In the kind of news you just plain never see coming until it explodes and you're left to deal with the aftermath, Bachelor in Paradise star Ashley Salter revealed she's engaged to real estate vice president Austin Brannen, her ex-boyfriend from college with whom she has recently (and by recently, I mean since June) re-connected. Considering Ashley S. failed to find love on Chris Soules' season of The Bachelor, and on the most recent season of Bachelor in Paradise, I don't think any of us were expecting her to find it so soon off the show — let alone for that find to develop into an engagement only three months later. And now the question on everyone's mind is when is Ashley Salter's wedding (and will any of us be invited)?
The answer to the second question is, more than likely, a resounding no, but the answer to the first question is a little more complicated. While it seems like Ashley S. and Brannen had a whirlwind romance that resulted in a quick engagement, the two have already dated and gotten to know each other before. This wasn't a case of new love so much as a case of rekindling sparks, which tends to make the feelings deeper the second time around. The speed of the engagement, however, might make it seem like the pair will put off the wedding until they spend even more time getting to know each other on a husband-and-wife basis rather than on a boyfriend-and-girlfriend basis. They know what they want, yes, but there's so much to work out before you get to the altar if you want the marriage to work, you know?
However, it's also clear from the fact that Ashley S. has cropped up on two seasons of the Bachelor/Bachelor in Paradise that she is a woman who is super ready to walk down the aisle with the man of her dreams. She's ready to find love, she's ready to settle down, and she's ready to get married. Now that she's done two of the three, why would she put off the wedding? There's about an equal chance that we might see Ashley S. become Ashley B. before the year is even out, if she's into the idea of a winter wedding.
Ashley S. herself has given no indication just yet as to whether the ceremony is right around the corner or if she and Brannen want to enjoy a long period of being fiancé and fiancée before they move to being husband and wife. So far, she's just expressed how thrilled she is about the whole being engaged thing, and how happy she and Brannen are together, with the most adorable photo ops I have literally ever seen. If Ashley S. and Brannen aren't your relationship goals yet, then taking a simple stroll through her Instagram might quickly change your mind. I mean, really.
Whether we're in for a long wait, or we should start tracking down their wedding registry from now, still remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: I couldn't be happier for her.