'American Idol's' Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young Set Wedding Date (Exclusive)
THR's Fred Bronson to Officiate Wedding of 'Idol' Alums Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo
Ever since Ace Young proposed to Diana DeGarmo on the season 11 finale of American Idol, the blissful couple has been asked the same two questions everywhere they go: “Have you set the date?” and “Did Diana know about the proposal in advance?” In a recent sit-down with THR, the pair revealed the answers to both questions, starting with the date for their nuptials. They will wed on June 1 in Los Angeles, and “save-the-date” notices are being mailed to family and friends this week. “We designed them ourselves,” says Young. “We like to create everything. They’re very personal. It’s a fun little artsy picture on a magnet that we did together.” Diana adds, “We had to buy really tiny envelopes so they wouldn’t be swimming around in there.”
As for whether popping the question was a surprise or not, the answer is a little longer. About two weeks before the live broadcast of the season finale, season five finalist Young knew he was ready to ask girlfriend DeGarmo, runner-up from season three, to marry him. He called executive producer Nigel Lythgoe to see if it could be done around the finale. Nigel called him back the next day and said yes. “But he said he wasn’t going to tell anybody,” Young explains. “He said, ‘The day of the finale, you’re going to tell Ryan Seacrest that you’re proposing to Diana, and you’ll figure it out. You’re going to tell everyone else on the stage what’s going on and they’re going to tell you when to do it.”
Young’s biggest fear was that, since he’s prone to talking in his sleep, that he would verbalize the proposal one night while slumbering and DeGarmo would hear him. “I thought I would wake up next to the love of my life and she would have a big smile on her face and she would ask me, ‘What did you say?’” It didn’t happen.
The day of the finale, Young and DeGarmo walked the red carpet to do press interviews. He excused himself by telling her he had to use the bathroom. “I went to Ryan’s trailer,” he recounts. Ryan’s show rundown listed an item that was described as “Ace’s moment” with no explanation. “I told him I was going to propose to Diana and he asked me to recite the proposal. I did, and Ryan choked up. I choked up. He asked to see the ring and I showed him the yellow sunflower diamond. Ryan told me, ‘I’m going to pull you up on stage. Take as long as you need. If there’s a time constraint, I’ll speed you up.’”
Young raced back to the red carpet and discovered his long absence had caused DeGarmo to worry about him. “I was searching for Imodium,” she laughs.
Inside the Nokia Theatre, Young kept putting his hands into his pocket to make sure the ring was still there. “I even wore these atrocious MC Hammer pants just to hide the box in my pocket.” About an hour-and-a-half later, Seacrest was calling the couple up out of their seats. “Without moving her mouth, Diana asks me, ‘Why are we going up on stage?’ Without moving my mouth, I said, ‘I have no idea, just go with it.’” Later, DeGarmo confessed she thought they we’re doing a throw to a Barry Manilow number where he would come out and sing a love song.
“Ryan handed me a mic and I had tunnel vision,” says Young. “I saw no one but Diana. My biggest fear was that ring would fall out of the case and roll into the audience. I didn’t hear the yes but I heard it in her gasp. When we walked off the stage she couldn’t finish her sentence. She kept saying, “How…how…how…” because we’re attached at the hip. We’re literally together 24/7 and she didn’t understand how I had pulled this off and kept it a secret.”