Back to the beach! Mari Pepin-Solis and Kenny Braasch are “making progress” on their wedding nearly two years after getting engaged on Bachelor in Paradise.
“It’s been a lot of fun to plan the wedding. I think we’re still in the preliminary stages, we’re still trying to source some vendors and get the major things booked,” Pepin-Solis, 30, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting her partnership with Smirnoff on Wednesday, February 22. “We’ve done a lot of research and we’ve just been having a good time with it. A lot of times wedding planning can be boring and stressful and as much as it is a lot of work, I think we’re just trying to have a good time with it.”
The couple are set to wed in her native Puerto Rico in November.
“That’s where I’m from. A lot of my family is still there, so it’s just kind of what I always envisioned for my wedding. I’m really glad that he’s happy to oblige me in that aspect,” she explained, adding that the pair haven’t had difficulties compromising as they plan the nuptials.
Pepin-Solis revealed that the twosome will do a second ceremony in March 2024 in Chicago.
“We’ve got multiple looks! Because we have two weddings, we’ve got to go all out,” she gushed to Us. “It was such a good experience. I actually went [wedding dress shopping] with Kenny’s mom and sister. My mom lives overseas, so she wasn’t able to join, unfortunately, in person. But I just feel so lucky that his family is so welcoming and so loving that they would come to something like that for me — [it’s] very special.”
The ABC personality “tried on so many different styles” and ended up with some surprising picks.
“The style I ended up choosing completely caught me off guard. I have a couple different styles, so I was able to mix it up and throw in different styles that look nothing like each other, which is cool,” she explained. “But the dress for my main wedding, the one in Puerto Rico, I envisioned myself in something very sleek and sexy and almost more pageant-like — I have no idea why I never envisioned myself in anything else, but suddenly I’m on Pinterest and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, no, I love this style.’ And I ended up going with something so different.”
Fans watched Pepin-Solis and Braasch get engaged on the season 7 finale of BiP, which aired in 2021.
“It’s strange because when I think about it I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’ve been together almost for two years now, and it feels like it’s gone by so quickly.’ But then I’m like, ‘Well, yeah, I guess that does make sense because we think about it, like, in TV time — there have been however many seasons after ours now,’” she noted.
As she continues to plan their big day, Pepin-Solis is hosting one of Smirnoff’s Margarita Makeover Takeovers in Miami on Wednesday. Attendees can expect delicious bites, sweet and spicy tunes and a signature spicy vodka-based margarita, the “Tamarita.”
“It’s bold flavor, it’s sweet, it’s spicy and I’m excited because I think that kind of matches my personality a little bit,” she told Us. “I actually prefer vodka-based margaritas. I’ve had different iterations of the margarita, different flavors, different combinations of all kinds. I actually do prefer the vodka! I think tequila has gotten to the point where I’m just like, ‘Eh, it’s overdone.’ I’m really excited that Tamarita is something that’s gonna be bold and different on the market.”