The former Bachelorette announced her engagement last month.
Clare Crawley is making sure to celebrate all of her relationship's special moments with her mom. The same month that the former Bachelorette announced her engagement to Ryan Dawkins, she stopped by the Almost Famous OG podcast to reveal that she and her fiancé are marking milestones more than once for her mom, Lilia, who's battling Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
When it came time for the engagement, Dawkins popped the question twice -- first at the RiSE Lantern Festival and then again in front of Crawley's mom.
"He proposed to me at the RiSE Festival," she recalled. "We came back to Sacramento and he asked my mom for her blessing again, and when he did that he got down on a knee again, and proposed to me in front of my mom so she could be there for it."
Crawley wanted a role in the love, so she opted to ask Dawkins to marry her shortly thereafter.
"We are very progressive people. I didn't get down on a knee, but I proposed to him as well," Crawley shared. "So if people see him with a ring on his finger it's because I proposed to him as well. He thought, 'If you get to wear a ring, why don't I get to wear a ring?'"
Looking ahead to their big day, Crawley shared that there will actually be two days of celebration.
"We want two weddings," Crawley said. "I want when because my mom is not able to travel or be around a lot of people, it's overwhelming for her. I just want a special moment with her, for us to have a small, intimate ceremony."
"[Dawkins] knows how much my mom means to me and how important she is in our lives," she added. "He also wants her to be there for the wedding. Time is precious and time is limited, so we want one with her, just a small intimate thing, and then... maybe a destination."
Given all of that, Crawley said, her mom is a big fan of the Mascot Sports CEO.
"She loves Ryan, which is everything to me," Crawley said. "... Every time that we're in Sacramento he comes with me. He'll literally ask, 'Can I come with you to see your mom?'"
Crawley and Dawkins became acquainted via social media amid her relationship with Dale Moss. When that came to an end, Dawkins reached out to Crawley "immediately."
"We had never met in person, but we had met through social media and kept in contact, always messaged each other, just stayed friends. He was respectful of my relationship and everything," Crawley said. "... But he knew when I became single and reached out. That was a very, very low point. He was just the sweetest guy. He just was so patient."
"I told him I didn't want to go to dinner, I didn't have an appetite or anything. And he was like, 'Let's just get tea,'" she continued. "... I was so ill, hadn't eaten in days, just so depressed and struggling, hadn't gotten out of bed in days... hadn't laughed in months... We sat there for four hours and just laughed and laughed and laughed."
The pair didn't jump into a romance right away, though, as Crawley was still healing from her last relationship.
"He was too good to be a rebound, so I waited until he wasn't," she explained. "He gave me a lot of space. He dated other people, I dated other people and then we kind of came back together and it was even better than the first time."
That eventually led to the first proposal, which Crawley said left her "totally surprised."
"It was literally the most unexpected thing. We were just living our life, doing our thing and here we are," she said. "... I had no clue. We always talked about getting engaged. Our life together felt so natural. It's been the same for a while. To me, it was just we were going on a trip... I'd be like, 'When are we getting engaged?' And he'd say, '2023, baby. 2023 is our year!'"
Leading up to the trip, Crawley admitted she dropped hints to see if a proposal was on Dawkins' mind, but when he didn't encourage her to get her nails done or do her hair, she assumed it wasn't happening.
"Afterwards I was like, 'Why did you not at least tell me to put on waterproof mascara?'" she recalled. "He's like, 'Because I didn't want to make it obvious. I didn't want you to know.'"
Even with the non-waterproof mascara, the moment was perfect.
"[Last year] I wanted to give up on life, I wanted to give up on relationships, I wanted to give up on being vulnerable and open. I was just tired of everything," Crawley said. "... [At the RiSE festival,] I thought, 'If I had given up, I wouldn't have been experiencing one of the greatest moments of my life with the man of my dreams.'"