Jonathan Bennett, 39, who played Aaron Samuels in the classic 2004 teen comedy “Mean Girls,” and Jaymes Vaughan, a television host, shared with People that Vaughan recently got down on one knee and proposed.
“When I saw Jaymes take a knee I was so excited I just started hysterically screaming because I didn’t know how to express myself properly,” Bennett told People. “There was a moment when you feel like ‘Oh, this is forever, I understand it.’ I screamed ‘Yes’ immediately. Actually it was, ‘Yes! Of course!'”
Vaughan wrote a song for the occasion and performed it for Bennett before his proposal.
“I looked over and saw Jaymes holding a sign that said ‘We never did find our song, so I wrote it for you.’ That’s when I knew was getting proposed to because it was the same type of sign he made when he told me he loved me for the first time,” Bennett told People. “And then I began to ugly-cry the ugliest cry anyone has ever cried.”
Vaughan wrote the song and set up the special moment while Bennett was away in Canada for six weeks filming “The Christmas House,” a groundbreaking movie on The Hallmark Channel that is the first holiday film featuring a gay lead character.
“I just wanted him to feel like the most special person in those three minutes of first hearing the song,” Vaughan told People.
Their engagement came as the release of “The Christmas House” last week had Bennett celebrating a history-making part of television.
“I’m proud of everyone at Hallmark Channel for making the holiday table bigger and more welcoming and warmer this year,“ Bennett told NBC News. “It’s an honor to be part of the network’s progress.”
The movie follows Brandon Mitchell (Bennett) and his husband, Jake (Brad Harder), who take a trip home for the holidays while anxiously waiting for a call about the adoption of their first child.
The film may even have inspired Bennett and Vaughan to adopt a child of their own one day.
“Being on set and experiencing this couple navigating the adoption process, there are ups and downs, you start to feel the warmth and unconditional love of family, and it starts to inspire you to consider sharing that experience with your partner in real life, too,” Bennett told NBC News.
Bennett also shared his joy about the movie’s release on Instagram with a photo of him alongside Vaughan.
“Feeling on top of the world after receiving all the love yesterday,” Bennett wrote. “Today was a day for nature, family, and decompressing. Thank you for everyone’s kind words. And thank you for the unkind words about who I am, and the character I played. It only shows me that I need make sure we tell more stories like this, and that the visibility matters even more than I thought. I promise you I will do that.”
He also expressed his gratitude on Instagram on Thanksgiving for the outpouring of support following the movie’s release.
“I’m thankful for all the blessings I’ve had in my life, especially getting to make history and tell the story of The Christmas House,” he wrote. “I’m thankful to everyone who encourages me daily to be my best self. Your encouraging comments make me strive to be the best I can be and spread as much joy as I can in the world. So thank you for always supporting me and letting me be a part of your life and in turn being a part of mine.”
Bennett now looks forward to planning the wedding with Vaughan and embarking on their next step in life together.
“I love how I can be unapologetically myself, and I love that he loves me unconditionally for it,” Bennett told People.
This story was first published in TODAY.com.
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