that wasn’t the case.”

A first kiss at midnight on New Year’s sealed the deal. The weekend was a success, and “in the span of 48 hours, our friendly pen-pal meetup turned into marriage talks,” says Crystal. “We even decided that weekend, if a proposal was in our future, Persis would be the one to kneel.”

Though Crystal knew Persis would be the one to ask the question, she couldn’t have imagined just how grand that proposal would be. The groundwork for the actual moment was “a grand adventure that spanned years and continents.” Persis drew inspiration from a song she loves: “Girl in L.A.,” by a pop-folk act called Us the Duo. The song narrates a long-distance love story, much like Persis and Crystal’s. The lyrics mention various locations around the globe: “I’ll yell it out from Nashville, a little closer to your ear...I’ll scale the China Wall to have you closer here to me...I’m in love with a girl in L.A.” As part of her plan, Persis planned trips with Crystal to all the spots mentioned in the song. At each location, she captured footage to be compiled into a proposal video.

“Persis and I are a couple of travel bugs, so when she suggested hitting these spots, I was all in but had no idea why [we were going],” recalls Crystal. “Sure, China in the middle of winter seemed a bit out of left field, but hey, who am I to turn down an adventure? Little did I know, each destination was part of her grand plan. The big reveal happened at The Hummingbird Temple in Los Angeles. As soon as I saw Us the Duo set up with their instruments, I knew something was up.” The musicians began to sing “Girl in L.A.” while Persis’ proposal video lit up on a big screen. After the song, a few friends Persis had recruited led Crystal to the backyard. There, Persis was standing in front of towering letters spelling out “Marry Me Today.” Talk about a moment for the memory books.

With the amount of effort that went into crafting the proposal video, there was no question that the actual surprise wedding would be extraordinary. But, you might be thinking, “How can one plan a wedding without their partner finding out?” Persis recalls having a clear vision for what she wanted and that she genuinely “believed I could handle it all by myself. Reality hit me early on, as I quickly realized that I knew next to nothing about weddings. That’s when our incredible wedding planner entered the picture. I hired her even before meeting her in person. From the start, I entrusted her with full control.”

One obvious hurdle to the planning: Crystal’s attire. How would Persis select a dress that would both fit Crystal and be to her liking? “We frequently exchange clothes, so I was confident that any wed- ding dress I loved, she would as well,” explains Persis. She selected two options for Crystal to choose from and planned to wear whichever option her fiancée didn’t select.

The surprise also meant that Crystal didn’t have any marriage vows prepared ahead of time. One of the most unforgettable moments came when Crystal, standing before more than 100 wedding guests who’d been in on the surprise, admitted that she hadn’t written any vows—right as she was handed ones to read. “Her one and only vow, written by me, was that she would watch the entire Friends series before turning 40. That is all I truly wanted from her. Other than that, she was perfect,” recalls Persis.

To bring things full circle, Persis also asked Us the Duo to perform the first- dance song. They wrote a new tune just for the couple called “Flying the Distance.” The newlyweds say, “It was the perfect choice for our first dance, encapsulating the journey we’ve taken together and the love that has brought us so far.”

"Marry Me Today" Marquee Letter Sign
Partner Proposing to Girlfriend at The Hummingbird Temple in Hollywood Hills, California
“My favorite moment of the wedding was when I realized it was my own wedding, not a friend’s,” says Crystal.
Brides in Boho Wedding Dresses Holding Hands
Wedding Bouquet With Icelandic Poppy and Ranunculus
Clear Acrylic Wedding Welcome Sign Painted Pink
Palm Trees and Pool at The Hummingbird Temple in Hollywood Hills, California
Orange Acrylic Wedding Welcome Sign
Wedding Ceremony Among Palm Trees at The Hummingbird Temple in Hollywood Hills, California
Disco Ball and Garland Hanging Installation at The Hummingbird Temple in Hollywood Hills, California
Audio Guest Book Beside Acrylic Sign
Orange Lounge Furniture at The Hummingbird Temple in Hollywood Hills, California
The couple’s planner explains that Persis and Crystal’s relationship inspired the “bright, exciting, bold and colorful” signage. The vibrant flower arrangements included alliums, ranunculus, roses and sweet peas.
Wedding Guests Holding Signature Cocktails at California Wedding
Wedding Guests Drinking Bubble Tea at California Wedding
Colorful Place Setting With Purple Napkins and Yellow Menu
Guests enjoyed a sushi spread early on while Persisrnand Crystal changed into their dresses. Later, the menu included fries, miso cod, vegan lasagna and risotto. “To end the night on a sweet note, we couldn’t resist having a churro station, as it is a treat we both adore.”
Wafer-paper flowers and gold leaf decorated the three-tier white chocolate and raspberry cake.
Whimsical Wedding Reception Decor
Couple Dancing on Tiled Dance Floor Under Disco Balls