Ashley and J.P. don't plan to have kids right away. Let's just get that out of the way right now.
The "Bachelorette" pair have already wed -- the ceremony took place Dec. 1, with "Bachelor" host Chris Harrison presiding -- but we'll all get to "attend" via their wedding special, "The Bachelorette: Ashley and J.P.'s Wedding," airing Sunday, Dec. 16 at 9 PM on ABC. (We'll be live-tweeting every sparkly detail; follow Yahoo! TV on Twitter to join the fun! The hashtag is #TheBachelorette.)
Reporters got a sneak peek into the proceedings earlier this week, when Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum spoke to the press (while endearingly calling each other "babe" throughout) about everything from their living arrangements to upcoming Bachelor Sean Lowe to when they plan to have kids.
Currently splitting the difference between Ashley's residency in Philadelphia and J.P.'s job in New York City by bunking in Princeton, NJ, Ashley and J.P. represent just the third couple from the "Bachelor" franchise to head down the aisle ("Bachelorette" first-season couple Trista and Ryan Sutter and intra-season couple Jason and Molly Mesnick are the others). Ashley and J.P. didn't get any marriage advice from those pairs, but another "Bachelor" couple had some wedding advice, J.P. said: "Stephen Stagliano and DeAnna [a former Bachelorette now married to Stagliano, who's the twin brother of "Bachelor Pad" star Michael Stagliano] had pulled me aside or pulled us aside and said, whatever you do tonight, we want you guys to take 10 minutes, go out, like go off to the side, and just watch everything happen … because it will be over before you know it."
But Ashley and J.P. had advice of their own to give about making "Bachelor/ette" relationships work, both on the show and off. They don't know Sean Lowe personally, although he was at their wedding -- hilariously, when asked about Lowe's prospects, Ashley blurted, "Oh God, I don't even know Sean. I've never met Sean. I can't comment on that. Can you, babe?" -- but Ashley's gone through the process twice now, and she warned future contestants, "Don't force anything." Being true to yourself and "to the way you feel" is critical, she said, adding, "Just let whatever's going to happen, happen." J.P. noted that "there's no magic formula to it, it's just, you work or you don't."
J.P. also cautioned that, while romance is the basis of the "Bachelor" franchise, working as a couple is a different kettle of fish: "Romance was always there. It was just a question of whether we were going to get along as people." That's why he and Ashley waited to go ahead with the wedding itself: "We understood how we met. We understood that we would need some significant time to really get to know each other."
Once the wedding planning itself was underway, the pair didn't go a particularly traditional route, turning all but a few decisions over to the wedding planner ABC furnished. Ashley anxiously admitted that she'd totally forgotten about the "something borrowed, something blue" tradition; she didn't throw the bouquet; and they've postponed their honeymoon until 2013. (Ashley now wishes they'd taken a short break after the festivities, just to reset their systems, "because I am like wedding love wife brain. And I can't focus on anything right now.") Walking down the aisle, Ashley wasn't having starry-eyed thoughts of her groom. "I wish I could say that it was something other than, 'Wow, my train is so heavy, I'm not sure I can make it all the way up those steps,'" she joked, before apologizing to J.P.
And…of course there were TV cameras present. Did either of them have issues with putting this important event on camera? Ashley admitted that they weren't sure they wanted to go that route, but it had the benefit of providing closure of a sort for fans of the show: "It allowed people that spent so much of their own emotion going through the relationship with me and with J.P., to really kind of celebrate and, you know, enjoy a happy ending." And it's nothing new for them to have their relationship documented this way, of course; J.P. sort of voice-shrugged that they're used to it at this point. But Ashley was worried that the friends and family who weren't accustomed to being on camera would have concerns. (J.P., supportively: "Good point, babe." The "babe"-ing is quite frequent, but we've watched more "Bachelor"-related stuff than we'd like to admit, and we have to say, it seems sincere in this case.)
"Nothing major has changed" now that it's official, Ashley said -- they've lived together for over a year -- but "there's this sense of security, this sense of forever, that I think didn't exist before we got married." On a more prosaic note, J.P. mentioned having left his wedding band "in a dish by the shower" once already. But they can look forward to questions about when they're starting a family; it took almost no time for the press to bring it up, and Ashley didn't have a prepared answer. "Oh gosh. You just never really plan for that." They're going to "chill out for a little while and enjoy each other's company" alone, she said, and J.P. agreed that there isn't a specific timeline.
And is that milestone going to be filmed? It doesn't sound like it, according to J.P.: "I think that I'd like to keep the rest of our lives together a little more personal."
Unfortunately, a few awesome-sounding wedding moments didn't make it on camera either, including the traditional hora dance, and the moment when Chris Harrison and another producer "tied their ties together and created a limbo for everybody." (We also won't see what happened after cameras stopped filming and, according to The Stir, cocktail service switched to a cash bar, annoying the guests.)
But we'll see just about every other wedding moment -- and don't forget, Yahoo! TV is live-tweeting the nuptials. See you Sunday on hashtag #TheBachelorette! We'll be wearing purple.
"The Bachelorette: Ashley and J.P.'s Wedding" airs Sunday, 12/16 at 9 PM -- and don't miss Sean Lowe's "Bachelor" premiere on January 7, 2013!
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