The pair got engaged during the season 18 finale of The Bachelorette, which aired on Tuesday, December 22, after the 28-year-old Minnesota native bid an emotional farewell to runner-up Brandon Jones. Before accepting a proposal from Nayte, 27, Michelle reflected on the obstacles they faced throughout the show.
“This has not necessarily been a smooth ride, but I’m also not willing to face that fear of walking away from this without you,” she told her now-fiancé. “Because I have never felt a love like this before. And I love you with my entire heart and don’t ever want to think about waking up next to anyone besides you and doing life with anyone besides you. And at the end, I wanted to be standing in front of my soulmate and he is definitely standing right in front of me.”
Nayte, who received the first impression rose during the season premiere, gushed over how his feelings grew since he got out of the limo.
“Michelle, the very first night I met you, I knew right then and there that we had a connection that I wanted to hold on to. The second night that we were together, we talked about running away together,” he said before getting down on one knee. “I’m standing in front of you right now and the feelings are the same. I want to run away with you. I want to run away to forever with a woman that I’ve come to love this amazingly, crazy, wow kind of love.”
“Dear SoulNayte, Stepping into the role as The Bachelorette I was optimistic with what I would find. I hoped for a best friend, a life long partner, but I truly landed one of a kind,” the teacher wrote via Instagram. “I’ve asked for someone who sees me, challenges me, while accepting me for who I am. I’ve asked for someone who will never let go, and you’ve already shown me you will be that man. … SoulNayte thank you for answering, and although we have no idea what’s in life’s plan, I feel incredibly at peace knowing I’ll have you by my side.”
In his Instagram bio, the sales exec declared he was running “THE Michelle Young Fan Account,” uploading a series of engagement photos alongside a loving caption.
“Thank you for seeing past what people have always seemed to get stuck on when it comes to me,” he wrote on Tuesday. “My whole life people have taken one look at me and thought they had me all figured out. Maybe it’s the tattoos and piercings. Maybe it’s the way I carry myself. Maybe it’s as silly as my height or as ignorant as the color of my skin. Maybe it’s how awful I am at expressing myself or how gosh darn awkward I almost always am. … All in all, Michelle, you’re all I see, you’re all I’ve ever wanted, and you’re all I’ll ever want. Thank you for being you and thank you for being the one to unlock my hearts potential.”
He concluded: “I can’t get enough of living this dream come true with you. Love, Nayte — Your 6’8”, Costco Chris brown, walking red flag. ♥️🚩♥️🚩.”
Scroll down to see how Bachelor Nation celebrated the couple’s major milestone: