Maurissa Gunn and Riley Christian quickly became a fan-favorite couple on season 7 of Bachelor in Paradise — but she wasn’t so sure their story was going to have the perfect Neil Lane-inspired ending.
“The entire time! I didn’t even think he was going to propose at all,” Maurissa, 25, told Us Weekly exclusively during a joint interview with Riley, 30, on Wednesday, October 6, about her doubts that he was going to get down on one knee. “The whole time we were standing there, I’m like, ‘OK, well, I’m about to be embarrassed, we’re about to walk out together.’”
Riley, meanwhile, said he made the decision to pick out a diamond after their overnight dates during the Tuesday, October 5, finale.
“It wasn’t too long after the fantasy suites. I said [on the episode that] I had some things to, like, think about, which I did because I mean, having a family, being engaged is everything that I ever wanted,” he told Us. “So obviously I want to take my time and make the decision, but, you know, it didn’t take too much time. I thought about it. I got it out and it was game time.”
Maurissa added that she was confident that the pair were going to leave Mexico as a couple but didn’t want to be surprised on the final day with no proposal.
“I told him the night before. I was like, ‘No matter what I want to be with you, I support your decision, like, we can leave together.’ I just didn’t want to walk out on a podium and get embarrassed,” she explained. “I’m like, ‘Can we just leave together now if you want to leave?’”
When the pair did return home with a ring on her left finger, it was pure joy for their families.
“When I called my mom, she was just, like, ‘I knew it! Is it Riley? Is it the one I picked?’ Because she was looking at the cast that was released before we got home,” the Bachelor season 24 alum told Us. “And she’s like, ‘I knew it would be him. I knew you would be into him.’”
Riley revealed that his mother was also “extremely excited” by the news.
“My mom has known how much I want a family and to find a fiancée and a wife,” he explained. “And so once I told her, she was ecstatic, she couldn’t wait to meet Maurissa. And just, like, how I talked about her on the show, [my mom] loved her. It was just all good.”
After leaving Mexico during the summer, the twosome have been long-distance but hope to change that soon.
“I’m still currently in Atlanta right now. So right now, I’m kind of flying back and forth to New York, but eventually, I’m going to get myself out here and then wedding, baby!” Maurissa gushed, before Riley added that “meeting families” is also a priority.
The Bachelorette 16 alum explained, “She’s going back and forth. I’m here in New York City, so we’ll go to Detroit and stuff like that. And from there, we’ll continue to just plan like we have.”