When Jenny Slate and boyfriend Ben Shattuck set off for a romantic picnic in France in September, the Parks and Recreation actress didn’t expect to get engaged. Now, she’s revealing new details about how the special moment almost didn’t go according to plan.
During an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on November 5, Slate revealed how she almost ruined Shattuck’s proposal. “We were in France,” she began. “And as it happens when you’re in France, we came upon an abandoned castle. This happened to me. This is not a lie. We get to the castle, and it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s locked.’ But then, of course, we push the gate because we’re curious.”
The couple, who’ve been linked since January 2019, made their way inside and sat down to have a picnic. “I had chosen many of the groceries for the picnic, which means that it was just, like, all salami,” she joked to Fallon. “I love a sausage!”
She continued, “The sun is setting, he’s holding my hand. He’s saying, you know, these beautiful things to me. And all of a sudden, he’s like, ‘Jenny, you mean so much to me. I love you so much.’ I’m like, ‘He’s about to propose to me! I can feel it coming!'”
“I had a moment to kind of, like, calm myself. Like, could have been the Audrey Hepburn of the situation, like very demure,” she shared. “And he’s like, ‘Will you be my wife?’ And of course, at that moment, when I could’ve been like, ‘Yes,’ or whatever, I have somehow nervously stuffed, like, all of the sausage into my mouth and I’m like, ‘Bleh!'”
“Just sausage dangling,” she added. “You know how they’re, like, connected by a string? One’s hanging out. Yeah, I’m like, ‘I will be your wife! Now you said it, you have to do it!'”
In summary, she concluded: “Beautiful memory.”
Sausage story aside, Slate’s engagement is fairly consistent with current engagement trends. According to The Knot 2019 Jewelry and Engagement study, one in every two proposals is a private moment, just like Slate and Shattuck’s French memory. As it turns out, proposal snafus aren’t completely uncommon. One-fourth of all proposers reported that their engagement didn’t go exactly as they planned it. Missteps aside, Slate happily accepted the proposal (and a vintage-inspired halo ring) from her art curator beau.
Despite keeping most of the details about her relationship out of the public eye, Slate opened up about Shattuck on Refinery29’s podcast UnStyled in June. “[I] really needed to figure out what I thought about myself when a man was not defining that for me,” she said. “I have this faith now— I do— that I can have this beautiful relationship with this man that I deeply love,” she said. “That I can have a full life, that I can live on this peninsula in Massachusetts where I live right now, and have my career, and that I can feel beauty in myself in so many ways.”
This will be the first marriage for Shattuck and the second for Slate, who was previously married to comedian Dean Fleischer-Camp in 2016.