Life really can change in a year — just ask Bachelor alum Lauren Burnham. On Wednesday, March 6, Lauren posted a throwback photo celebrating her engagement to Arie Luyendyk Jr. last year, and the caption will make fans smile.
This time last year, things were understandably tough for the couple, who had just gotten together after Arie changed his mind and chose to be with Lauren, who was his original runner-up on the show. This switch-up was easily one of the most controversial endings in Bachelor franchise history. The duo received a lot of criticism and negativity at the time, but a year later, it seems like life is better than ever for them.
On Instagram, Lauren posted a kissing picture from their finale and wrote,
"A year ago today I got engaged to the love of my life while the world watched. Our story is pretty unconventional, but it’s ours. Grateful for @bachelorabc bringing us together, because he’s the best thing that ever happened to me. Happy engagiversary babe. xo"
Their lives have completely turned around in a relatively short amount of time. First of all, they outlasted plenty of Bachelor couples by staying together for more than a year. There only two other Bachelor couples that are still going strong are Sean and Catherine Lowe and Jason and Molly Mesnick.
Beyond simply staying together as a couple, Lauren and Arie truly integrated their lives after their engagement. Late that month, Lauren moved to Scottsdale, Arizona to be with him. And in March 2018, Lauren shared photos from the couple's road trip moving all of her belongings and her dog from Virginia Beach to Scottsdale.
Initially, Lauren moved in with Arie, but just a couple months later they made a major change as a unit. In June 2018, Arie and Lauren bought a house together and they made the news Instagram official, of course. Lauren announced to followers, "Officially new home owners!" Meanwhile, Arie pointed out that his pants coordinated with the color of their door.
A few months after settling into their shared home, the couple encountered another major milestone. In November 2018, Lauren and Arie announced they're expecting their first child. In a Nov. 14 interview with Us Weekly, Arie admitted, "We weren’t trying, but we are so excited. It’s going to be a whole new chapter in our lives.”
In that same interview, Lauren revealed, "The first thing we thought of was, ‘Oh my gosh. Our wedding." She also remarked, "Obviously we’re not married yet, but this is the way it happened — and this is probably the way it was meant to happen!" Yes, it is. Their relationship is all about following the "unconventional" track.
The pair kept the baby's sex under wraps for a bit. Then on Jan. 4, Arie and Lauren revealed they're having a baby girl in another interview with Us Weekly. Initially, they thought they were having a baby boy and they even filmed something for The Bachelor Season 23 premiere about it. But once again, their relationship took a surprising turn. Arie even told Us Weekly,
"The phone call back to the producers was hilarious because they’re like, ‘Arie, you’re always making things difficult!’ We all had a big laugh about it."
At least they have a sense of humor. In that same interview, Lauren admitted this switcheroo was for the best. She said, "I'm feeling a lot more confident in being able to be a girl mom first!"
As if setting up a new home and preparing for their first child wasn't enough. The Bachelor alums were planning their dream wedding at the same time. On Jan. 11, Us Weekly confirmed that the couple tied the knot in Hawaii.
They even had some other familiar Bachelor cast members on hand to celebrate, including Sean and Catherine Lowe, Jenna Cooper, Jacqueline Trumbull, Maquel Cooper, and Seinne Fleming. Bachelor host Chris Harrison officiated their ceremony.
Lauren and Arie's relationship had a difficult start, but a year after their engagement, they have so much to celebrate. They have a great life in Arizona, a daughter on the way, and they defied Bachelor relationship expectations in their own way.