When Emily Maynard visited Jef Holm's hometown in Utah, his parents were noticeably absent due to a commitment on the east coast. Things went smoothly when the Bachelorette was eventually introduced to her future mother-in-law.
"I got to meet Jef's mom the other night, the night After the Final Rose," Emily told ETonline. "It was a surprise for me. I didn't even know she was going to be there, but she was so sweet…and I got to talk to his dad on the phone and just could not be nicer, more down to Earth."
"My family is very close and they are absolutely in love with Emily," Jef assured her. "My dad's looking forward to meeting Emily and Ricki."
Focusing on Ricki's
well-being has been a major factor in the couple's planning, with Jef scheduled to move to Charlotte in August before the new school year begins. It's been pretty easy for him to win over the affection of his soon-to-be stepdaughter. Finishing one another’s sentences, Emily explained, "We had a weekend where all three of us got to hang out and they went fishing and…" Jef interjected, "…we caught frogs together." Emily happily added, "…played soccer…," allowing Jef to finish, "…fed goats, made obstacle courses."
Jef's acceptance of little Ricki was what ultimately captured Emily's heart. "It wasn't until I really got to know Jef and fell in love with him and saw him with my daughter and the proposal speech didn't hurt either," Emily recalled. "It was some of the nicest things somebody's ever said to me, and I knew in my heart that I had all the confidence in the world."
The groom-to-be put a lot of thought into those heartfelt words he uttered when asking for Emily's hand in marriage
. "Some of it was just random and on the spot, but most of it was premeditated," he said. "I stayed up the entire night before practicing, scared to death."
By choosing Jef, Emily also had to let down Arie Luyendyk, who tried to make one last plea by flying to Charlotte with his personal journal. Emily respectfully kept the package sealed because she was secure in her relationship with Jef and didn't want to sacrifice his trust.
Arie and Jef had formed a close brotherly bond on the show, so Jef said, "When I found out he showed up in Charlotte and left his journal, it was a shock to me because I thought he knew we were engaged and went behind my back… But then I found out it wasn't communicated to him that we were engaged." All has been forgiven and Emily would even feel comfortable with Arie serving as a groomsman in their wedding.
Already a dutiful fiance, Jef just nods his head in agreement when it comes to wedding planning. Emily's envisioned her special day since she was a little girl, but "I would be happy just with a backyard, low-key, casual wedding, everybody wears jeans, whatever. I don’t even care. To me it's not about the wedding and the flowers and all that. It's more about the person I love and family and just celebrating that." The couple has yet to announce a date and whether it'll be documented on television.