Sydney Rae James, sister of Jessie James Decker, announced her mountaintop engagement to boyfriend Anthony Bass on Instagram Thursday. Anthony proposed while the two hiked Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday, February 10, and Sydney Rae chatted exclusively with The Knot to share every detail and show off her stunning engagement photos!
The couple, who have been dating since August, have their sisters to thank for their future wedding. As the story goes, Anthony’s sister caught Sydney Rae while she appeared on her sister Jessie’s reality series Eric and Jessie: Game On and instantly thought Anthony and Sydney Rae would make the perfect match. After sending an email to Sydney Rae via her blog Southern Girl City Lights in hopes that the two would connect, cupid was set in motion!
“I laughed when I receive the message as I’ve received emails like this one before,” Sydney Rae told The Knot. “I then decided to look him up on Google and as soon as I did I saw how handsome he was and followed him on twitter. We played social media tag for a while, then exchanged phone numbers and started talking and getting to know one another.” The couple decided to meet in person and it turns out Anthony’s sister was right! As Sydney Rae put it, “it was kismet.”
Sharing that she knew Anthony was “the one” soon after they met, the bride-to-be explained, “I loved how I could completely be myself around him and how much fun we always had. Even when I do weird, funny things he never thinks I’m being weird. He just loves it and feeds off of me.” She added, “He is extremely thoughtful, sweet and fits in perfectly around my family.”
Anthony, who previously pitched for the San Diego Padres, Houston Astros, and Texas Rangers, was on his way out to Japan with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters after training in Arizona when he decided the stunning mountain views were worthy of his proposal to Sydney Rae. The two were going to be apart for a few weeks and instead of a kiss goodbye, Anthony popped the question!
The pitcher covered all the bases by creating a proposal that remained a surprise even when he snuck in special plans to help his girlfriend get dolled up for the big event! First, he and Sydney Rae met with a financial advisor pre-hike, “otherwise I wouldn’t have put on a little makeup and fixed my hair,” Sydney Rae told The Knot. “He also took me shopping the day before to pick out a cute hiking outfit. That’s how thoughtful he is, he had planned to have a photographer there to capture our special moment and wanted to surprise me but allow me to be prepared for the photos.”
While Photographer Jennifer Stewart prepped to capture the proposal, “He stopped, we gazed upon the amazing view and then he got down on one knee, opened the little box and asked me to be his wife,” Sydney Rae said. “I got so excited I leapt into his arms and didn’t even get a look at the ring.”
“I said yes and started crying and he smiled and laughed and asked me if I wanted the ring. I said “yes” and he placed it on my finger and we hugged and smiled and haven’t stopped smiling yet.”
Inside the “little box” was a gorgeous cushion cut diamond and double halo engagement ring. “He and I tried rings on for fun and we talked about the different styles we were drawn to, so he had an idea of what I loved and then went from there,” the bride-to-be shared with The Knot.
“I must say that Anthony was very much involved in the whole process!” said jeweler Jacqueline Nerguzian, reavealing that the 2.5 carat diamond is set in an 18kt white gold double halo surrounded by .82 carats of even more dazzling round, brilliant cut diamonds. Sydney Rae thanked the jeweler in a photo of the sparkler on Instagram Thursday writing, “He did pretty darn good. @jacqnerguizian thank you for making the ring of my dreams with my Fiance! Can’t stop smiling!”
When it comes to wedding planning, it looks like Sydney Rae will be taking the lead. The future Mrs. Bass shared with The Knot, “I have been planning my wedding since I was a little girl. I love weddings! I’ve always wanted a small garden wedding,” adding, “I can’t wait for our special day! We have lots of ideas.”
When asked if her country singer sister would help her plan the wedding – since Jessie’s wedding with hubby and pro footballer Eric Decker has been well documented on Eric and Jessie: Game On – Sydney Rae told The Knot, “Jess is my Maid of Honor, so I’m sure she will be planning my bridal shower and helping me in the planning process.” Adding that Jessie “has known the longest and knew all the details,” of the engagement, Sydney Rae said, “She and Anthony were quite the sneaky pair. In fact, Anthony asked my Dad for my hand in marriage, so basically everyone knew but my mom and me.”
“There are a lot of things in this world that make me happy, but all I really need is you. She said yes!!” Anthony shared on Twitter Thursday, and as for Sydney Rae, she says, “I feel so blessed to have found my prince and cant wait until we tie the knot.”