Bachelorette alum Marcus Grodd is madly in love… and he wants the world to know it! The Canadian businessman, a suitor on season 10 of ABC’s reality franchise, quietly proposed to girlfriend Ally Lutar in May before announcing the news last week.
“It feels amazing. Finally!” Grodd tells The Knot. “We knew from the day we had met… If anything, it didn’t happen soon enough for either of us. I feel complete.”
Grodd, 29, proposed to the entrepreneur, 35, on a suspension bridge overlooking a waterfall at Lynn Valley Canyon in Vancouver on May 9. “Honestly, it was difficult to plan,” he says. “Ally is very hard to keep secrets from. I had that ring tucked in a pillow case for two months before the actual proposal.”
The former reality star knew he wanted to pop the question during a hike–partially a nod to their active lifestyles and to keep it a surprise. “We love the outdoors, and I knew she would never expect a proposal on a hike,” Grodd says. The challenge, however, was making sure her family was present after she said yes.
“It was difficult to find a day,” says Grodd, “but it was important for me to have them there. Ally is very close with her family and they’ve become very important to me.”
Prior to the moment, Grodd met privately with Lutar’s father to ask for Ally’s hand in marriage. “We already have a great relationship,” he says. “I opened the ring box to show him and he replied, ‘You shouldn’t have.’ He’s always joking around. Right away he gave his approval.”
The ring itself, a three-carat diamond featuring a halo, was custom designed by third-generation jeweler Felix of Vancouver-based business, Diamond Net. “Ally and I had discussed her dream ring for a little,” Grodd says. “I think I had a good idea… Felix and I worked [on creating that] together.”
Actually getting down on one knee proved to be the real challenge. “Trying to get everyone to the same spot on the mountain at the same time,” he trails. “…I was so nervous, even though you know you’re together forever. It doesn’t change the fear in the moment you actually get down on one knee. The proposal itself was very intimate and special for us. The words we spoke to each other that day will always be with me.”
The lovebirds entrusted Vancouver-based photographer Taylynne Mitschke of Taya Photography to capture their romantic engagement session. Lutar opted for long, floral-printed pieces, while Grodd donned dark wash jeans and a simple white, button-front shirt. (“Introducing my fiancé, you’re my soulmate, my entire world,” Grodd wrote on Instagram. “You were the missing piece to the puzzle of my life. Love you with my whole heart, a million times over.”)
The two decided on their concept and narrowed the location down to Jericho Beach. “It was important for us to use the beauty of Vancouver as the backdrop and build from there,” says Lutar. “My biggest stress was finding dresses that would stand the test of time and look beautiful to me years later. I think our photos capture our love.”
Grodd first met Lutar, a staffing business owner, at a barbecue in Newport Beach, California, in July 2016, following his separation from fellow Bachelor in Paradise cast member Lacy Faddoul. “Ally is the friend I didn’t know I needed,” Grodd tells The Knot. “She has completely captivated me and I love every piece of her. Anyone who knows her would say she’s determined. She knows what she wants and she works hard to get it. I admire her strength and her compassion for other people.”
He says timing played a pivotal role. “I thank God every day I get to love this woman,” he says of Lutar. “From the moment we met, we wanted the same things at the same time. There’s something to be said about timing. This is our time and we’re enjoying every second of it.”
Naturally, this portion now involves wedding planning. (We always suggest starting with the checklist!) “We met July 28th last year and we think it would be pretty cool to have our wedding on the same day,” Grodd concludes. “We really haven’t finalized a day or location just yet. Having family in Europe, America and Canada does make for a challenge, but I think when it comes to the wedding planning, it’s always nice to let your partner take the lead.”