'Bachelor in Paradise' Finale: Why Brandon and Serene Decided Not to Get Married on the Beach (Exclusive)

Brandon Jones and Serene Russell
ABC/Stewart Cook

The couple got engaged on the show's season finale.

Brandon Jones and Serene Russell couldn't say "I do" without their families. After the pair's engagement on the season 8 finale of Bachelor in Paradise, host Jesse Palmer said he'd marry them right then and there, but the couple declined his offer.

"Mom is happy," Brandon told ET's Denny Directo of his and Serene's decision not to get hitched in Mexico. "I'm the oldest son, so my mom's been waiting for this."

"And I'm the first girl, so..." Serene added with a laugh.

While they may not have been ready to exchange vows, the couple's love was clear as could be during their final moments in Paradise.

"I had always yearned for a life-changing love, but I had never seen it or experienced it first-hand. But then I met you," Serene said. "... Your love is so much more than the love I had dreamt of all those years."

"I love you in every sense of the word," Brandon responded in kind. "... My happily ever after could've never started until I started a life with you... I want to start forever with you."

As is obvious to anyone who watched this season, the couple always knew without question that they were meant to be.

"I think for me it was like really gradual," Serene told ET of falling in love with Brandon. "... He was so intentional and that was something I said I needed from the jump... Every day I fell a little more in love."

"Just seeing that we align on so many different things, I realized he was my soul mate a little bit at a time," she continued. "It was just a very nice, calming feeling. There was no panic."

Now that their engagement is public knowledge, Brandon and Serene are excited to live with the fiancé titles for the time being.

"We were really excited to plan that part of our lives together and move in together and all those things," Serene said of the wedding, "but, honestly, I think right now we're just really focused on enjoying this season of life together 'cause we've had to stay low-key."

"That's one of the main things I love about her, is these big milestones we get to celebrate," Brandon added. "We're not overlooking them like, 'OK, let's move on to the next [thing]. What's next?' It's, like, 'No, let's live in the moment.'"

That moment included celebrating their engagement with all their pals and looking ahead to normal date nights together.

"We're having too much fun together, but it's like, 'Yo, can we go to dinner together?'" Brandon joked, before Serene said that she'd "like to see a movie, a dinner, walk in the park."

Bachelor in Paradise's beach is officially closed for the season. Return to Bachelor Nation with Zach Shallcross' season of The Bachelor, which will premiere Jan. 23 on ABC.