Raise a Champagne Glass to These Still In Love Bachelor Couples

For all the many (so very many) returned Neil Lane jewels, some members of Bachelor Nation still have their rose-colored glasses firmly intact. Let's celebrate these franchise success stories!

By Sarah Grossbart Aug 11, 2020 7:00 AMTags

This has hardly been the most dramatic season of Bachelor news. Not in a world where pulling a Mesnick still exists. But the past few social distancing- and mask-filled months have been quite the journey. 

The bloom began falling off the rose, so to speak, back in March when we learned that Colton Underwood was among the very first celebrities to test positive for COVID-19. Since then, well, a lot has happened...

After quarantining with girlfriend and final rose recipient Cassie Randolph, the two announced the end of their year-and-a-half-long romance in May (and indulged in a brief public tiff about what details they can and cannot divulge).

Ben Higgins got engaged again, Vanessa Grimaldi too, while JoJo Fletcher and Jordan RodgersAstrid Loch and Kevin WendtRaven Gates and Adam Gottschalk, and Wells Adams and Sarah Hyland were all forced to push off their intended 2020 vows in the hopes that their loved ones would be able to carouse sans mask or anxiety at their eventual nuptials in 2021. 

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A number of new Bachelor Nation offspring made their entrance, Peter Weber castoff Victoria Fuller took her love hunt to Chris Soules' Iowa farm and Becca Kufrin—after revealing that she and fiancé Garrett Yrigoyen were "trying to work through" issues that arose after his "tone deaf" use of a pro-police slogan—called off their two-year engagement.

Then there's Clare Crawley.

TBH, we're still not 100 percent clear as to what went down on her Bachelorette journey. Forced to unpack her cocktail dresses and heels when it became clear that COVID would be a thorn in her season's side, she wasted no time when filming resumed this past June. And with one suitor stealing the hairdresser's heart before others even had a chance to drop the "falling for you" confession, Tayshia Adams was called into service.

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While it remains to be seen exactly what the eff is going on at Palm Springs' La Quinta Resort—Kufrin and Hannah Ann Sluss' recent arrivals to the franchise's version of the NBA bubble sending Bachelor theorists spinning—it does seem as though Clare got her promised happily ever after.

Because while more Instagram followers, a podcast deal and the other trappings of that influencer lifestyle are tempting, a plain, old-fashioned love story is still quite the prize. 

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Just ask Ashley Iaconetti.

Any reasonable person would have (and did!) tell the often emotional Paradise and Winter Games vet to let her dream of forever with Jared Haibon go. No matter how many times she declared him her soulmate and her future husband, Jared appeared entirely uninterested in anything beyond a platonic situation. 

"I had our mutual friends telling me that he is never going to like you," she would later share on their YouTube series The Story of Us, explaining their friends-to-forever transition, "that I am just obsessed, just infatuated and that you are never going to see me as anything more than a friend."

And then, in a please-kids-don't-try-this-at-home twist, once Jared realized he just might lose the former nanny for good, he woke up to what was in front of him the whole time, got the girl, proposed and, today, they're celebrating their first anniversary. 

So, truly, who are we to question?

"I've always believed in the power of positive thinking. I think an ambitious attitude, a strong belief in oneself, and a positive outlook is incredibly important for achieving the life you desire," Ashley wrote on Instagram of accomplishing part one of her marriage-and-babies objective. "It may sound like an old fashioned goal, but remember, love may not make the world go 'round, but it's what the makes the ride worthwhile."

And they're not the only members of Bachelor Nation in the middle of one amazing journey. Check out the rest of the franchise vets whose outlooks on romance are still decidedly rosy. 

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, 7 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."

Ashley Hebert & J.P. Rosenbaum

Nine years into their romance, the Miami-based pair—the first duo to join the Sutters in the Bachelorette win column—have already lived the "for worse" portion of their 2012 wedding vows. In December 2019, consultant J.P. was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that left him unable to move enough to hug son Fordham, 5, or daughter Essex, 3. "I can't even pick up my kids. I can't bathe them, I can't do anything. I can't contribute at all," he told People at the time. "Watching Ashley do all of it is the hardest part." 

The silver lining: it gave him new appreciation for his bride. "Ashley is a Superwoman," he said of the pediatric dentist. "She's been amazing. She's been supportive, and she does it all." And he never misses an opportunity now to share his gratitude. Acknowledging her April birthday, he posted to Instagram, "Yes she's beautiful, yes she's brilliant, and yes she's the most loving mother any child could ask for, but that doesn't even scratch the surface of how incredible this woman is and what she is capable of, not even close!"

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 15-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, 3, and Hayes, 20 months) and a few HGTV and DIY Network shows later, they credit the series with laying their foundation. As Peyton put it in an August 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. More than five 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, 3, and Zander, 19 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 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 four-and-a-half 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 their son's planned November arrival, they'll tie the Lowes for most Bachelor offspring. 

"Life gets crazy sometimes," Jade wrote in a January anniversary post of juggling nearly 3-year-old daughter Emmy and 12-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."

Carly Waddell & Evan Bass

Following two trips to Paradise, cruise ship singer Carly left Mexico with the love story she truly never expected, succumbing to the single father of three's charms despite her initial hesitations. Returning to the beach a year later for their televised vows, the couple discovered they were expecting daughter Bella, now 2. "We thought we would go back and show her her history," Carly joked in a 2018 post. "Bella, this is where mommy peed on a stick inside a Mexican bathroom and we found out that you were now part of our crazy beautiful story."

Their tale continued with son Charlie's November 2019 arrival and a recent celebration of their third anniversary. "A lot has changed," Carly wrote in a June tribute to the erectile dysfunction expert, "What hasn't changed is Evans[sic] commitment to spirit finger photographs, but he would still get my final rose."

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." 

Peter Weber & Kelley Flanagan

Dare we say, it was a fairly dramatic capper to Peter's somewhat whiplash-y season. Once he'd broken off an engagement to final rose recipient Hannah Ann Sluss and aborted an attempted reconciliation with also-ran Madison Prewett, the pilot changed course completely, flying to Chicago this past spring to woo fifth place finisher Kelley. 

Their romance took off fairly quickly from there. "She's my biggest fan and she supports me and she's always there for me," he explained to Entertainment Tonight of the attorney. "I know I have my partner in crime forever." The co-pilots intend to move to New York City together post-COVID and have already sealed their commitment with a ring, Peter presenting her with a gumball machine ring when he told her he loved her. The real thing could be coming soon, he added: "We'll see what's in store down the road."

Kaitlyn Bristowe & Jason Tartick

Nearly 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 last October 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 after 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 14-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, he's 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."