Bringing Up Bates, "Headed to the Altar"...
- Michael met Brandon several years ago at a homeschool conference. Between their first encounter and the start of their courtship (December 30, 2013), Michael prayed every day that she could be Brandon’s wife.
- The show opens with a flashback to September 2014. Michael makes a surprise visit to Brandon’s Bible school in Texas. Although the couple waited until their engagement to hold hands, they showed affection throughout their courtship by hugging.
- In November 2014, Brandon pays a visit to the Bates’ house just outside Knoxville, Tennessee, to get to know Michael’s family. They spend Thanksgiving with Gil’s side of the family.
- In February 2015, Brandon takes Tori, Carlin, and Josie to a local jewelry store to get a feel for Michael's taste in jewelry. He ends up designing Micheal's ring himself.
- Also in February, the older Bates boys take their future brother-in-law out for a guy’s night at a bowling alley. “They’re very intense,” says Michael of her brothers. “I guess in a way it makes me feel loved that they care that much about me, but at the same time, I felt for Brandon, knowing what he was going to go through.”
- In March 2015, Gil, Kelly, and Michael meet with Brandon and his parents in Chicago, where Brandon has worked since graduating from Bible college.
- Over a delicious dinner of Chicago style deep dish pizza, Kelly starts fishing for information. “Not trying to be nosy or anything, but just wondering: Have y’all talked about maybe a time?” pries the mom of 19. “Are you thinking a season, a particular season?”
- The next day during lunch, Brandon holds a secret conference with Gil in the men’s room to discuss the engagement.
- In April 2015, Brandon tells Michael that he will be traveling to Washington D.C. To ensure that Michael doesn’t suspect anything, Gil and Kelly encourage their daughter to “surprise” Brandon while he’s there.
- Brandon plans a scavenger hunt proposal, with help from his sisters Angie and Becky.
- On April 13th, Michael spends the day traipsing around the city, as she follows Brandon’s clues. At each stop, Brandon has left a video and a piece of a cardboard replica of Michael’s ring. At the end of the scavenger hunt, Brandon is waiting to propose, as both sets of parents watch from afar.
- “The whole day was kind of like an emotional roller coaster,” says Michael.
- With a lot of help from their families, Michael and Brandon’s wedding preparations go very smoothly. The couple’s four-month engagement is an emotional time for the Bates family, as they prepare for their beloved Michael to tie the knot and move to Chicago.
Details of Zach & Whitney and Erin & Chad's engagements are coming soon. Stay tuned next week for the wedding episode!