A true romantic. Derek Hough wanted to make his proposal to fiancée Hayley Erbert as special as possible — so he recreated their home to make the perfect intimate setting.
“Transformed and candles. Those were his two words with everything,” event planner Troy Williams, who helped the Dancing With the Stars judge, 37, plan the proposal, exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, June 2. “They’ve swam with whales, they’ve jumped off boats — that’s their life. And as we kept talking about it, he realized, you know, ‘Our home is the most special place for us.’”
Williams, who runs Simply Troy Lifestyle + Events, told Us that the “most important thing for [Hough] was that it be a special moment” for Erbert, 27, and that they create the most romantic situation possible.
“That’s all he wanted,” the lifestyle guru explained on Wednesday. “He wanted it to be transformed in the intimacy of their home so they can start the next biggest adventure of their lives.”
Secretly pulling off such an intimate proposal for such an “adventurous couple” proved to be no easy feat. However, when the Kansas native wanted to take a trip to Yosemite to celebrate Hough’s recent birthday, an opportunity arose for Williams to turn their living room into the perfect space, with over “250 candles and 1,600 roses.”
“They’ve been together so long and to pull off a surprise like this in someone’s home is a very hard undertaking,” Williams revealed. “But, with one of their best friends and myself, we just kept disabling cameras at the time. It was like Mission: Impossible.”
Luckily, Erbert was “stunned” and had “no clue” Hough planned to pop the question. When the Emmy winner got down on one knee with a “stunning, oval-shaped” ring, the jewelry “fit perfectly” on the So You Think You Can Dance alum’s finger.
“It was beautiful. It was like tears of joy, like just happy excitement and love just between them it just, it made me so thrilled,” Williams said, adding that Hough “knows how to put a music list together, being the brilliant choreographer that he is, so, needless to say, I was crying in the dark.”
Chau Lui of Paris Jewellers, who helped the Hough choose the perfect stone for his beau, exclusively told Us that “Derek’s love for Hayley just radiated throughout the entire process.” The jeweler added, “It was so truly important for Derek that Hayley had a diamond that was so special, rare and brilliant, just like his love for Hayley.”
The former World of Dance judge originally sparked engagement rumors on Wednesday, June 1, after he posted a sweet video collage from the couple’s vacation in Monaco, France.
“Wow, incredible to experience @f1 Monaco Grand Prix for the first time. Even better getting to experience it with my love @hayley.erbert ❤️,” the Utah native captioned the montage.
In the clips, the pair pack on the PDA as they enjoy a day in the sun, with the gymnast keeping her left hand covered. When speaking to Us on Wednesday, Williams confirmed that the proposal had taken place before the romantic getaway, but the duo “kept it to themselves” while they were traveling.
Hough first met Erbert in 2014 when she joined the cast of his and sister Julianne Hough’s Move Live Tour. Things turned romantic for the pair a year later.
The choreographer previously hinted at a proposal in 2019, exclusively telling Us that “you never know” what the next decade may bring.
The Hairspray! star once again brought up conversations of marriage in September 2021, during his Derek Hough: No Limit show, playfully fake proposing to the DWTS pro in front of an audience.
During part of the performance, the couple joked about not having kids together yet, to which Erbert replied, “You gotta put a ring on it first!”
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Reporting by Diana Cooper
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