It's been four months since he got down on one knee on national television, but Arie and Lauren's engagement photos are finally here. That's Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Lauren Burnham, of course, who came to fame as The Bachelor's Season 22 star and winner, respectively. Now, the pair has released the first two images from a shoot by photographer Jennifer Griffith at Griffith Imaging, who allowed Bustle to include her photos in this piece.
In both photos, the couple is frolicking in a sunlit field of wheat — as one does — looking happy, relaxed, and very much in love. On the day of the shoot, Arie wore a simple white and blue shirt and sported a strategic amount of stubble, and Lauren donned an off-the-shoulder minidress in white eyelet lace.
The duo are wearing the same outfits in both photos, but they did select two different poses to show off different elements of their relationship. The first of the two shots is a close-up, posted to both Lauren's account and that of the photographer, in which Arie leans in to kiss his bride-to-be on the forehead. Lauren captioned the photo, "It’s now just under six months till I marry this sweet man. He’s been the biggest blessing in my life every single day. #truelovewins."
Both parties have their eyes closed in the shot, sharing a quiet moment, which allows all the focus to fall onto Lauren's ginormous engagement ring, sparkling in the foreground. According to People, the ring clocks in at just over 3.5 carats, with two matching baguette diamonds on the shank, and over 170 smaller accent stones haloing the cushion-cut diamond at the center. Jewelry-designer Neil Lane, who's responsible for all the pieces featured in Bachelor Nation, told the outlet that it's one "the most highly decorated rings" he's ever designed.
So it's not surprising that the attention-getting piece takes more of a backseat in the second photo, so that the couple's bond can really shine. In this second image, also taken by Griffith and shared by Arie on his own Instagram on Sunday, Lauren leans back against her fiancé as his arms encircle her. Arie smiles widely and Lauren's mouth is open as if caught in a candid moment of laughter.
"One step closer to the wedding," the race car driver wrote in the caption, tacking on a smiley-face emoji and also emphasizing the couple's impending nuptials, adding, "This is what life is all about, sharing these amazing moments with her. Under 6 months until the big day! #engagementphotos."
The couple has announced that they plan to wed in Hawaii on Jan. 12, 2019, although they've been clear that the wedding won't be televised. "It's a private wedding, so not on TV," Arie told audiences at The View during an appearance in May, continuing, "Just a close group of friends, probably a hundred guests."
It may be an unexpected choice for a Bachelor Nation couple, but can you really blame them? The couple had a notoriously rocky start on The Bachelor, with Arie initially rejecting Lauren to propose to Becca Kufrin. Months later, however, the 36-year-old had a change of heart, breaking up with Becca to ask Lauren for a second chance. Spoiler alert: she gave him one, and Lauren walked away with the aforementioned ring on her finger after Arie proposed live on After the Final Rose, while Becca got herself a starring role on the next season of The Bachelorette, airing now.
It was a decision that came with its fair share of backlash, but after all that onscreen turmoil, things have proceeded much more smoothly off-camera, so it's no wonder that they want to keep the ceremony more private. And after the whirlwind of their relationship, it's nice to see things moving at a pace that's slightly more recognizable to us normals. No matter how you feel about them as a pair, Arie and Lauren's engagement photos suggest that they're in a good place leading up to the wedding, that they've been building on the foundation of their relationship and getting to know each other. And from the looks of it, laughing quite a bit along the way, which is really all that you can ask for.