When reality shows began to take over the small screen in the 2000s, everyday people put their lives in front of cameras, opening up for all of America to see. Whether they were on the search for lasting love (will you accept this rose?), fighting it out for a grand prize, or simply documenting their daily lives, the drama and competition kept viewers invested in the participants who appeared on their TVs each week. Contestants could be sequestered on a foreign island or a mansion, or just chronicling their day-to-day antics, but romance occasionally managed to sneak its way in—even when participants were being following by camera crews 24/7.
While navigating a relationship on national television can be strenuous, some showmances over the years have survived blowout fights and tears to take the life-long connection they formed on screen into the real world, regardless of if finding love was the ultimate endgame of being on TV in the first place. From The Bachelor to Jersey Shore, these couples made the ultimate commitment in front of millions of viewers, getting engaged on TV.
See the best nine proposals to come out of reality shows.
Mike "Boogie" Malin and Krista Stegall (Big Brother)
Malin fell for Stegall in the Big Brother 2 house and proposed to her during the September 2000 finale. But by November of that year, Stegall told Entertainment Weekly she’d called off the engagement. “Mike’s a great guy, but it’s not the same as it was in the house,” she said. To advance his game while competing on Big Brother: All-Stars in 2006, Malin pulled the same move and proposed to Erika Landin. Regardless of how true his feelings were, the alliance worked; Malin ended up winning that season with Landin as his runner-up.
Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter (The Bachelorette)
After landing as the runner-up in the first season of The Bachelor, Rehn found her soul mate during her stint as the first-ever Bachelorette in 2002. “Today is a day I have dreamt about my entire life, since I was a little girl, I had visions of a man I could see a future with, but someone whose face was always blurred until now,” Rehn said before Sutter got down on one knee in the season finale. The pair wed in December 2003 in the franchise’s first televised nuptials, Trista & Ryan’s Wedding. They’ve since appeared together on Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars and Who Wants to be a Millionaire and are raising their two children in Colorado.
Amber Brkich and “Boston” Rob Mariano (Survivor)
Brkich and Mariano met on Survivor: All-Stars in 2003 and got engaged the next year. “I love you with all my heart, will you marry me?” Mariano said during the All-Stars reunion show. The couple married in 2005 at the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas, in a CBS special called Rob and Amber Get Married. They’ve gone on to compete on two seasons of The Amazing Race and welcomed their fourth child in 2014.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (Keeping Up With the Kardashians)
The queen of reality TV received a proposal fit for Calabasas royalty when the rapper closed down San Francisco's AT&T Park to pop the question in October 2013 after a year and a half of dating. (The proposal aired on KUWTK in February 2014.) The words “PLEEESE MARRY MEEE!!!” flashed on the Jumbotron as a 50-piece orchestra played and Kardashian accepted a 15-carat Lorraine Schwartz diamond ring. Kardashian and West wed in May 2014 in an over-the-top European affair that included a rehearsal dinner at Versailles, an Italian ceremony at a historic fort, and a reception featuring performances by Andrea Bocelli, John Legend, and Lana Del Rey. The high-profile couple are expecting their fourth child together later this year.
Sasha Farber and Emma Slater (Dancing With the Stars)
The Australian dance pro asked his fellow season 23 competitor to marry him on the ballroom floor during a live taping of DWTS in October 2016. “I wanted to do this for such a long time,” Farber said on the Cirque-du-Soleil-themed night. Slater sealed the deal with a kiss and streamers fell from the ceiling in celebration. The dancing duo married in Los Angeles one and a half years later with fellow DWTS troupe members Lindsay Arnold, Witney Carson, Brittany Cherry, Hayley Erbert, and Jenna Johnson as Slater’s bridesmaids. Other DWTS participants Julianne Hough, Cheryl Burke, Drew Scott, and Nick and Vanessa Lachey also attended the March 2018 “I dos.”
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and Lauren Pesce (Jersey Shore)
While Sorrentino announced his engagement to his college sweetheart on social media in April 2018, the MTV cameras captured the big moment for an episode of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation that aired in June. His roommates all pitched in, with DJ Pauly D serving as the DJ, Vinny Guadagnino handling the projector and slideshow, and Jenni “Jwoww” Farley, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, and Deena Cortese readying their Miami house with candles around the pool where Sorrentino asked Pesce to be his wife. "You're my best friend, my college sweetheart, my better half, you make me a better person,” he said to Pesce. “Please make me the happiest man on earth, will you please marry me?" She said “yes,” and the duo tied the knot in November at the Legacy Castle in—where else?—New Jersey.
Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon (Bachelor in Paradise)
Iaconetti and Haibon met on the second season of Bachelor in Paradise in 2015, but he didn’t reciprocate her feelings the first—or second—times around. Iaconetti continued to pine over Haibon as they remained friends, and during a charity event weekend in Virginia, he began to see her as more than that. They confirmed their relationship in May 2018 and got engaged on the beach in Mexico where they first connected the next month. “I don’t want another day to go by that I don’t kiss you, tell you how beautiful you are, how much you mean to me,” he said in an episode of Bachelor in Paradise season 5 that summer. “You’re everything to me.” The Bachelor Nation stars are planning an August 2019 wedding in his home state of Rhode Island.
Tony Raines and Alyssa Giacone (The Challenge)
Raines appeared on Real World: Skeletons in 2014, where he struck up a showmance with housemate Madison Channing Walls. So he was blindsided when his on-off girlfriend and high school sweetheart Giacone showed up to the house in Chicago. Raines welcomed a daughter with Walls in February 2016, and then in November of that year, he had a baby with Giacone. Raines continued his MTV career with numerous seasons of The Challenge, where he went for the big money in hopes of being able to afford an engagement ring for Giacone. Then on The Challenge: Final Reckoning reunion special in December 2018, despite not winning that season, Raines dropped to one knee in front of his fellow competitors. “The only thing I can think of that’s better than winning a million dollars is Alyssa making me the happiest man in the world,” the Challenge standout said.
Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright (Vanderpump Rules)
After some ups and downs, the Vanderpump Rules stars announced their engagement in June 2018. Fans saw the proposal play out when the couple went for a casual lunch on the series’ season 7 premiere in December 2018. ”I love you so much,” Taylor said before he popped the question. “Will you please make me the happiest man in the world and be my wife?” Cartwright accepted his proposal and the Bravo costars are planning to say “I do” in her home state of Kentucky in the presence of fellow SUR servers Kristen Doute, Ariana Madix, Katie Maloney, Stassi Schroeder, and Scheana Shay.