Fresh off their December 1 nuptials, J.P. Rosenbaum continues to keep the romance alive with wife Ashley Hebert.
The blissfully in love newlyweds met on The Bachelorette. History has shown that most such couples fizzle after the cameras go away, but not for these two lovebirds. "I think the romance part of it is the easy part. You know that's there. It's all about emotion and romance. That's what the franchise is all about. Just the question whether we'd get along as people," J.P. told ETonline. "Our real relationship started once we started living together."
Since exchanging personally written vows in their California ceremony, Ashley has found that the institute of marriage has brought "a sense of security and forever that didn't exist before" in the relationship.
The Princeton, NJ based couple selected a west coast destination as their venue because "of the options we had discussed with production and with ourselves internally, Pasadena was the most beautiful place we were considering," J.P. explained. "Not convenient for us east coasters, [but] far and away the nicest place we had seen."
Joining them at the altar was a familiar face, host of The Bachelorette. "When we were trying to figure out who we'd like to officiate, Chris Harrison really was our first choice," J.P said. "He has been there from the beginning. He's seen our good sides and bad sides. Even off the show, we keep in touch. It made sense to come full circle."
As Ashley made her way down the aisle towards her awaiting groom, she was concerned about tripping on the long train of her custom-made Randi Rahm gown. The bride researched bridal fashion on Pinterest for inspiration and collaborated with the designer before settling on what she calls the "perfect dress."
The duo also teamed with famed wedding planner Mindy Weiss to create their fantasy affair. "We put everything in her hands," Ashley trusted. "[It was] above and beyond anything we could have done on our own." J.P. did have some input, though, asserting, "No red roses were allowed." Being under the very experienced care of Mindy, the biggest stress Ashley endured was rain on her wedding day, which is said to bring luck to a couple anyways. Skies cleared in time for the ceremony, though. And, J.P. struggled with cutting down the guest list.
Ashley's protective sister Chrystie Vachon, who was quite vocal on The Bachelorette that she didn't approve of J.P., quickly changed her tune after their initial sour meeting. Serving as maid of honor, Chrystie gave the couple her blessing and J.P. says they now get along very well. "She is like a sister to me. We Skyped in two days after we returned from Fiji," he reported.
Although Ashley maintained that the ceremony focused on "family and love," J.P. chose to incorporate some Jewish customs into the affair. "We got married under a chuppah, broke the glass, signed a ketubah, and I wore a yamaka," he shared. "We did dance the hora." Also at the reception, the Mr. and Mrs. were hoisted up in chairs to celebrate.
Proudly admitting it wasn't a "cookie cutter wedding," the bride and groom chose to forgo traditional vows. "I took the core things that I think make a marriage last. I made those promises. You definitely see some tears, but not as many as you might think. We were pretty composed," Ashley remembered. When the wedding is broadcast, will it be a tearjerker? J.P. gave the fans the disclaimer, "If my mom can make it through, you can make it through."
Other wedding staples the blushing bride omitted was incorporating something borrowed and something blue and the tossing of her bouquet. "I didn't even throw my bouquet. It was too pretty to throw," she giggled. "We had so much going on, we forgot about traditions." The husband and wife were serenaded for their first dance to the song Love in a live performance by Matt White.
Besides having the televised special to replay over and over, the couple made sure to record mental notes throughout their special day. J.P appreciated his friends' tip: "Stephen Stagliano and DeAnna [Pappas] had pulled us aside and said, 'Whatever you do, take ten minutes and go off to the side to take it all in…because it'll be over before you know it.' I did it a few times throughout the night. It was important because I will have those memories."
Although some special moments eluded the TV cameras, fans can look forward to a two-hour wedding extravaganza this Sunday on ABC. J.P didn't find the extra lenses "overly intrusive," but Ashley was concerned about keeping the anxiety level down amongst her family and friends who had never appeared on camera before. Had they not gone the televised route, J.P. was concerned he'd regret the decision in 20 years. Ashley also wanted their fans to "celebrate and enjoy a happy ending."
But, they don't want to over-share with audiences. They've deferred their honeymoon to the first half of 2013 and will shun cameras from their tropical getaway. Cameras in the delivery room are also out of the question, according to Ashley, when they eventually have children. "J.P. wants two, I want one," she said. She thinks she'll be protective of her kids' privacy and is unsure if she'd welcome reality TV cameras into her home.
It is a bit premature to predict if Sean Lowe will too be saying "I do" to his perfect gal when he stars in the upcoming installment of The Bachelor, premiering January 7 on ABC. Ashley doesn't know him personally, but "from watching he seemed like a good guy [with a] good head on his shoulders," she said, expecting an "honest season."