Country Star Chris Lane and Bachelor Alum Lauren Bushnell Are Engaged: All the Proposal Details
The country singer, 34, proposed to Bushnell, 29, on Sunday in the backyard of her family’s Oregon home, PEOPLE confirms exclusively.
“I knew she wouldn’t want some elaborate crazy proposal,” Lane tells PEOPLE. “So, I decided to keep it pretty casual. I asked her parents for different places in Portland I could potentially take her to, but after a lot of thought I decided doing it at the family cookout would be the most laid-back setting and that she’d appreciate the simplicity of me proposing to her in her parents’ backyard.”
“I was initially worried that doing it on Father’s Day might not be the best move, but her dad, Dave, said that it could only add to his Father’s Day and that’s when I decided Sunday, June 16 was the day,” he continues. “Shout out to Lauren’s parents, Dave and Kris, for having the yard in tip-top shape!”
While Lane says his plans for the weekend have been in the works for “a while now,” there was one hiccup.
“As I was about to propose… I stepped in fresh dog poop with my bare feet,” Lane tells PEOPLE with a laugh. “Not at all how I planned it out in my head!”
That aside, Lane went ahead with the proposal by playing a song he wrote for Bushnell titled, “Big, Big Plans.” Lane then made the lyrics — “Right now we’re back in her hometown / and I’m down on one knee” — a reality as he popped the question.
“Even though I felt pretty confident I was going to get the ‘yes,’ I’ve never been that nervous,” he says. “When I got to the third verse of the song and knew it was time, I pretty much blacked out. The next thing I knew, she said ‘yes’ and the nerves just lifted! It’s an explosion of excitement, pure joy, and love.”
Bushnell says it all “hit” her when she heard the lyrics of the song for the first time and started processing what they meant.
“I lost it,” she tells PEOPLE. “It was the happiest moment of my life!”
“Chris is the most thoughtful person,” she adds. “He clearly put so much time and thought into not only the song, but also making sure everyone I love most was surrounding us in that moment. Holding each other, hearing the song for the first time and then seeing him get down on one knee is a moment I’ll never forget. Watching the video back was almost just as emotional as the proposal itself— I still get teary-eyed even thinking about it. Seeing all of those memories in one place and then reliving the best day of my life is pretty special!”
For the ring, Lane decided on a 3.5 carat, emerald-cut diamond after going shopping with Bushnell about five months ago “just for fun.”
“Watching her try on rings, I learned she loves emerald-cut diamonds,” Lane says. “I even heard her say that was the exact kind of ring she wanted. Thankfully she made it pretty easy to pick out!”
While Bushnell knew she wanted “something simple” with “a solitaire and dainty band,” she didn’t see the ring in person until Lane proposed.
Since Lane — whose latest hit “I Don’t Know About You” is in the Top 30 on the country charts — will be crisscrossing the country this summer with Brad Paisley on his 2019 world tour, he says he’s going to leave much of the wedding planning up to Bushnell.
“But, I’m sure she’ll delegate a few tasks to me — the biggest being the pastor, since that decision is important to me,” he adds. “I’ll be there for her with anything she needs help with, but my plan is to tour and stay out of the way!”
Bushnell, though, calls herself the “world’s worst planner.”
“I’m definitely going to need some help,” she says. “I have never really thought about what kind of wedding I want but I definitely want it to be laid-back and somewhat intimate. Oh, and late-night snacks. I’m all about having snacks after hitting the dance floor all night!”
After dating since early last fall, Lane and Bushnell made their relationship debut in November at the BMI Country Awards in Nashville, Tennessee.
Since then, their romance has moved quickly, and in March, Bushnell packed up her life in L.A. and moved into a new home with Lane in Nashville.
Chatting with PEOPLE at the 2019 Academy of Country Music Awards in April, Lane opened up about the kind of wedding he and Bushnell would want in the future.
“I think she wants a smaller wedding,” said Lane. “So once we get to that point, whatever she wants, I’m down for.”
And despite early fears that their living styles would clash once they moved in together, Lane said he was pleasantly surprised to find out his future wife was even cleaner than he is.
“I’m a really clean person, so I thought to myself ‘All right, is this a good idea? Because if she’s not, this could be a deal breaker,’ ” Lane said. “The verdict is: She’s actually even more clean than I am, and she’s a great cook. So we make a great team. She cooks, I clean.”
After Bushnell showed off their new home together on Instagram earlier this year, Lane told PEOPLE that ending their long-distance relationship strengthened their relationship.
“It’s been such an easy transition and she makes each day even better,” Lane said. “There is nothing like waking up next to the person I love, going about my day — working out and working on music — and then coming back home to her! I’m a lucky guy.”
Lane and Bushnell previously revealed they had been friends for several years before their relationship turned romantic late last year.
Said the singer previously: “We had no idea we were going to end up liking each other and it spawned into what it is now.”