TODAY lifestyle contributor Jill Martin and her boyfriend, Erik, got engaged last week in the Hamptons — and now Martin's sharing the sweet story of how Erik pulled out all the stops to pop the question.
"(Erik) told me we were going to a friends house for a casual kick-off to summer party ... (he even sent me a paperless post with the fake invite). I kinda knew something was fishy but couldn’t put my finger on it!" Martin, 43, told TODAY in an email.
Once the couple arrived at their beach destination, they walked along the shore where Erik set up a tent decorated with romantic mementos.
"When I looked in the tent there were pics of us from the last year and 8 months framed everywhere ... candles ... flowers ... all our favorite songs on a playlist," Martin shared.
Seeing it all made her burst into tears of joy — so much so she was "speechless."
"It took me a few mins to say yes — he actually said 'Is the answer 'yes'?' as I hadn't responded! I said of course!!! Yes!!" she recalled.
But Erik had more surprises in store.
After Martin said she wished their loved ones could celebrate the occasion with them, Erik had them all come in from outside the tent.
"He had my parents walk into the tent and his parents surprised me and flew in from Florida! His 3 kids, his sister and the rest of the family came the next day for the weekend. BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!" Martin said.
"(We) haven't even thought about a wedding date yet — just so happy to know I will be spending the rest of my life with him," she added. "He is my real life prince charming. I couldn't have created a better storybook ending."
In February, the style expert opened up about how stunned she was to meet Erik — whom she called "the love of my life" — on an online dating app in the fall of 2017.
"After endless dates, failed relationships and many tears I decided (after much nudging from my mother) to try online dating," she wrote in an essay for TODAY.
After three weeks of first dates with other men, Martin "finally swiped correctly" to find Erik. It didn't take long for her to know he was the one.
"Erik is kind, honest, funny and puts family first: he has three beautiful children whom I adore," she said.
Not only do Martin and her new fiance share similar values, they both also know how long happy marriages can last: Martin's parents celebrated their 50th anniversary in February, while Erik's have been married for 55 years.
"We were both lucky enough to grow up in households filled with love, support and tons of laughter (which our parents say is a huge part of the recipe for success), and we both emulate our parents' relationships and joke that in 50 years we will be celebrating and just as in love as they are."
We're so happy for Jill and Erik!