Ty Pennington is feeling the love following his engagement to his longtime girlfriend Kellee Merrell. After the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition alum shared the exciting news in late July that Merrell said "yes" after he dropped to one knee and popped the question, the HGTV star returned to social media with a message of gratitude as he shared an all-new photo of himself and his soon-to-be wife.
The Friday, July 30 Instagram post included a photo of the newly engaged couple, beaming with smiles in the wake of the massive relationship milestone they just marked. That milestone had been met with an outpouring of congratulatory messages from Pennington's fellow HGTV stars and fans, and the 56-year-old Trading Spaces alum wrote that he and Merrell, 33, "just wanted to say thank you for all the love and nice messages about our engagement." Pennington added that they were both "feeling the love!" The post marked a rare image of Merrell, who has only made a handful of appearances on Pennington's social media posts. The HGTV star explained that his fiancée "hates having her picture taken" and quipped that in the image, they were "practicing our best 'blue steel' for the wedding…. clearly hers needs some work (she hasn't taken my classes)."
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Pennington's message of gratitude came just two days after he shared the exciting update. In a July 28 post on the social media platform that gave fans a first look at the stunning diamond ring now sparkling on Merrell's finger, Pennington announced their engagement by writing, "it's the 'yes' for me…"
According to the home renovation star, he proposed over morning coffee on the dock of his home in Palm Coast, Florida. Confirming the engagement news in an interview with PEOPLE, Pennington said he has "admired Kellee from afar for years… Luckily our paths finally crossed at the right time. It's one of those things where you just feel happy being around a person. I never thought I would get married, but she changed that. Glad I waited for the one."
Pennington and Merrell, a social media manager originally from Vancouver whom Pennington said "is a beautiful person inside and out," first met back in 2010. At the time, Pennington was filming a TV show in Toronto. While romance didn't immediately spark during that initial meeting, the two remained in touch over the following years via mutual friends, with romance eventually blossoming in 2020 when they decided to quarantine together amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The couple has not yet revealed any wedding plans.