‘Bachelor’ Finale Recap: Did Nick Viall Choose Vanessa Grimaldi or Raven Gates?

Romance in Rovaniemi! As possibly the most tear-filled season of The Bachelor ever came to an end, Nick Viall took Raven and Vanessa to Santa Claus’ official hometown in Finland to meet the reality star’s family and enjoy their final dates on the Monday, March 13, season 21 finale. (Spoilers ahead!) Watch all the best moments of the episode in the video above.

Nick’s Family Meets His Girlfriends

Nick had been at this point before — days before a proposal — and it hadn’t gone well for him. His family was not about to let him forget it. Over the course of two days, Nick’s family met Raven (again) and Vanessa, and both days the sentiment was along the lines of, “Let’s hope these two don’t reject Nick like Andi and Kaitlyn did.”

Since Raven had already met Nick’s family, she had already formed a bond with his lovable little sister, Bella. Before Bella even met Vanessa, she was already pledging her allegiance to Raven. That makes Us think that day went pretty well, not to mention that Nick’s dad also noted Raven’s “maturity” and Nick told his mom he “more than just really like[s]” Raven.

Vanessa’s meeting was a bit more emotional than Raven’s, with the family voicing their worry that she wouldn’t be ready for an engagement due to her many unanswered questions. Nick’s dad, Chris, was concerned that Vanessa was too close to Nick’s “type,” and that would result in his usual heartache, but after Chris’ tearful one-on-one with her, he was convinced that Vanessa loved his son.

At the end of the two days, the family vote was a tossup.

Vanessa’s Last Date

For their final date, potentially ever, Nick and Vanessa rode horses through the snow-covered woods, which Nick described as “literally wow.” They rode all the way to Santa’s cabin, where the real Saint Nick welcomed them into his home. Santa asked what they wished for — both said love — and then gifted them a wooden heart with their picture carved into it.

Even with Santa’s well wishes, Vanessa didn’t feel quite right. That night, she dug for any bit of reassurance she could get, but Nick wasn’t giving it up. Hyperaware that Raven was still in the game, Nick didn’t want to dole out false confidence. (Take note, Ben Higgins.)

Vanessa did not like Nick’s non-answer and ended their last evening together in tears.

Nick felt bad, but not bad enough. He told the camera that he wished he could tell Vanessa what she wanted to hear, but that he was also falling in love with Raven.

Mitch Haaseth/ABC (3)

Raven’s Last Date

For their final date, also potentially ever, Nick and Raven took their relationship full circle and went ice skating since skating is their thing. The date was great and both were laughing and smiling the entire time, but it didn’t “officially” become the best day of Raven’s life until Nick left for a moment and returned with an armload of husky puppies.

Going a completely different route from Vanessa, Raven went into the evening wanting to reassure Nick about her hesitation-free feelings. Nick told her he has never questioned how she felt or how sincere her feelings were, which made Raven feel like Nick totally “got” her.

The Breakup

Heading into the breakup “feels like the worst feeling I’ve ever felt before,” Nick articulated. However, it seemed like Raven had no sense of what she was about to walk into, her typical cheery spirit dominating as she stepped out of her car. “I just have all the faith in the world that it’s going to end the way that I want it to end,” she said in a voiceover.

Nick told Raven twice that she looked beautiful, and then Raven jumped in, asking Nick to hold her hands to calm her nerves. She recited the highlights of their romance, then reminded Nick that their ”easy love” was what her dad had always wanted for her. Despite Nick’s stoic facial expression, she professed, “I want you to know that I’m ready and I couldn’t be more sure, and that I love you.”

After a few moments of both of them looking increasingly uncomfortable, Nick trudged through a response, eventually landing on, “My heart’s somewhere else.” Voice breaking and trying not to cry, Nick opened up: “I feel like I’ve been so selfish trying to figure out where my heart is at, and you’ve been so selfless allowing me to do that. I’m sorry.”

Slightly smiling, though definitely trying not to cry, Raven replied, “I’ll never regret standing here and telling you how I feel.”

For their last words before going in for a goodbye hug, Nick told Raven, “I’m going to miss you.” Raven nodded and said, “I know.”

The Proposal

Nick had a bit of a breakup hangover as he waited for Vanessa to arrive, sounding glum as he recalled his past failed proposals. Vanessa seemed down as well, explaining in a voiceover, “I just want to make sure that Nick is ready to love me, all of me, and not just put a ring on my finger to put a ring on my finger.”

All the uncertainty disappeared when Vanessa walked into the room where Nick was waiting to propose. He smiled, told her she looked “great” and grabbed her into a hug.

Nick spoke first this time, telling Vanessa that he started falling in love with her at the second rose ceremony, and he’s fallen “more and more” ever since. “So much about me being here has to do with the past, but when I look at you, all I see is my future,” he ended, while Vanessa beamed and he fought tears of joy.

Vanessa then relived her emotions throughout the past few months, telling Nick she never thought he’d notice her, but “instead, you’ve noticed every part of me.” She recognized that it won’t always be easy, adding, “but I promise to remind you every day how happy you make me, and knowing how much you love to talk, I promise I’m ready to do a lot of listening.”

Then Nick got down on one knee and asked Vanessa, “Will you marry me?” At that, a crying Vanessa responded, “Yes.”

The Bachelorette returns on ABC Monday, May 22, at 9 p.m. ET.

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!