Michelle Young and Nate Olukoya are moving on from the past and planning their future together.
On the season finale of The Bachelorette, Michelle followed her heart and gave Nate the final rose, despite her worries that he wasn't ready for an engagement. As she put it in her heartfelt speech, "This has not necessarily been a smooth ride. But I'm also not willing to face that fear of walking away from this without you because I have never felt a love like this before."
Following their proposal, the newly engaged couple sat down with host Kaitlyn Bristowe for The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose to discuss all that happened, including that uncomfortable conversation Nayte had with Michelle's mom.
During their chat with Kaitlyn, Michelle and Nayte revealed that they are already making plans for their future, including buying a home—thanks to a generous gift from The Bachelorette producers—and planning their big day.
The morning after the finale, the Bachelor Nation couple spoke exclusively to E! News about their upcoming nuptials. Nayte shared, "Summer wedding for sure is what we what we agreed upon and just looking in the near future."
As Michelle told E! News, "We want warm weather." She explained, "I'm from Minnesota, he grew up in Winnipeg. You know, cold, snow. It's beautiful, especially around like this time of year, but definitely for wedding vibes, we would prefer to have the sun shining and no snow on the ground."
See what else they had to say in the Q&A below!
E! News: I'm sure it was really hard to keep your relationship a secret. Did either of you ever almost slip?
Michelle Young: Definitely. I know that I did several times. We had to put like alternate names in our phones. And then we had to have our close family and friends who knew how everything ended, like call each other by those names because we'd be out at dinner… Like, I'd be out with dinner with some of my very, very close friends and then if we're talking about something, they could say Nayte. And there was a time where like, the name came up and everyone froze. So you know, there's been moments.
Nate Olukoya: It really is hard. But yeah, the code names work, though.
E! News: What were the code names?
MY: Mine was "Red" because the whole season it was this really funny inside joke about how he's my personal walking red flag. So, in my phone it's "Red." And then my name was in his phone backwards.
NO: Backwards, yeah. I'd spell her name backwards. And then when I was talking to my friends and I'd be going to go see Michelle, for my friends who did know, we'd just say "Charles." So, "Yeah, I'm about to go see Charles," my stepdad. So, for whoever didn't know they just think I'm hanging out with my stepdad.
E!: You guys got a down payment on a home and had mentioned you were already looking for a house. Nayte, you're coming to Minnesota. Did this change your plans of what you were looking for?
MY: I don't know if it changed anything too much, more just kind of really expedited the process by a few months. But ideal home, I don't know, I feel like we're more modern people. But like we are OK with putting some sweat equity into the home, making it our own, putting our own little touches on it. So, we'll make it feel like home wherever it is.
NO: I don't think it's fully hit us yet, so once this is all done, we're definitely going to be looking, updating our searches a little bit.
E!: How did overcoming struggles throughout the season make you guys stronger? How did you feel about the public response to your early relationship hurdles?
NO: A lot of communication and talking through a lot of stuff, venting to each other [helped] for sure. And that kind of just makes everything so much easier, right? Like, we're a team right? So we're teammates, we've got to lean on each other. So that made everything so much easier to kind of navigate because a lot of this is definitely new for both of us, a lot of it is really new for me since I kind of got thrown into this whole… just life, I guess? But just working on everything together makes it a lot easier.
MY: I think with how this whole entire experience plays out on-screen, it's tricky because you don't always know how it's going to translate. You don't always know how it's going to be received. For me, as Nayte and I were working through these conversations, and as Nayte and my mom were working through those conversations, it was never questioning or uncertain of his character, or the quality of person. I think that's something that could potentially get lost in translation—where it was more knowing that Nayte is just starting to open up in his relationship with me and it's taking him longer, which is funny because longer in this sense is like, what, two weeks? You know, Right? Like, man. Typically, in a real relationship you don't open up this fast, even if you are incredibly vulnerable. And so I saw that, I knew that and that's something that him and I definitely worked through. But yeah, it was just it was never a question of character. It was just more of really challenging him to think about where his emotions are at what he wants from this.
E!: In the hometowns, Joe's sister said it's going be really awkward if it doesn't work out, living down the street from each other. Like, you're going to run into each other at the grocery store. Have you run into them yet?
MY: I have not run into Joe's family, but I have run into Joe. We come from the same basketball community, and Joe and I did not leave on any bad terms. Wonderful person, has a good head on his shoulders. And so for that, he wished me and Nayte well. Nayte and Joe talk.
NO: Yeah, Joe's a good friend. You make you make friends on this show. It's an interesting environment with ex boyfriends. But Rodney is a good friend, Joe is a good friend, and they're coming to come visit me in the near future. It's all love.
E!: You two are also making history is the first couple of color to be engaged off this main franchise. Why is that important to you guys?
NO: It's all about representation, right? For me, I remember what it was like growing up in my neighborhood and whatnot and not really seeing too many people who look like me. Especially watching TV, I think a lot of people that do look like us may not always get portrayed in the best way possible. So, this is important for the younger generation to be able to see two people that look like them on TV and sharing their love story.
E!: What do we need to know about Clayton to get us excited for his season of The Bachelor?
MY: Clayton has more sides to him than people realize. Clayton knows how to rap! He's a genuine person. He wants to find this person, and he's willing to put in the work to do that.
NO: Clayton really is a great guy. One moment that really sticks out to me on the type of person he is was when Chris S. said that I was walking around the house like I had [it] in the bag. Clayton was there and he was like, "Dude, nobody thinks that." And I was feeling like, "Where did that come from? What's going on?" And Clayton pulled me aside, gave me like a serious pep talk when realistically [he] didn't need to do that. He really boosted my spirits and let me know [that it's] just one person's opinion. Clayton didn't need to do that. And it was it was a great moment. We became really good friends, still to this day
E!: Can you describe how dramatic your journey was on a scale of one to 10?
MY: Ooh. That's a hard question. Because honestly, I feel like things around you can be very dramatic, but I think it's about how you approach it that can make it not dramatic, you know? Like, I tried to approach every situation with some type of grace.
NO: I agree.
E!: Who do you hope to see on Bachelor in Paradise and are there any couples you're already like matchmaking?
MY: Honestly, I have not given thought to that.
NO: Who do I want? You know, I really want to see Peter [on BiP]. Peter's a good guy.
NO: Yeah, Leroy's a good guy. Olu's got to be on there. But I got love for Peter. I want to see Peter on the beach. I think that's going to be great.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.