updated 9 Jan 2012, 08:08
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Tue, Jan 03, 2012
The New Paper
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Envy of many women
by Shaun Soh

The video captured the sweetest start to their lives together. And it had the online world tearing and cheering them on.

At a time of fears over what seems like a New Year fraught with gloom, the online video of Mr Timothy Tiah's proposal to Miss Audrey Ooi provided welcome relief and a whiff of optimism.

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest called it the sweetest finale to 2011. Even US singer Christina Perri, whose song "A Thousand Years" was used in the video, tweeted: "awww!! that was the sweetest video ever!!! im so honored to be singing thru it!! happy forever to you guys! xo".

The video has had four million views since it first appeared online on Dec 11. There are several versions of the video on YouTube, including one with Portuguese subtitles.

The Malaysian couple, speaking to The New Paper on Sunday from Kuala Lumpur, say they were blown away by the reactions.

Says Mr Tiah: "It's been crazy these past few days with tweets from people we don't know congratulating us from all over the world, from South America to Europe.

"When even Christina Perri messaged us, we were like oh s***. Was she upset about us using her song?"

In his blog entry, Mr Tiah wrote: "Then before we knew it, we saw Ryan Seacrest share it on his Facebook, Twitter and blog. That's when we were like… OMGOMGOMG!!!"

And Perri's tweet was "a totally surreal moment for us", he adds.

"Never have we ever been tweeted by an artiste or actor a celebrity."

The couple admit they're so baffled by the attention that they have watched the video again and again to figure out the magic.

Miss Ooi says: "I think it's because there are more elaborate and better proposal videos online. Ours is very simple."

The advertising executive adds that employees from the various KL hotels they have visited to decide on their wedding venue recognise them on sight.

"It makes it more special that so many people are happy for us," she says.

The entrepreneur proposed to his girlfriend of three years at an Italian restaurant in Kuala Lumpur on Nov30.

Three hidden cameras were placed to capture Ms Ooi's reactions. She was dining with three friends.

"I didn't know there were cameramen around," says Ms Ooi.

"When they turned around and started filming me, I was thinking 'who's this kaypoh, filming other people's private lives'." The five-minute video was shot by Crazy Monkey Studio, a wedding video company.

Mr Tiah stood outside the restaurant looking through the window.The "candid camera" set-up captured Mr Tiah's nervousness as he flashed cue cards leading to his proposal.

At one point, he fumbled with the signs but kept smiling.

After she teared and accepted his proposal, he entered the restaurant and got on one knee with a ring and a bouquet. Says Ms Ooi: "He surprises me once in a while but I didn't think he was going to propose."

Mr Tiah had made known to her that he's afraid of marriage.

He says: "She told me(later) that she wasn't convinced and did not think it was a proposal. She was instead afraid that I was asking for a break-up."

He was so nervous he couldn't sleep the night before.

"I've done public speaking and I knew that she was going to say yes, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing that I wanted to get right."

Mr Tiah thinks one reason the video went viral is that he used signs with catchy phrases and images from the Internet to pop the question.

Ms Ooi says: "Nobody has done that before. Now all these catchphrases have a totally different meaning."

Mr Tiah told Crazy Monkey Studio of his plan only the day before.

He declines to reveal how much he spent on the video but says it is "worth it".

He reveals that after the wedding proposal, he was asked to "act" out some additional scenes.

"It was supposed to be a video only for Audrey and me, done in one take," he says.

If you look closely at the video, there was a stand-by cue card - "Asked Audrey to marry me. She said no."

Mr Tiah says: "I was discussing with friends about the proposal and they gave me lavish ideas like doing it on a helicopter.

"Some told me to book an entire swimming pool with candles to propose, but after I found out that it would be too expensive." He decided on a proposal with one catchphrase and was inspired by a scene from the movie Love Actually to use signs.

Before the video was released, they were afraid that it would be slammed online.

One thing Ms Ooi reveals, which bothered her, was using Perri's hit song for the video.

"I didn't want people to associate us with the lovers in Twilight (which featured the song), because I think it's a bit cheesy," she says, laughing.

Crazy Monkey Studio co-founder S K Thew, 29, says he's getting more inquiries and clients since the video was posted.

"We have confirmed deals from Malaysia and even from Singapore," he adds.

The couple say friends who have been planning to propose now feel the heat to do something similar for their girlfriends.

Says Mr Tiah: "They have been telling me that I spoil the market and their girlfriends expect the same kind of proposal."

The couple declined to reveal when their wedding will be and whether they will come up with another video idea.

But Ms Ooi lets on that "it'll just be a normal wedding, with nothing really exciting".

Raise the heat, and the bar



The 15-minute video starts with Mr Justin Davis getting splashed with water by a woman at a dinner in front of girlfriend Nikki Marquez.

Worried that her lover might be seeing another woman, a confused Ms Marquez starts sobbing. After Mr Davis is led away from the scene, a massive display of dancers leads her back to her boyfriend who then proposes.

After she agrees, Mr Davis suggests that they get married right there. Her best friends appear. Within minutes, after they slip a wedding dress on her, bride and groom walk to a makeshift altar where they are married.


It's just another normal train ride in the UK for Lucy Rogers - until a commuter starts singing Bill Wither's Lovely Day out of the blue.

Soon after, people in the train start singing together. She thinks it is another flash mob happening.

It was not until everyone stops singing and her boyfriend appears in the train that she realises the song was for her.

After she says yes to her boyfriend, who proposes on one knee, the entire train bursts with one final chorus from the song.


Already an aspiring singer? With over 4.5 million views on YouTube, this proposal is one that music fans would love.

A man proposes to his girlfriend in Disneyland, on the street where they first met.

It starts with him whipping out a megaphone and telling the crowd gathered that he has something important to say to his girlfriend, Erika.

In true Disneyland fashion, a musical-esque song and dance proposal follows.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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