With the new season of The Bachelor, fans are being introduced to a whole new group of women looking to fall in love with the newest Bachelor Colton Underwood. But there's a former contestant who is reminiscing about her rose-filled journey. Ashley Iaconetti celebrated her former Bachelor days and how far she's come with a sweet throwback on Instagram that focuses on her Bachelor journey. It's one that started with heartache and ended with a proposal. It also might be the hopeful message all those competing for a new batch of roses need right now.
"I’m feeling very mushy about my Bachelor journey right now," Ashley I. wrote on Instagram on Tuesday (Jan. 8). "It actually has been a true personal journey!" Five years ago, she sent in an audition tape for The Bachelor and was chosen to appear on Season 19 with Chris Soules. Although Ashley I. didn't win his heart — Whitney Bischoff did, though the two ended their engagement following the show — she got a whole lot more and she decided to list them all out.
"The love of my life. Achieving my aspired career goals. A unique, intense class of-sorts in personal discovery and growth," she wrote. "The opportunity to work as a correspondent for the best host in all the land, @chrisbharrison FOUR YEARS after I made my first appearance on the show."
This impressive list was all to say that she's grateful for her Bachelor journey, which also included a season stint on two seasons of Bachelor In Paradise and last year's The Bachelor Winter Games. "I would be a totally different person today if it wasn’t for this show," she wrote. "I don’t know where I’d be in any aspect of life, but I know it’s impossible for me to be happier than I am now."
That happiness might have a little something do with her fiancé Jared Haibon who she met on BiP probably doesn't hurt things. The two are currently planning their wedding, which is just eight months away, and Ashley I. is writing all about the planning for Cosmopolitan.
In her first column, she admitted that the worst of planning her wedding, which no, won't be televised, is well, the planning. "Filtering through all of this insanity was starting to feel like a second job," she wrote, and lord knows she's already got enough jobs: writing Bachelor recaps, podcasting, hosting. Honestly, Bustle didn't call her "most likely to become a Kardashian" for nothing.
Getting a wedding planner helped her keep everything in check. It also helped her and Jared decide that their wedding will "be more of a romantic experience, less of a party."
No matter what frustrations come her way, though, there's one thing she won't regret: auditioning for The Bachelor. "I am forever grateful to The Bachelor franchise and family (on screen and behind the camera)," she wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of her with Bachelor producer Elan Gale. "for helping craft the life I live today and the person I’ve become."
Ashley I's throwback Instagram is a message of hope to the women on Colton's season that whether they get that final rose or not, things are going to work out. After all, she knows this first hand.