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These really are “the best times of our lives” for Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright.
Jax popped the question to longtime love Brittany back in June, but Vanderpump Rules fans had to wait until the Dec. 3 season premiere to see the magical moment on screen. The couple sat down with ET ahead of the episode airing to spill behind-the-scenes details from their special day.
“I was beyond nervous,” Jax says of getting down on one knee. “I blacked out and I've never blacked out in my life. Even drinking, drinking [a lot], I literally blacked out for a good five, six seconds after I asked! I had to sit down and I was like, I'm panicking. That took a lot. That was a lot. And it wasn't because I was nervous about asking her. I didn't realize how much... this is a big deal.”
The blacking out might explain why Jax forgot to take the ring out of the box when he asked Brittany for her hand in marriage! Still, the proposal went just as well as Jax had hoped. He had been planning it for months, knowing he wanted to capture the memory forever on film. And, yes, he made sure to ask Brittany’s parents for her hand in marriage beforehand.
“Listen, we gotta knock this thing out right away,” he recalls. “Because I'm too nervous, and I really want her to enjoy the summer.”
“I knew it was coming close, though, or like, soon, 'cause he started asking for pictures of the rings,” Brittany shares. “But I didn't expect it to happen that early, I don't think, in the summer. It happened perfectly, but I was thinking it would be later, maybe.”
According to Jax, Brittany had been dropping hints for months of what kind of ring she wanted. He paid attention, working closely with jewelry designer Kyle Chan on a custom, cushion-cut ring.
“It took some time, 'cause it was very specific, what she wanted,” he shares. “So, he had to go find the diamond, find this... it was a lot of that.”
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'Vanderpump Rules' Stars Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright Are Engaged -- See the Ring!
Jax purchased the 3-carat, $70,000 sparkler with money his late father, Ronald Cauchi, left to him. Jax lost his dad in December 2017 after a lengthy cancer battle. His dad’s death ultimately inspired him to propose to Brittany.
“I was really at rock bottom with my life, you know?” Jax shares. “I was at my worst, and then with the passing of my father and everything else, it was really rough. It was rough. I could either go one way or the other.”
“I could either go hit the bottle, or do something bad with myself, or I can turn my life around and make everything a positive,” he continues. “I was just like, ‘What would my dad want me to do?’ And I'm like, I'm not going to lose my best friend. I'm not going to lose the girl that I'm supposed to be with for the rest of my life, I'm not gonna let that happen. So, we're going to work through this and get through it.”
Jax’s dad also inspired the location of his proposal to Brittany, Neptune’s Net. It’s a casual seafood joint right on the water in Malibu.
“My father, when he did come [to California], it was his favorite place,” Jax reveals. “So, I lost my father last year, and it was important for me to take her there and tell her that I wanted to spend the rest of my life together at my dad's favorite place.”
When Jax’s dad died, he and Brittany were actually separated following the cheating scandal between Jax and Faith Stowers that eclipsed season six of the Bravo hit.
“I didn't think we were going to get back together after the season finale last year,” Brittany says. “We did take our break, and we did have our time apart from each other, and I think that helped us a lot, like, get back together. Because we noticed how much we missed each other.”
“He put in that work and he made sure that everyone can see he's changed,” she continues. “Of course, everybody at first is going to be like, 'Uh... I don't know. I don't know if it's real.' Which, of course, we're gonna see this season. I understand that, because we did go through terrible times, and I know that at the end of the day, my friends are trying to look out for me, you know? But they all see it, too, and it's just so great! I'm so proud of him.”
“I'm a person who I would rather forgive you than have that hate in my heart,” Brittany shares. “As a Christian woman, being forgiving is a very important part of what I grew up learning, and it's just very important to me. It can be hard. It's not easy to be forgiving, but we definitely made it work.”
The couple has gone into therapy together to work out their lingering issues, as well as turning to church to help them heal. Brittany says Jax even goes to services without her sometimes!
“I'm busting my a** -- I'm continuously busting my a**,” Jax admits. “It's not something that happens overnight. I've completely changed my life, for so many reasons … I actually feel the best I've ever felt in my life. I'm a lot healthier, I'm happier. Just everything. I think we're both in such a good place right now.”
Stick with ET for more with Jax and Brittany, including a wedding planning update -- and tune into Vanderpump Rules every Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo to watch their love story unfold.