Caelynn Miller-Keyes ‘Cried for an Hour’ and ‘Could’ve Died’ Ahead of Dean Unglert’s Proposal
Dean Unglert’s proposal to Caelynn Miller-Keyes may have looked picture-perfect on Instagram, but the hours leading up to it were anything but. The Bachelor in Paradise alum popped the question in Hawaii last month after an arduous 11-mile hike, and the journey to the stunning location was not easy.
“Caelynn was very angry at me for taking her there. She asked if we could turn around 55 times… She was crying. She was angry. She was cursing at me,” Unglert recalled on his Help! I Suck With Dating podcast. “… It was a trying experience… It’s pretty funny to make the person that you’re going to ask to marry you cry on the day that you’re going to propose to them.”
“Caelynn cried for, like, an hour that day… It was scary. There were scary points,” he continued. “I could see someone getting scared in those moments. She could’ve died. People die on this hike, like, semi-regularly.”
During the hike, Unglert said he’s “never seen her so angry in my entire life.” He said he believed that was largely because she was unaware of his proposal plans.
“When she was losing it during the difficult part of the hike, in my head, I was like, ‘I’m going to ask you to marry me in, like, four hours, so you need to turn this attitude around,’ ” he joked.
Still, Unglert pushed through with his plan. After making it to their campsite, letting Miller-Keyes take a nap, and cooking her some food, he suggested they walk to a cute area to take some photos. He told Miller-Keyes that he wanted to do a TikTok trend where couples face back-to-back and jump around to see each other on the count of three, just when the self-timer on the camera goes off.
“We jumped around and I was on one knee and said, ‘Will you marry me?’ It was pretty cute, I guess,” he said. “I never thought this day would come. I never thought I’d propose to Miss North Carolina on a beach in Hawaii, but here we are.”
While Miller-Keyes, who held the Miss North Carolina USA title in 2018, did not immediately say yes to Unglert’s question, she eventually accepted his proposal.
“There was never a moment where I thought she would say no, although, when I got down on one knee and proposed, she took a long time to say yes. She took a real long time to say yes,” Unglert said. “… I was sitting there on one knee looking up at her. She was jumping around a little bit. I was like, ‘Are these happy jumps? Are these sad jumps? What’s going on?’ She was taking off her ring, so I could put the ring on her finger.”
Afterwards, the couple popped some champagne and reveled in their love, although they didn’t take photos of the ring itself, as it’s a placeholder ringer since Unglert lost the 4.5-carat stone he first purchased.
“I got a cute little half-carat diamond,” he said. “… She was like, ‘Let’s take pictures of it.’ We were on the beach at sunset. I was like, ‘I don’t want to take pictures of this ring, because I’m embarrassed by how small it is.'”
The day of the proposal itself had a special meaning too, as it was the anniversary of Unglert’s mom’s death. Unglert believes that his mom was there with him that day.
“It’s been 16 years. Every time I see a feather, I’m reminded that my mom is with me in some way,” he said. “… I proposed to Caelynn and I was like, ‘There’s this cool cave over here. I want us to go explore that for a little bit and poke around it for a little bit.’ I went into the cave to set up a picture real quick and she’s climbing up this little sand dune and this perfect full fluffy just rolls right on by Caelynn’s feet.”
“There was never a feather on this beach or on the hike until this moment. The first feather we saw was 10 minutes after I proposed. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. That’s awesome. That’s my mom saying that she is with us and that she approves of what we’re doing,'” Unglert added. “… I kept the feather… My mom approves. She is stoked, I’m stoked, and Caelynn’s stoked.”
Now, Unglert is happy to be at this place in his relationship with Miller-Keyes.
“We’re engaged. It doesn’t feel any different, though, to be honest with you. I’ve already worn the wedding ring for three years. We’ve already owned a house together for two years,” he said. “But don’t get me wrong, it is beautiful. I am very happy to be engaged. I know there’s always been a lot of questions about whether we just secretly eloped and got married to each other. That kind of why, while I do feel different and happy and excited.”
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