Why 2019 Was the Year Bachelor Nation Really Felt the Love

With multiple new couplings, five engagements and three weddings, 2019 was the year that Bachelor Nation was truly in it for the right reasons.

By Sarah Grossbart Dec 17, 2019 11:00 AMTags

In Bachelor land, there are a few constants. 

The lead will make out with someone in a hot tub. Chris Harrison will tout the finale as the most dramatic ever. And someone, generally multiple someones, will be accused of not being there for "the right reasons." 

With upwards of 25 hopefuls cast each season, it's inevitable that at least a few sign on with visions of spon con, a podcast and, dare to dream, their own stab at handing out roses, dancing through their head. But this past year proved that the majority of contestants are really interested in finding love—if not with the Bachelor or Bachelorette (that being a one in 25 chance and all), then at least on the beaches of Mexico or at some other Bachelor Nation group hang. 

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Thanks to several new couplings, five engagements and a remarkable three weddings everything was coming up roses and the future looks promising enough that Harrison has decided it's time to just make it official and lean into his second act as an ordained minister. Because for every Chris Bukowski and Katie Morton sending back their Neil Lane bauble (pour some champagne out for their broken betrothal) there's a Kendall Long and Joe Amabile just clamoring for his services. 

So if you'll accept our invitation to forgo whatever it is you were working on before you clicked this link, we'll walk you through this year's journey in Bachelor Nation. 

Sean & Catherine Lowe

Lest the couple forget where their journey began, they need only walk past the master bedroom in their Dallas-area pad. That's where the graphic designer has framed the final final rose that season 17's Bachelor presented her back in that Thai forest in late 2012, right after he promised to tell her he loved her every day of the rest of their lives.

"It made sense to dry this one and make it permanent because it was accompanied by a ring and a proposal, so this is a really special thing," Catherine explained to Entertainment Tonight in 2017. Because that last rose ceremony, complete with an elephant ride and a $75,000 Neil Lane diamond, is as much part of their story as the the sweet, suburban life that followed with kids Samuel, 4, Isaiah, 2, and Mia, 12 months. "We don't want to shy away from the fact that we got engaged and fell in love on The Bachelor," she said, "so that is the only red rose I will allow in my house!"

Trista & Ryan Sutter

The OG Bachelorette, Trista was the first to prove that a stint in the mansion could lead to love, marriage and even Bachelor babies. "Nowadays they shoot the show for, I believe, three months. So it's like 12 weeks," the author shared with Us Weekly of her 2003 season. "My show was shot in six weeks. So Ryan and I met, got engaged, got married a year later, after knowing each other for six weeks. So that's how it used to be."

Their nine years holding it down as the show's sole success story have taught the Colorado-based pair they can handle pretty much anything. Including months sheltering in place with their middle schoolers, son Maxwell, 13, and daughter Blakesley, 11. "It's really hard for us to get a date night. I think when the kids are working, we try to take advantage of that time as much as possible," she said of scheduling around the firefighter's early bird tendencies. "But yeah, we're good. We're 16 years and this too shall pass, as they say."

Jason & Molly Mesnick

Who even remembers that the sweet divorced dad originally proposed to Melissa Rycroft? Okay, probably a lot of people, as his 2009 After the Final Rose switcheroo still ranks as one of the series' most shocking moments. But if all's well that end's well, the only thing that matters is that the Seattle-based parents to 7-year-old daughter Riley marked 10 years of marriage this past February. 

"Let me apologize publicly again for putting you through the Bachelor mess that I created," Jason, also dad to 16-year-old Ty, wrote in an anniversary tribute. "With that being said... it built an incredible, unique, foundation for us to build our family—showing that we can make it through anything."

Chris & Peyton Lambton

In true Bachelor fashion, native Tennesseean Peyton simply knew when she laid eyes on her future husband. Though it wasn't season 10 lead Andy Baldwin. Nearly four years after the naval officer sent her home, the Bachelor Pad alum turned up at another series-related event in 2010 and spied Chris, fresh off his showing as Ali Fedotowsky's runner-up. "It's one of those things where I've had a ton of serious relationships," she later explained to People, "and I met this kid and he was genuine, outgoing and hilarious and we just click."

By the following June, the landscaper was proposing at his home in Cape Cod. And more than a decade, two kids (daughter Lyla, 4, and Hayes, 2) and a few HGTV and DIY Network shows later, they credit the series with laying their foundation. As Peyton put it in an August 2020 Instagram post, "Without the show I'm not sure our paths would have ever crossed."

Desiree Hartsock & Chris Siegfried

For as much as the wedding dress designer seemed to key in on Brooks Forester during her 2013 season, it was sweet mortgage lender Chris and his thoughtful prose that proved to be the perfect fit. Six years after their L.A. vows (during which the Desiree Hartsock Bridal designer wore two of her own original creations) they're settled in Portland, Oregon, with sons Asher, 4, and Zander, 23 months. 

"If our life were a storybook I would be the damsel in distress," the host of podcast Heart of Purpose surmised in a February 2020 post. "Chris would be the funny yet charming knight who saves the day, Asher would be the pragmatic problem solver while his little brother would be the carefree sidekick trying to kiss all the ladies!" And they would all enjoy a happy ending. As Desiree put it in a post acknowledging the choice of Clare Crawley as Bachelorette, "Reality TV worked for me!" 

Jade & Tanner Tolbert

The gold standard in Paradise success stories, the married duo of nearly five years have inspired countless rose seekers to turn up in Mexico with visions of Neil Lane diamonds and Chris Harrison-officiated vows dancing in their heads. The couple's time on the spin-off's second season yielded both, and with son Reed's November arrival, they'll tie the Lowes for most Bachelor offspring. 

"Life gets crazy sometimes," Jade wrote in a January anniversary post of juggling 3-year-old daughter Emmy and 17-month-old son Brooks, "but I wouldn't want to go through this hand-in-hand with anyone but you. I would choose you 1000 times over."

Dean Unglert & Caelynn Miller-Keyes

When the Bachelor in Paradise alum returned to the beaches of Nayarit, he was initially hesitant to pursue the Bachelor finalist, worried his peripatetic lifestyle wouldn't "mesh" with the former beauty queen's. But more than a year (plus one brief breakup and a scary December 2019 ski accident that saw Dean laid up in Switzerland for weeks) later, they, and the van he calls home, are jelling just fine. 

"Obviously I was wrong about that because things are going well," he shared on his podcast Help! I Suck at Dating in October 2019, months before they started wearing rings to show their shared commitment. Mostly, he appreciates that she has a healthy level of snark and the ability to handle his jokes. "I can be myself around her," he continued. "Which is a nice change." 

Kaitlyn Bristowe & Jason Tartick

Some two years ago, Jason had no idea he was describing the former Bachelorette when he declared on her Off the Vine podcast that he was looking for "someone that's sassy, independent, strong-willed, funny, can hold their own and just be really strong." But after solidifying their coupling in January 2019 and moving into Bristowe's Nashville pad that May, they're on the fast track to forever. 

"We have so much going on right now that I think we want to continue to move in the right direction, and the next direction is getting engaged, getting married and having kids," Tartick told E! News in 2019. "That's the timeline of the relationship."

Astrid Loch & Kevin Wendt

Though he skipped the Neil Lane-sponsored proposal on Bachelor in Paradise in 2018, Kevin was ready to take a knee by the following fall, proposing in his native Toronto where he and Astrid share a home.

While they've since had to push off their planned November 2020 vows in her Florida hometown (and had to cut the guest list of their July engagement party to just them and pup Ace), "We're actually okay with it," Astrid wrote on Instagram, noting that making the decision to postpone until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic allowed them to focus on their connection more than the myriad wedding details. "I wouldn't want to tackle 2020 & the rest of life with anyone else by my side."

Rachel Lindsay & Bryan Abasolo

When the Bachelorette duo took their love to Mexico for their August 2019 vows, they skipped the beaches of Nayarit for the rooftop of the Royalton Suites Cancun—and red roses for tasteful green and white florals. "Our wedding was about us. It was about the life we built together outside of [The Bachelorette]," she shared with People. "And we stayed true to who we are." 

With any luck, the Texas-bred attorney and the chiropractic doctor will be Mom and Dad before 2021 is up. Asked about their plan for kids, she told Us Weekly in 2019 that they were hoping for "sooner rather than later." In a perfect world, she continued, it would happen in the next year: "We definitely are on the same page in what we want."

JoJo Fletcher & Jordan Rodgers

Even the most wishful of Bachelorette fans likely weren't betting on JoJo and Jordan's journey leading them to an altar. Because with the persistent rumors of the former Vanderbilt quarterback's ill intentions ramping up even before they took the stage for the requisite grin-and-gush After the Final Rose appearance in 2016, it seemed unlikely she would still be wearing her 3.75-carat Neil Lane diamond years later.

Which, she's not. But only because Jordan presented the real estate developer with an upgrade in August 2019. Though their summer wedding plans were scrapped ("I know it will be all more worth the wait," JoJo wrote in a post acknowledging their would-be June day), their romance is still standing. "You make me laugh, love me endlessly, encourage me to be brave, and always, without fail, are my biggest cheerleader," the native Texan wrote in a post on their fourth anniversary. "Can't wait for what the rest of our lives have in store for us."

Ashley Iaconetti & Jared Haibon

Consider Ashley the poster child for ignoring all of the standard he's-just-not-that-into-you signs. Because after four years of lusting for the guy she declared her dream man upon sight, she was proven right at their August 2019 vows in Newport, R.I. 

Every bit as all-in as his bride, Haibon reflected on their perfect day on Instagram, writing, "Ashley is my best friend, my person, my soulmate and now my wife. I love this woman more than words will ever allow me to express."

Raven Gates & Adam Gottschalk

Who needs Neil Lane and a beach backdrop when you have this much imagination? The Dallas-based real estate agent went big when proposing to his Paradise love in May 2019. "She thought it was a normal shoot day," Adam told E! News of his plan to turn a set-up for her online boutique into an impromptu engagement session. "We were at the helicopter pad on the roof and Raven had roses in her hand. She was throwing the petals up for cute photos. She did a few practice runs and then the videographer slipped me the ring and once she threw the petals up, I got down on one knee. I blacked out, but I got everything out that I wanted."

Thanks to COVID, cementing their happily ever after remains in flux but, as Raven shared on social media, "If our life together is all about turning bad days into good ones.. then even on bad days, I'm the luckiest girl alive."

Hannah Godwin & Dylan Barbour

Sure, she waffled a bit in the early days of Paradise, unsure if her heart belonged to Barbour or Blake Horstmann, but once she zeroed in on the tech entrepreneur, she truly committed. Now the California-based duo are busying themselves with putting together their dream nuptials. While Barbour is set on a good DJ and "maybe an In-N-Out truck," Godwin is thinking big picture. 

"I have a few little things saved on social media," she told E! News last November. "I have such fun ideas, but good weather, a cool view and a really good time. That's the one thing we do talk about and reiterate." 

Arie Luyendyk Jr. & Lauren Burnham

So he pulled a Mesnick? More than two years after Bachelor Arie dumped onetime fiancée Becca Kufrin on-air to start things up again with Lauren, the pair are married (Chris Harrison officiated their January 2019 wedding in Hawaii, natch), loving life with their 19-month-old daughter Alessi and perfecting the art of getting through tough times together. Following a heartbreaking 2020 miscarriage, Arie gifted his bride with an eternity band symbolizing "that we will always have each other in our darkest times," Lauren explained. "i think it's safe to say he gets husband of the year." 

To hear Arie tell it, though, his pregnant-again wife (the duo are set to welcome twins this year) makes him the lucky one. "The fact is, I'm really happy with Lauren," he told GQ in 2018 of their origin story. "So for me, it was all worth it."