Jared Haibon and Ashley Iaconetti will soon say “I do.” Before that, though, Bachelor alums Jared and Ashley’s pre-wedding festivities include a romantic cruise in Rhode Island. As per People on Friday, Aug. 9, the soon-to-be married couple began their wedding weekend with a “welcome cruise” with friends and family on a boat named the Schooner Aurora in Newport, Rhode Island. “It’s all our close friends and family, and the wedding party will come,” Jared told People in an exclusive interview before the festivities. “There will be food and drinks, and hopefully we’ll catch the sunset if it’s nice out. I’m very excited for that.”
As reported by People, Rhode Island serves as a significant location for Jared: The Bachelor alum grew up in the city of Warwick before venturing out to film Bachelor in Paradise and the Bachelorette, during which he met his future wife. Ashley added of the meaningful location for the couple’s upcoming nuptials, “I really just want people to love New England! It’s super romantic.”
The two met in 2015 during their time on the hit ABC franchise, where Ashley served as contestant on Bachelor in Paradise for two seasons. While Ashley had strong feelings for Jared during her time on the series, he didn't initially reciprocate those feelings. Still, the two remained close friends. Later, Ashley appeared on and won the Bachelor Winter Games, where she found love with Kevin Wendt. The two split in March 2018, however, and in May 2018, Ashley and Jared revealed that they were officially dating with an episode of her webseries The Story Of Us.
The coupling has been smooth sailing since. In June 2018, the couple got engaged in Mexico while they were filming the fifth season of Bachelor in Paradise. Earlier this year, Ashley reflected on the “amazing experience” of planning her upcoming nuptials in the couple’s joint YouTube series What Now? “I always imagined myself a bridezilla because I like to have control of things,” she said in the video. “I’m typically the opposite of the ‘go with the flow’ mentality.”
Prior to the pre-wedding festivities in Rhode Island, Ashley celebrated a romantic comedy-themed bridal shower at The Garland hotel in North Hollywood, California in July with family and friends. On Instagram on Thursday, August 8, she shared a photo with her mom and sister at the soiree, which apparently featured a When Harry Met Sally-inspired “When Jared Met Ashley” sign. “My mom always thought Lauren was going to get married first,” she wrote. “Also, I’m bewildered by how much my mom looks like our sister in this photo from my bridal shower.”
At the bridal shower, Jade Roper Tolbert, a fellow Bachelor alum and close friend of Ashley, gushed about the upcoming nuptials to People, “It just feels like everything’s come full circle for her. It just feels so right. Ashley is going to be the most beautiful bride ever.”
Given the ups and downs that Jared and Ashley have endured since their Bachelor days, a fairytale wedding is the happily ever after they deserve.