Gretchen Rossi Talks Proposing to Slade Smiley, Flashes Engagement Ring

Celebrity News Jul. 30, 2013 AT 5:30PM

When Gretchen Rossi was ready to get engaged, she popped the question herself! The 34-year-old Real Housewives of Orange County star proposed to boyfriend Slade Smiley after four years of dating in front of Bravo cameras in April, and the over-the-top episode aired on Monday, July 29.

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"Anyone that knows me knows that I don't really do anything that's not outside the box," Rossi said when she stopped by Us Weekly's New York City offices on Monday, July 29. "That's just how I always have lived my life. I don't do things that are very traditional." (The Bravo star's elaborate proposal to Smiley included the debut of her new single, "The Time Is Now." Smiley told Us of the emotional song, "It made me cry big time.")

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"However, I think what really helped me make that decision . . . was last season we saw Slade thinking about proposing to me. I found out and I got cold feet, and I kind of put the kibosh on it," she explained. "I was concerned because there were some things that I wanted to have worked out before we went down that road."

After taking some time to grow as a couple, Rossi said she felt ready to make the commitment. "I knew that I wanted to be with this man for the rest of my life," she told Us.

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Gretchen Rossi shows off her engagement ring
Gretchen Rossi shows off her engagement ring
Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Though Rossi gave Smiley a ring when she popped the question, she still got a gorgeous diamond sparkler of her own. "This is my ring! I'm very excited about it. Slade and I actually went and designed it together at Newport Jeweler, which is our family jeweler," Rossi explained, showing it off. "What makes this ring really special is that it has a yellow diamond in the middle."

The diamond sparkler also features a "G" and "S" engraved on the sides. "I wear the 'S' facing me," Rossi shared, "because it's the closest thing to my heart."

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