Can you feel the love tonight? Ten months after the world watched them get engaged on the season 17 finale of ABC's The Bachelor, Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici made history by saying "I do" in the franchise's first-ever live TV wedding. On Sunday, Jan. 26 — with their closest friends and relatives in attendance, and millions of fans watching from home — the couple pledged their eternal, undying devotion to each other in a ceremony at the gorgeous Four Seasons resort The Biltmore in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Sean walked down the aisle first, flanked by his mom, Sherry, and his dad, Jay, who officiated the vows. They were followed by the rest of the wedding party, including Catherine's many bridesmaids, who wore ethereal blush-colored gowns with gold accents.
Then came the moment everyone — but no one more than Sean — had been waiting for. Resplendent in a strapless lace Monique Lhuillier gown, Catherine appeared at the end of the aisle. As she began the long walk to the altar, her husband-to-be wiped tears from his eyes and beamed at his beautiful bride.
Sean and Catherine's love "has been an epic fairy-tale, on display for all the world to see," his dad began, as the camera panned to other Bachelor alum — including Ryan and Trista Sutter, and Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum — in the crowd. "I am so proud of you, son," he said. Then, turning to Catherine, he drawled, "And Catherine, I just want you to know that Sherry and I are head over heels in love with you, girl."
The couple then exchanged vows they had written themselves. "Before I met you, before I even knew you existed, I knew you were coming. I was ready to give my whole heart to someone, and now here you are," Catherine said tearfully.
She continued: "Sometimes I think I'm going to explode from how much I love you. I'm completely consumed by you. And tonight, we get to become one. I promise to love you until after my heart bursts, I promise to love you until after our children are old and gray…You're my dream and my reality, my future and my present, my whole heart and my best friend…I thank God for bringing you to me and igniting that light. I can't wait to shine together and make everybody completely blind."
Sean's vows were next. "From the moment I met you, I wanted more," he said. "I wanted more of you infectious smile, I wanted more of your adorable giggle, and I wanted more of your love. You had me hooked from the beginning…I know that we met on The Bachelor so that I could fall in love with my best friend. Every day, I am encouraged by your love, and as your husband, I promise to always put you first. I promise to be the best father I can be to our children, and I promise to always make you laugh with my silly faces and ridiculous voices…I love you, and I'm going to love you for eternity."
After the vows, the two exchanged rings. And then, as the crowd erupted in cheers, Sean's dad joyfully proclaimed them husband and wife, and they shared their first kiss as a married couple. As they walked down the aisle once again — this time together — Sean couldn't hold back his tears.
"You're my husband!" Catherine exclaimed once they were alone.
Prior to the ceremony, Bachelor host Chris Harrison took viewers down Sean and Catherine's road to the altar, from their romantic engagement in Thailand to their months and months of wedding prep. Having decided to wait until marriage to both live together and consummate the relationship with sex, the two could hardly contain their excitement as the big day approached.
"Even though not living together is the right choice for us, it's not going to be easy," Texas-native Sean, 30, said. "I want to be around her all the time…I'm not quite myself when I'm not with Catherine. I love being around her, and I hate it when I'm not around her. She means everything to me."
Added his fiancee, 27: "Even five minutes without him feels weird. I just love Sean so much, and we're just meant to be together…I have no room in my heart for anybody else."
With that in mind, Catherine told celeb wedding planner Mindy Weiss that she wanted their nuptials to reflect both their tastes. "I'm just completely obsessed with Sean. I love him so much," she gushed. "So it's our wedding, not my wedding."
That said, the bride had a very specific vision in mind for the big day. "I want an element of 'grown sexy' in everything," she explained. "Something that's sophisticated but has an air of sexy. I want everyone to feel so sexy that they can't sleep that night!"
"Sexy" was the graphic designer's goal with her wedding dress, too. "Finding the perfect wedding dress is really important, because Sean keeps talking about seeing me walk down the aisle," she told famed designer Monique Lhuillier when she went to try on gowns. "I don't want the dress to just be beautiful — I want it to blow his mind."
Sean, meanwhile, was focused on what his wife would be wearing (or not wearing) after the wedding. With some guidance from a very helpful sales associate, he picked out several items of lingerie, which he gave Catherine prior to their big day.
"I cannot wait to wear the lingerie Sean bought me on our wedding night!" she said after opening the gift. "It's like fancy icing for my body. As a wife, I will definitely treat him a lot. I'm going to be able to let out my 'grown sexy' on him anytime I want, or anytime he wants!"
Sean was pretty excited for the honeymoon, too — and for everything else after the wedding. "I thank God that I found you on The Bachelor, and I'm so thankful you're my best friend," he told her. "And I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you."
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