Most marriage proposals don’t take place in front of a viewing audience of almost nine million people, but that’s exactly the circumstance under which J.P. Rosenbaum asked Ashley Hebert to become his wife. The couple, who met during season seven of ABC’s hit reality series, The Bachelorette, were filming the final episode on a beach in Fiji. “There was some anticipation about whether J.P. was going to propose or not,” recalls Ashley. J.P. chose the perfect instance to declare his commitment to the show’s star, just as the South Pacific sun was setting in the sky behind them. “It was one of the most memorable moments of my life,” says the bride.
Following a leisurely engagement, planning for the Big Day took place in just three months. “I was a bit overwhelmed by all the details and how many decisions there were to make,” admits the bride. “I have a hard enough time deciding what to wear in the morning, let alone picking flowers, colors, music, etc.” Fortunately, the couple enlisted the help of a renowned wedding consultant to help orchestrate their celebration.
The ceremony took place on the vast lawn of a historic California resort hotel in front of 200 of the couple’s closest friends and family members, and was later broadcast on national television. The aisle and altar were constructed from wood plank flooring and lined with blossoming floral arrangements in dusty rose, champagne, and ivory tones, creating a natural but elegant ambiance. Towering greenery served as the backdrop to a chuppah that was formed from birch tree branches and overflowing English roses. The wedding party consisted of nine bridesmaids clad in cascading single-shouldered gowns, eight groomsmen donning suave tuxedos, two angelic flower girls, and one flawlessly coiffed Yorkshire Terrier.
The breathtaking bride wowed in a custom, form-fitting mermaid gown that boasted intricately beaded cap sleeves and a scoop back. Her long brunette locks were gently curled and swept to one side. In her hands, she carried a bouquet that featured a variety of flowers in off-white hues with hints of greenery peeking through. “When I saw Ashley for the first time as she appeared to begin her walk down the aisle, she looked more beautiful than anything I have ever seen before in my entire life,” says the smitten groom. “I will never forget that moment for as long as I live.”
The service included special, personalized moments such as a handfasting ceremony and the reading of a poem by the mothers of the bride and groom. But there was one tradition in particular that the J.P. will forever cherish. “There is no more perfect a moment in life than when you get to kiss your wife for the first time,” he says.
Following a ketubah signing, the couple and their guests made their way into an arched-ceiling ballroom for the reception. A long, wooden table designated for the wedding party was kept bare of linens, while plush seating, sophisticated drapery, and elegant chandeliers expanded upon the rustic-chic theme established during the ceremony. Off-white floral arrangements in various sizes and shapes decorated the dinner tables, and dancing candlelight reflected off the metallic vessels in which they were housed. Each place setting featured a linen napkin embroidered with the couple’s monogram that rested on a glass charger, along with a beautifully bound sprig of baby’s breath.
In lieu of just one wedding cake, the couple opted for a dessert table that displayed three unique confections in a range of flavors, including red velvet, chocolate, and pink champagne. “Mainly because I loved them all and couldn’t choose just one,” the bride laughs. As wedding favors, each guest was given a burlap bag of Forget-me-not flower seeds. “We hoped that everyone would plant them at home and always have a piece of our love with them,” explains Ashley.
Although their relationship might have unfolded in front of millions of television viewers, one of the bride and groom’s favorite memories of the evening was when they snuck away from the crowd, just the two of them. From afar, they observed their loved ones partaking in the celebration honoring their love, and what they witnessed epitomized the sentiment of their special day. “There was dancing and laughing, and it seemed like everyone was just having the time of their lives!” beams the bride. “It was truly amazing.”