Jennifer Aniston is finally getting her happily ever after.
Nearly seven years after her divorce from Brad Pitt was finalized, the Friends star, 43, is set to tie the knot with Justin Theroux, 41, her love of 18 months.
“Justin Theroux had an amazing birthday Friday, receiving an extraordinary gift when his girlfriend, Jennifer Aniston, accepted his proposal of marriage,” the screenwriter/actor’s rep told Us Weekly August 13. Aniston’s rep also confirmed the news.
Here, Us offers a timeline of events that lead to the couple’s engagement:
2007: Aniston met her future love on the set of Tropic Thunder; Theroux co-wrote the film with Aniston’s longtime pal and Along Came Polly costar Ben Stiller, 46. “I thought he was very sweet and he was always very nice,” Aniston later told Pop Sugar. “But I remember thinking he was very dark. At first you think he could be like a serial killer, but he is actually the nicest person in the world.”
2010: The actress and Theroux reconnected during while shooting Wanderlust, though Aniston has admitted she “didn’t recognize him at the camera test.” (Theroux’s character has a bushy beard and long hair in the film; he’s since shaved and cut his hair.) “That’s what’s so great about him,” Aniston raved of Theroux. “He can do different looks and he just disappears.” At the time, Theroux was in a longterm relationship with New York City-based stylist Heidi Bivens.
May 19, 2011: Aniston’s rep denied she and Theroux were an item after they were photographed dining together at West Hollywood’s Sunset Towers Tower Bar. “What X17 neglected to mention was that there were three other people at the dinner,” Aniston’s rep told Us at the time. “It was a friends dinner.”
May 25, 2011: The evidence was undeniable. Despite Aniston’s rep’s denial that she was romancing Theroux, a source confirmed to Us that Jen was “totally into him. They have been hanging out for months.” Aniston, who hadn’t dated anyone seriously since John Mayer in 2009, wanted “to be with him all the time,” the source added. “She’s diving in headfirst.”
June 6, 2011: The couple took their romance public at an MTV Movie Awards afterparty in L.A. Chatting with mutual pal Jason Sudeikis, 36, and director Brett Ratner, 43, an eyewitness spotted Aniston adjusting Theroux’s tie. The Mulholland Dr. actor was also seen giving his girlfriend a sweet kiss and sweetly rubbing her cheek. “Lots of sexual tension,” one witness said. “She [has] never seemed happier.”
June 16, 2011: Us broke the news that Theroux had moved into Aniston’s pad. “He’s living at her place in L.A.!” an insider revealed. “And she’s introducing him as her boyfriend.” Theroux had previously lived with Bivens in New York City for six years; her rep confirmed the suddenly single costume designer moved out the previous weekend.
July 7, 2011: Theroux cleaned up his look when Aniston left her handprints in cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Shaving his trademark beard and slicking his hair back, Theroux looked proud as Aniston’s pals Jason Bateman, 43, and Chelsea Handler, 37, introduced her at the podium.
July 21, 2011: Theroux began introducing Aniston to his family. After the actress hit the red carpet premiere of Horrible Bosses, she and Theroux headed to the members-only club Shoreditch House in London. It was there that Theroux introduced his documentarian cousin, Louis, to his girlfriend. “Louis obviously approved [of Jennifer],” an insider told Us. “It looked like they were having a great time, and they all seemed instantly at ease with each other. Justin looked proud of Jen and seemed quite manly and protective.”
August 6, 2011: Following Aniston’s Horrible Bosses press tour, she and Theroux joined Stiller and his wife, Christine Taylor, 41, in Hawaii. During one shopping trip, an eyewitness aid “they seemed giddy in love and genuinely happy together.” During their two-week stay in paradise, the two made plans for the future. “They have talked at length about getting married and starting a family,” a pal told Us. “Jen is anxious for the next phase of her life and feels like this is the time.”
November 24, 2011: Joined by 18 of Chelsea Handler‘s staff members, Aniston and Theroux hit up the E! comedienne’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving. “Jennifer Aniston is one of the most down to earth, low-key people I know,” Handler, 37, explained in an interview with Redbook.
December 5, 2011: The Friends actress’ father, Days of Our Lives actor John Aniston, gave Theroux his seal of approval. “He’s a charming young man,” John told Us. “I think they make a wonderful couple.”
December 23, 2011: Aniston and Theroux reached another relationship milestone when they mailed out their first joint holiday card. The red Christmas greeting read: “We wish you and your family a holiday season full of happiness and joy. A donation has been made in your name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Best Friends Animal Society.” Aniston — who has been a longtime supporter of both non-profit organizations — signed the card, “With warmth and love, Jen and Justin.”
January 2012: The couple rented a luxe 13,386-square-foot-cabin in in Telluride, Colorado over the holidays. “Jen and Justin spent every night in,” a source revealed. Though they ventured out every day, a source pointed out that Aniston and Theroux “kept a low profile.” Aniston’s pal Handler, who spent six days with the couple in the picturesque ski town, told Us that Aniston “is a really good skier.”
February 2012: The oh-so-in-love pair rescued a boxer-pitbull mix named Sophie, Theroux told New York magazine. “She’s the most adorable little cookie you’ve ever seen,” Theroux raved. “She looks like she just smoked an exploding cigar.” Aniston later told Jay Leno, 62, she felt compelled to adopt a second puppy after an “extreme animal activist” pal called her up and said 10 puppies were “left in a box in front of a shelter.” According to the actress, “I was almost walking out with three puppies. It’s so hard. That’s why we named her Sophie, because it was Sophie’s Choice. I was crying — it was so hard.”
February 22, 2012: In an emotional ceremony, Aniston received her star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame as friends, family and fans looked on. To celebrate the moment, she gave Theroux a kiss on the lips — her first major public display of affection since they began dating. “I cannot explain to you how surreal this moment is!” Aniston gushed at the podium. “This is crazy!”
April 23, 2012: After The National Enquirer and TMZ erroneously reported that Aniston and Theroux had been scouting locations in Crete for a July 2012 wedding, the actress’ rep told Us the stories were a “total fabrication” and they had not immediate plans to marry. “How is it that one of the most photographed people in the world supposedly goes to Greece to check out a hotel she never heard of and is not spotted or photographed?” her rep added.
June 2012: The couple touched down in Paris, France for a romantic couples getaway. “He makes her feel safe and secure when she’s with him,” a source told Us of the pair, who were spotted dining a deux at one of Paris’ most expensive restaurants, Stressa. “A lot of her insecurities melt away.”
June 19, 2012: After their romantic tour of the City of Lights, Aniston and Theroux bared their sexy beach bodies aboard a rented luxury yacht in Capri. An island source told Us the couple “sunbathed but didn’t swim” aboard the Liberty of Lymington, which rents for $17,555 a week. The getaway was dreamed up by Aniston, per a Theroux insider, “to take Justin to some of her favorite places.”
August 8, 2012: Star magazine erroneously claimed the couple had split due to Theroux’s unwillingness to commit. “It’s once again just another fabrication to sell magazines and has no relationship to reality,” Aniston’s rep told Wonderwall.
August 10, 2012: Theroux popped the question on his 41st birthday. This will be the first marriage for the Your Highness star and the second for Aniston, who married Pitt, 48, in July 2000; they separated in January 2005 and finalized their divorce in October of that year. (Pitt proposed to longtime love Angelina Jolie, 37, earlier this year.)
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