It’s official, folks! On Saturday, in a romantic ceremony with close friends and family at Hacienda Don Carmelo in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, the lovebirds finally got married after meeting each other on the 7th season of Bachelor in Paradise, where they got engaged at the end of the show.
The fans have some major good news to be cheerful about as Kenny Braasch and Mari Pepin, two of the most popular and beloved contestants from the hit reality TV show, have finally taken the most crucial step of their lives by taking their love to new heights by exchanging heartfelt vows in the breathtaking paradise of Puerto Rico, that added an extra touch of magic to their special day.
Surrounded by their family in front of 65 guests, Kenny and Mari Fot got married on November 11, 2023, which they publicly confirmed on Instagram in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE.
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“I do believe in signs and numbers, and so 11/11 is obviously seen as a special number and it means good things,” Pepin, 27, tells PEOPLE exclusively of why they chose the date after first getting engaged during the season 7 finale of the dating reality series. Having their wedding celebration fall over Veterans Day holds extra meaning to Pepin since her dad served in the military for 25 years. “I’m his only daughter, so that’s special,” she says.
“He hasn’t had the best association or memories with Veterans Day, so hopefully this year we’ll change that and for Veterans Days moving forward.”
Pepin says they opted for a destination wedding in Puerto Rico, where a lot of her family lives, because she and Braasch wanted to keep their big day “smaller, easier to manage” and “more intimate.”
She also added, “But we’ve always had the idea to do a couple of other celebrations so we can include more people as well,” teasing a possible celebration with Bachelor Nation friends. In addition to this, Pepin made sure to include the couple’s pups Dice and Monster, who attended the ceremony in tuxedos. “We definitely wanted to have our dogs included, so they flew out here with us,” Pepin says, adding: “That was a bit of an adventure.”
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On the other hand, pictures from the marriage show that Braasch’s sister officiated the ceremony, during which the couple exchanged vows they wrote themselves.
The former pageant queen further expressed, “The important part is actually finding a person that you want to spend the rest of your life with and that you get along so well with. And it wasn’t until I met Kenny that I was like, oh yeah, I’m not thinking about that as much as this is the kind of person that I want to be with. That’s really made me realize that it was right.” She also appreciates being out of the dating game now, too. “There’s no more trying to figure out if some guy is playing games, this is it. It’s locked down,” she says.
“I know that Kenny is the kind of person that I want to be with forever.”
On the other hand, Brassch calls marriage “something that I didn’t think would ever happen.”
He continued by emphasizing how Pepin brought him a lot of peace and stated, “It’ll be exciting to see what happens in the next five years.” Talking more about the future, he said, “I feel like at some point we might start a business — we joke about it. But it’s nice to know that the future’s bright with a lot of possibilities for us. We’ve already lived together for a really good chunk of time, so we already know that things are going to already are going to work out.”
The newly married couple has plans to take a honeymoon next year — perhaps a European cruise, whereas Pepin might opt for a mini-moon in Canada. “We’ll go stay at Blake Moynes’ cabin in Canada,” Brassch joked.