When it came to his romantic proposal to Carly Pearce, Michael Ray wanted to do things the right way. It was over Thanksgiving 2018 that he asked for Pearce’s hand in marriage and set in motion the plans to drop to one knee. Ray had his sights set for a trip they had planned to Tulum, Mexico and with the help of Pearce’s mom, he began planning.
“I wanted this to make The Bachelor look like a date night at Applebee’s,” he explained to PEOPLE.
After weeks of going back and forth with the resort, Ray set his plan in motion. While things were moving smoothly, Ray couldn’t fully hide his nerves, causing Pearce to suspect something was up.
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Earlier this week, the man of my dreams got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. All in one simple “yes”, I said “yes” to love, “yes” to peace, “yes” to faithfulness, “yes” to respect, “yes” to kindness, “yes” to trust, “yes” to patience and “yes” to never settling. Michael, I would’ve married you the first night we hung out because I knew then you were the one. You will always be my most precious example of God’s timing and His love for me. I have found my home in you & will love you with everything I have forever and a day. WE ARE GETTIN’ MARRIED, BABY! 😭❤️ John 13:7 Jesus replied “You don’t understand what I’m doing, but someday you will”. #OMGIHAVEAFIANCE #LOOKATTHATRING
“Michael is the sweetest person in the whole world, but he was just so quiet, and that’s just not him,” Pearce explained.
She asked him what was wrong and Ray thought the jig was up. He quickly covered for himself, saying he was fine, but a little stressed from touring and the end of the year.
“I just believe him when he tells me something. Little did I know he had a lot of stress going on,” recalled Pearce.
Just 15 hours after that conversation, the couple was getting ready for dinner with her parents. After showering, Pearce went out onto their balcony and saw a rooftop deck being decorated for a special evening.
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“Michael, look at this!” she said. “Someone must be getting married up there tonight.”
Trying to act cool, Ray said “Looks like it.” He spent a moment enjoying Pearce’s joy over the preparations before getting overwhelmed and going to hide out in the bathroom. “She has no clue this is happening for her,” he said. “There’s no reason for me to be crying, so I’m having to hide in there.”
After getting ready for dinner, Pearce’s parents called and said they’d be running a little late and that the two should go on ahead to dinner. The couple stepped out of their room to see a trail of white rose petals strewn down the hallway.
Pearce, still clueless, said “Oh, the wind must have blown these flowers up here.”
It wasn’t until they arrived at the staircase leading up to the deck that Pearce realized the set-up was for her. Ray led her upstairs and explained that he’d hired a photographer to take their pictures since she had suggested that previously. He also told her that when in Mexico, you need to be serenaded with a mariachi band and out they came.
“I said to myself, ‘Michael, if you are not proposing to me, you’re going to have to take me to the moon to propose to top this.’ Like, please do not do all of this and not be proposing to me,” she told PEOPLE.
That’s when Ray got down on one knee to ask Pearce the question she’d been waiting for. Before he could even finish, Pearce blurted out “Of course I’ll marry you!”
The newly engaged couple spent the night toasting with her parents and calling friends with the big news.
“It was perfect,” said Ray of the dream proposal. “It went over bigger and better than I even had in mind, and I had high expectations in my mind.”
“There are so many different levels of how he shows me that he loves me,” added the Kentucky native. “So it wasn’t shocking that he would do this. But I don’t know how much more special you can feel after this.”