Even with Trista and Ryan’s blessing, though, Ashley and Jape still aren’t cleared to hit the matrimonial runway. Our fearless host Chris Harrison — who’s now an ordained member of the Universal Life Church, or something — is going to be officiating the ceremony, and he’s not letting JP put a ring on it until he knows for certain that these two “are truly committed to what marriage means.” (Maybe Team Bachelor should be asking themselves the same question.) “I think there are things in life that the brain doesn’t understand but the heart feels,” explains Ashley, “and I think that’s kind of what we have.” That’s all Harrison needs to hear. “They’re ready!” he declares. “It’s going to be a beautiful wedding.”
No doubt, but will it be a beautiful wedding that occurs in the year 2012? Good God, Team Bachelor — how much longer are you going to drag this out? And forcing us to watch Ashley and JP argue over whether they’ll share one kiss or two at the altar… that’s just cold. As more guests file in (I spy Mike Stagliano, Michelle Money, Ali and Roberto pretending that they don’t hate each other, Jillian, a newly-single Emily…), new Bachelor Sean appears on Harrison’s hot seat. “This could be you soon!” cries the host. “Maybe,” mutters the Bachelor with a weak shrug. Still, he reveals that the “quality of women” he had to choose from was “great” — so he’s got that going for him. See you
in hell on January 7th, pal.
Finally, finally, finally after a pre-wedding brunch and some promotional consideration for the hair and makeup team, Jape gives Ashley a bracelet laden with charms that symbolize all the important moments in their life together — a rose, a cupcake, a tooth, a dog bone (what up, Boo?) — the bride is ready to put on her dress. Harrison, please take your place on the “wedding stage” and let’s do this thing!
Jape makes his way down the aisle with his parents (looking lovely, Eileen!) and then the long processional unfolds — 9 bridesmaids, 9 groomsmen, 2 flower girls, 1 ring bearer, 1 Teacup Yorkie — as the Bachelor Nation smiles politely and patiently. When Ashley emerges to the strains of “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” it takes three attendants to wrangle her train behind her. Before she even makes it down the steps, Ashley is crying, JP’s chin is quivering, and off in the control room, Mike Fleiss is wiping away his tears with hundred dollar bills. The bride and bridegroom are so happy to be reunited at the altar they can’t help but lean in for a kiss — but they stop short, for propriety’s sake, and rub noses instead. The crowd giggles, and I’ll admit, it’s pretty cute.
NEXT: What we learned during the ceremony