Josh Duhamel announces engagement to Audra Mari – and receives congratulations from ex Fergie

Josh Duhamel Instagram

Josh Duhamel Instagram

Josh Duhamel / Instagram

Josh Duhamel and Audra Mari are engaged!

That Transform The 49-year-old star, who has been dating Mari since 2019 after his divorce from Fergie, announced the happy news on Instagram on Saturday with a picture of the couple posing at the beach.

“It’s on !! She found a message in a bottle that washed ashore and said YES !! @audramari,” the actor wrote to the photo of the couple smiling, holding up a handwritten letter that read: “Audra Diane Mari Will You Marry me? “

The proposal on January 8 also marked another special occasion – Mari’s 28th birthday.

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The “Fergalicious” singer, 46, celebrated the couple in the comments section and wrote: “Congratulations !!! 💚💚💚💚💚💚.”

In December 2019, a source told PEOPLE that Duhamel was “really happy” with the former Miss World America, whom he had begun “dating seven or eight months before”.

RELATED: Josh Duhamel steps out with Audra Mari weeks after his divorce from Fergie ended

The source’s comment came amid a holiday party the two attended together the month Duhamel and Mari “were basically together all night,” a spectator told PEOPLE at the time.

Although it was not the couple’s first time they were discovered together, the party took place about two weeks after Duhamel’s divorce from ex-wife Fergie ended.

RELATED VIDEO: Josh Duhamel steps out with Audra Mari weeks after his divorce from Fergie ended

After eight years of marriage, Fergie filed for divorce in late May 2019, almost two years after she and Duhamel announced their split in a joint statement obtained by PEOPLE in September 2017.

“With absolute love and respect, we decided to break up as a couple earlier this year,” they said. “To give our family the best opportunity to adapt, we wanted to keep this as a private matter before we share it with the public.”

Added the former couple, who share 8-year-old son Axl Jack, “We are and will always be united in our support for each other and our family.”

RELATED: Josh Duhamel will find someone ‘young enough to have children’ after Fergie split

During a 2018 episode of Dax Shepard’s Armchair expert podcast opened Duhamel up about what he’s looking forward to in the next phase of his life – including settling down again after his separation from the former Black Eyed Peas singer.

“I’m not 30 years old anymore. I’m 45. I want to have more children in the next few years,” Duhamel said at the time. “So it’s more about finding someone young enough to have children. It’s not like I’m out there trying to just f — anything. It’s not who I am. I’m trying to find a girl that I can be with and have a family with. “

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