Kaitlyn Bristowe's journey to find love (and a fiancé) on The Bachelorette has finally come to an end! On last night's dramatic season finale, the bubbly Canadian chose sensitive, brooding Shawn Booth over confident charmer Nick Viall. At times, there was more focus on Shawn and Nick's dislike for each other as there was on Kaitlyn actually dating them during the season, so you can imagine our sigh of relief when the squabbling ended and the romance really started. Like most other episodes this season, there were surprises aplenty, so we compiled our most shocking moments from the finale and the After the Final Rose special.
Kaitlyn comes clean.
Even before Kaitlyn told Shawn that she slept with Nick mere days after telling Shawn he was "the one," there was some major beef between the suitors. Her anguish over the situation was a huge part of the season's drama. Given her preoccupation with it, we shouldn't have been that surprised to see her tell her family at the start of the episode that she'd had sex with Nick, and yet, that might've been the first time that's happened on either The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. Her sweet family reacted kindly, and her sister was thrilled to even hear that Nick came back to the competition! After a bit of questioning, Kaitlyn's parents came around, too, and gave him their blessing to propose.
Kaitlyn's sister flip flops.
Even though Kaitlyn's sister was firmly on Team Nick, she switched sides pretty quickly after meeting his competition. "I'm Team Shawn," she told Kaitlyn, who reacted with alarm. Nick's upper hand suddenly fell way, way down.
Shawn and Kaitlyn's awkward date.
Maybe it was misleading editing, but after a flirty, cute date in which Kaitlyn and Nick giggled and reveled in his gift to her (a note with photos), her one-on-one with Shawn was downright cringe-worthy. They struggled to make conversation — she asked him at one point if he was wearing sunscreen — and re-hashed an older conversation about Shawn's insecurities. His gift, a memory jar, slightly made up for it, but Nick's stock definitely rose in the meantime.
They both made it to the proposal altar.
In recent seasons, it's become customary (and courteous) of Bachelorettes to turn down their runner-up before the altar, so he can save face and avoid a spurned proposal. After all, that's what Andi did for Nick last season! Not so this time. Nick was the first out of the limo (a surprise in and of itself) and made it through an entire heartfelt speech, only for Kaitlyn to stop him as he was about to get down on one knee. The look on his face said it all. Not only that, but this was the first season in recent memory where the proposal has taken place at the Bachelor mansion. So long, Thailand, Bora Bora, and even Iowa.
Nick's entire experience on After the Final Rose.
Kaitlyn and Shawn marched onto the live after-show looking positively triumphant in their love, as they should! Their googly eyes and PDA could only last so long, though. Soon, Nick took to the stage, peppering Kaitlyn with questions about why she didn't send him home sooner. "Those words I said to you, I'll never have that back," he explained. "I don't understand what the heck you were thinking, thinking 'There's no good way, but this is the best way to break his heart.'" Not only that, but host Chris Harrison made Shawn and Nick make up! It was amazing, strange, and satisfying — everything we watch this show to see!
Shawn and Kaitlyn's continued cuteness.
It's awesome to see the newly engaged duo make the rounds, totally in love. Our favorite appearance so far? Their hilarious pledge to stay together on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Watch the whole thing, below.