An Inside Look at the Insanely Romantic Way Chip Proposed to Joanna Gaines (Plus, the 1 Thing They Swear Keeps Their Marriage Strong)

Chip and Joanna Gaines kept their joint reality show Fixer Upper going strong for five straight seasons. Their audience fell in love with the homes they renovated and the couple’s chemistry — but many still don’t know the story behind how they fell in love before the cameras came along.

Here’s the unique and adorable way Chip proposed (page 5) and their secret to a happy, healthy marriage (page 7).

It was (sort of) love at first sight

  • He frequented her father’s tire store to “get his brakes checked.”

Joanna’s dad owned his own store in Waco, Texas, and kept a family photo in view. When Chip saw it, he knew he had to meet her.

He said, “”Her dad made the mistake of putting a pic of the family behind the counter at his shop. I knew I’d marry her one day just by the picture on the wall.”

His cheesy pickup line actually worked …

Chip and Joanna Gaines smiling together.

They both wanted to hit it off with each other. | Magnolia Market

  • He recognized her from her TV appearances.

Joanna’s first television appearance was in a commercial for her father’s business. Chip and other locals had seen the ads — and that gave him the material he needed to introduce himself to her.

So when he finally caught his future wife in her dad’s store, he delivered the line he’d been rehearsing since he first saw her picture: “Hey, you’re the girl from the commercials.” Miraculously, she agreed to go out with him after that.

… but a bet between friends almost ruined everything

  • He and a “friend” bet on how long they could wait to call their dates.

Their first date certainly wasn’t the highlight of their time together. He not only showed up late, but neglected to call her for several months afterward. He didn’t even have a good reason for it.

Apparently, he really wanted $50. “I’d made a bet with [my friend] John to see who could hold out the longest before calling our dates back,” he wrote in their joint memoir. “I really wanted that fifty dollars from John! That’s the only reason I didn’t call.”

They lived, worked, and married in the same Texas town

  • They’re Waco, Texas’s claim to fame.

The couple unintentionally made Waco, Texas “famous” when their reality show took off — but before that, it was their home. Their families moved there at different points throughout their childhood. They’re also both Baylor University alumni, though they didn’t meet each other there.

They still live in Waco, and opened their own restaurant in town, Magnolia Table, in 2018. The menu features ingredients they grow in their own garden.

He didn’t propose to her with a ring — he planned something better

Chip and Joanna Gaines on 'Fixer Upper'.

The two love to goof around — but love each other very much. | HGTV

  • Joanna probably didn’t expect to have as much control over what her ring looked like.

Many women dream of the moment their partner gets down on one knee and proposes with a ring. Chip kept part of his marriage proposal traditional, but went down a different path for the rest.

Instead, he took her to a local jewelry store so she could design her own engagement ring — something he knew she would love. It’s a good thing he eventually called her after that first date.

Chip and Joanna are polar opposites

  • Their personalities are different, but they also have a few key things in common.

If opposites really do attract, their story makes even more sense. Joanna considers herself shy and introverted, for example, while Chip continues to be the outspoken extrovert she fell in love with.

Though they have their differences, they also share common ground — particularly their religious beliefs and love of food, gardening, and renovating houses.

He told fans a divorce ‘won’t ever happen’

Chip Gaines tweet.

Chip put those rumors to rest. | Chip Gaines via Twitter

  • Chip crushed the rumors with a single tweet.

Chip and Joanna Gaines aren’t the only celebrity couples who have faced false divorce rumors. But his response to a fan’s tweet might be the most adorable yet.

He tweeted back: “Won’t ever happen.. you can take that to the bank! #loveOfMyLife”

It’s no surprise they’ve also shared how their marriage has survived stardom.

They have 1 secret to achieving their successful marriage

  • They have a weekly ritual that keeps their relationship strong.

How does a couple like Chip and Joanna Gaines stay grounded with lives so hectic? It’s simple: A weekly “date night” is an absolute must.

Joanna admitted, “Since Chip and I try to go on a date once a week, we don’t feel the need to keep holidays like Valentine’s Day all to ourselves.” This allows them to include their kids in more family activities, another essential part of their relationship.

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