Photo Credit: ABC/Adam Taylor
Ashley Hebert struggled to keep her composure as she made her way up the aisle to marry J.P. Rosenbaum, her "perfect match," whom she met on season 7 of The Bachelorette. Unfolding to the strains of "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You," the moment was one of many emotional scenes from the Dec. 1st nuptials, which aired in Sunday night's broadcast of The Bachelorette: Ashley and J.P.'s Wedding.
Before a gathering of family, friends and a good number of Bachelor all-stars, Ashley, 28, and J.P., 35, traded vows at the stunning Langham Hotel in Pasadena, Calif., in a ceremony officiated by host Chris Harrison. They are the third couple from The Bachelor franchise to make good on their engagement, which happened during the season finale in Fiji in May of 2011.
"The way you keep up with my unstoppable energy, sometimes not-so-funny jokes, and walk my teacup Yorkie, Boo, assures me that you are my perfect match," declared Ashley when reciting her personal vows. "And today and every day I promise to always choose happiness, no matter what the circumstance. I promise to wake up every morning and fall in love with you all over again. I promise that every day we are together will be the greatest day of my life."
Ashley, who's finishing up her residency as a pediatric dentist, and J.P., who's a construction manager, are giddily in love, and throughout the romantic special, their ardor came across as genuine.
At the start of the special, they met with "big deal" wedding planner, Mindy Weiss (who oversaw the nuptials of Ellen DeGeneres and Gwen Stefani, among others). Weiss, who's friendly and a bit daffy (Martin Short would be proud), pulled together the classy, elegant flowers, cake, seating areas and glam dress selections for the aforementioned, four-pound Yorkie, Boo. One of the doggie gowns cost $7,500. That must have brought tears to ABC producers' eyes! (Boo ended up being carried down the aisle in her birthday suit.) As for the bride, she teared up when she saw the guest gifts that Weiss has chosen: Forget-Me-Not seeds for planting, complete with a poem urging the guests to remember the couple's love.
More tears flowed -- this time from the groom's mom -- when Ashley tried on her Randi Rahm mermaid gown for her mom and his. Then she and J.P. choose their wedding bands, with Ashley correctly predicting which one J.P. would zero in on. (They must be meant for each other!)
Then it was on to W Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona, where the pair had girls' and guys' weekends without having to actually separate geographically. (These over-the-top lovebirds wouldn't dream of it!) Ashley's sister and maid of honor, Chrystie Corns (who famously took an instant dislike to J.P. before he won her over) led the bachelorette party, where a pole dancer taught Ashley how to swing around and gyrate like a stripper. To her credit, Ashley didn't flinch, and even joked that she wanted J.P. to buy her a pole. Well, let's hope it was a joke.
J.P.'s bachelor party, mercifully, was less sex-focused and more macho: He and his friends raced cars and drank Scotch. Later, the couple met up on the roof for a little ice skating, where Ashley showed off her toes. They were pedicured with J.P.'s "cute" face! Weird! But still cute.
When the wedding day finally arrived, about 300 wedding guests assembled to watch it happen. Among them were the first two married couples to come out of the Bachelor franchise: season 1 Bachelorette Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter, who wed in 2003; and season 13 Bachelor Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney, who married in 2010 (in the rain!) and are now expecting a baby.
As Ashley made her way toward her groom, the camera panned the audience to reveal season 6 Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky, as well as Roberto Martinez (the Latin hunk whose marriage proposal she accepted at the end of her season, though the couple later broke up). Also among the familiar faces were season 5 Bachelorette Jillian Harris, season 4 Bachelorette Deanna Pappas, and season 8 Bachelorette Emily Maynard. All three of them have broken up with the guys who won the final rose during their seasons.
In solo interviews during the reception, those other former Bachelorettes gushed to the cameras about Ashley and J.P.'s heartwarming love. (Maynard sounded a little discouraged about her own situation, but then, her breakup is still pretty recent.)
And though he wasn't interviewed, the camera settled several times on the upcoming, season 17 Bachelor, Sean Lowe. His season starts on Jan. 7, so why not remind viewers? Could another wedding be in the cards? We'll have to tune in to see!