Jared Always Knew He & Ashley I. Were Meant To Be — And These New Comments Prove It

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Three weeks ago, the promise of impending wedding bells rocked Bachelor Nation when Jared Haibon got down on one knee to ask for Ashley Iaconetti's hand in marriage on the set of Bachelor in Paradise. But judging by Jared's comments on proposing to Ashley I., which the BiP alum shared with People in a new interview published July 11, it sounds like he's been thinking about putting a ring on it for quite some time now. Per the outlet's report, Jared told People he'd been planning to propose long before he actually did so on the BiP set last month.

"I knew since we started dating that this wasn't just a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship," he said, adding, "I knew from day one, I'm going to propose." And cue the inevitable chorus of aww's from the likes of Bachelor Nation, whose residents have been caught up in a confusing game of are-they, aren't-they when it comes to the status of Ashley I. and Jared's relationship for years now.

Veteran BiP fans know that makes sense, given that Ashley I. and Jared have known each other for quite some time, too, despite the fact that they didn't officially start up a romantic relationship until two months ago, in May 2018. At least, that's when they took their relationship public, anyway, via a sweet Instagram post and a heartwarming video reel called "Ashley & Jared," fashioned as an episode of Ashley I.'s web series, The Story of Us. But as more seasoned residents of Bachelor Nation might remember, the two first met way back in 2015, on the set of Bachelor in Paradise.

So, after keeping fans (and each other, it seems) on their toes for the better part of the last three years, Jared told People that, in making his pre-engagement arrangements, he thought it was only fit that they "go back to Paradise and make it right." And make it right, he did.

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"I was definitely nervous," Jared told People about the proposal, which played out in front of the BiP cameras and is set to air during the series' upcoming fifth season. (A bit of news ABC later confirmed to Bustle.) But from the looks of their picture-perfect proposal photo, it seems safe to say Jared didn't let his anxieties get the better of him in the end.

Not to jump the proverbial gun here, but since we're on the subject of their engagement — anyone else wondering when Bachelor Nation will finally get some details about Ashley I. and Jared's actual wedding? Understandably, it sounds like the couple hasn't hammered out too many of those logistics just yet. (Makes sense, since it's only been a little more than three weeks since Ashley I. and Jared got engaged in the first place.) But during their recent conversation with People, Ashley I. did offer some insight as to what the engagement timeline might look like; albeit, in notably vague terms.

Speaking about what their ideal matrimonial circumstances might look like, Ashley I. shared two tidbits with People: one, they'd like to tie the knot in roughly a year; and two, they want lots of people to be there. "We're both definitely on par with a bigger wedding," Ashley I. said. "We've always imagined that."

Whether or not Bachelor Nation will snag an invite to their wedding is still anyone's guess, at this point. That being said, fans have made it pretty clear that, if Ashley I. and Jared are into the idea, they're definitely here for it, too. And, judging by Ashley I.'s recent comments about the possibility of a televised wedding, it sounds like she and Jared might actually be interested. Of course, if ABC can't pull through on that particular front, fans can still look forward to watching Jared propose in real time (well, sort of) when Bachelor in Paradise returns this August. Until then, you've got the world's sweetest proposal photo and a 44-minute video montage to tide you over.