“Dancing With the Stars” couple Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert have shared their proposal video with fans — watch below, complete with several hilarious cameos by their orange tabby cat. For the actual engagement footage, fast-forward the video to the 12:20 mark.
But here is the whole rundown from Derek and Hayley:
Derek Planned a Whole Big Thing in Tulum… and Then Changed His Mind
In the video, Derek admitted that he was originally planning a big to-do during their April 2022 trip to Tulum, Mexico, but he changed his mind — and it’s a good thing he did because Hayley actually suspected he was going to do it in Tulum.
“I planned this whole engagement in Tulum, had this whole idea, but something didn’t feel right,” said Derek, to which Hayley jumped in and replied, “Which is funny because I actually had a feeling he was gonna do it in Tulum. … I said it to a few of my friends, and so it’s kind of a good thing he didn’t do it in Tulum otherwise I would’ve been kind of expecting it.”
“See? I just had a feeling,” said Derek.
But he decided to do it at their home because it is their most special place.
“Our home is where we’ve built our life together,” added Hayley. “It’s where we were quarantined together for almost two years. It’s where we started everything, so it’s a special place to us.”
They Went to Yosemite While Event Planners Got Their House Ready
The couple went on a helicopter ride in Yosemite while event planners set up Derek’s engagment plan. You can read here how Derek actually made Hayley think she was surprising him with the helicopter ride, but really it was a ploy to get her out of their house all day.
Yosemite is particularly special to them because they went hiking there earyl on in their relationship and Derek had the thought that they might end up together forever.
“What made it even more special was that we were able to go to Yosemite, which is one of our really special places. We went on a hike there and it was the first time we had ever been there ever and it was just so amazing. I remember looking at her and
I was like, ‘Man, wouldn’t it be really funny if I ended up with this girl?'” revealed Derek.
He added that all day, he would try to compartmentalize and “forget about the engagement,” but then he’d start “freaking out” about what he was going to say and how Hayley would react.
Hayley Said It Was’Stunning’
When they finally got home, Derek said he was “getting so nervous” and he was trying to covertly put the ring in his pocket.
“We pull up to the house, I’m getting so nervous now … I’m rustling in the back of my bag, trying to find the ring like really fast and be slick about it and put it in my back pocket and I couldn’t fit it in my back pocket, so I put it in my front pocket and it’s just bulging out of my pants,” said Derek.
But they walked in and their house was full of flowers and candles and Hayley said it was “stunning.”
“Honestly, it was almost so perfect that we literally could’ve just gotten married right there too. It could’ve been our engagement and our wedding, it was so stunning,” said Hayley, adding, “Honestly, all I remember is crying and hugging and crying and hugging and just being in the moment with one another in that very moment. It was beautiful, but I don’t remember anything either of us said.”
Derek added, “We just looked at each other. I remember there being a moment where I was like, ‘Do I do the knee thing? Is that still a thing? Do people still get on their knee for proposals?’ … So I went down on my knee, of course me being me, I’m in a full lunge.”
“A full dance presentation lunge,” added Haley with a laugh.
But then he said that actually saying the words “will you marry me” felt almost superfluous at that point.
“Asking her ‘will you marry me’ felt almost just like words because we had already just shared so much time together looking at each other and crying and being emotional and loving each other,” said Derek and Hayley added, “Also just fully understanding what the moment was already. You already know [what’s going on], so it’s kind of already unspoken.”
But they both said it was a “huge success” and they can’t wait to share their wedding journey with their fans. There is no word yet about a wedding date, but they have said they don’t plan on having a long engagement.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season in fall 2022 on Disney Plus.