The 25-year-old reality star popped the question on March 21 on the rooftop of the Embassy Suites hotel in Knoxville, Tennessee. The UPtv personality and Lydia, 24, were surrounded by two floral towers and romantic candles as Trace got down on one knee.
“It’s hard to describe the emotions you feel when you are fixing to ask the girl of your dreams to marry you,” the son of Kelly and Gil Bates noted in an exclusive statement to Us. “I just know that Lydia is my best friend, and she’s the most positive thing in my life. It’s hard to imagine a day going by without seeing her or talking to her. I knew I wanted her to be by my side forever, but planning the where and the how and all of the details of the engagement was a task!”
Trace continued: “I wanted the timing and setting to all be a huge surprise, so I was grateful for the help of my sister Josie [Bates] and her friend Chloe. It’s hard to believe we are finally engaged and are making wedding plans!”
Josie, 22, and their friend arranged the white bouquets that decorated the rooftop on the happy couple’s big day. Lydia, for her part, told Us that she was “totally shocked” by the proposal.
“I thought Trace was in Nashville helping his brother Lawson renovate his newly purchased home,” the future bride recalled. “He even texted me pictures of himself working in the house, which I later found out had been taken earlier just for this occasion. He had our friend Chloe ‘hire’ me to do a photo shoot on the roof, so I actually thought I was going to work.”
The doors to the rooftop had been covered with a black curtain, but Lydia said she “didn’t even notice” that attempt at concealing the surprise. “When I opened the door, Trace was standing in his suit in front of this gorgeously decorated backdrop and I think I just stood there stunned for a few minutes,” she gushed. “Our song was playing over the hotel speakers, and Trace dropped to one knee to propose.”
Lydia told Us, “I don’t think I’ve ever admired him more or been more speechless! He went through so many hoops and planned so hard to make this day perfect for me, and I feel so blessed to be preparing to marry someone that loves me so much. I’m overjoyed!”
Weeks before marking their relationship milestone, Lydia shared a series of sweet snaps with her beau, gushing via Instagram on March 7, “I love you more everyday♥️.” The official Bates family account replied, “Y’all are so cute!😍.”
Trace previously dated Chaney Kahle, confirming the beginning of their courtship in September 2019. However, the twosome called it quits by the following February.
Scroll down for an exclusive look at Trace and Lydia’s engagement: