Even more qualified than Bachelor Nation knew! Jesse Palmer quietly married his longtime love, Emely Fardo, more than one year before he landed his gig as the host of The Bachelor.
The 43-year-old former NFL quarterback and the 35-year-old model confirmed on Monday, October 4, that they exchanged vows in June 2020 after postponing (and ultimately canceling) their Provence, France, nuptials.
“We were only able to invite a small group of close friends that live in the greater NYC area, and that were in quarantine at the time,” the duo said in a statement to People on Monday, reposting photos from their wedding via Instagram. “We had a lovely afternoon and look forward to celebrating our love with our parents and immediate families all together soon! Big or small, wedding party or not, we feel so grateful and lucky to have found each other!”
The news comes one week after ABC announced Palmer was set to guide season 26 of The Bachelor following Chris Harrison’s exit from the franchise. (While the network has yet to announce the next lead, a source confirmed to Us Weekly that Bachelorette season 17 castoff Clayton Echard landed the gig before Michelle Young’s season premieres on October 19.) After kicking off production late last month, Palmer traveled to the East Coast for his gig with ESPN over the weekend, returning to the Bachelor mansion in Los Angeles on Monday.
“Back to work,” he wrote alongside a video from the set via Instagram Stories. Palmer also shared footage of a birthday surprise in his trailer as he turned 43 on Tuesday, October 5.
Early on Tuesday morning, Fardo paid tribute to her husband on social media.
“Happy birthday to my most sweet, caring, hard working, handsome husband! In wine years it just means you’re getting more delicious 🍷,” she wrote. “😂😋🎉 #libra #birthday #love #tbt.”
Palmer proposed to Fardo in 2019 after more than two years of dating.
“I’ve been so enamored, so in love with this woman and it only has grown,” he told Daily Mail after popping the question with a 3.5-carat ring. “I was trying to find the right one she would like. I wanted to get the ring shape, setting and band right. She said I knocked it out of the park.”
Palmer, who was the season 5 Bachelor in 2004, added at the time that he was “head over heels” for Fardo.
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“She has taught me, cares for me like no one else. She has made me be the best version of myself,” he gushed. “She loves me unconditionally.”
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