“There was no pressure for us to stay together. I think a lot of people, honestly, in Bachelor Nation kind of forgot about us in a way,” the 29-year-old Grey Suede owner exclusively told Us Weekly in a joint interview with Gottschalk, 31. “We weren’t highlighted as, like, the ‘it couple,’ which was really good for us, because there was no pressure. It wasn’t everyone checking in to see if we were still engaged or wedding planning or anything like that.”
Gates and Gottschalk, who wed in April, met on season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise in 2017, which was shortened amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
“Especially since on our season, we had the shutdown, we had even less time together,” she continued. “But I will say, on the flip side of that, had we gotten engaged on the show, I think we would have still made it through. I don’t know if it would have made a difference at the end of our end goal.”
Gottschalk agreed. “Everything would have ended up, I think, in the same fashion. I think the pressure that’s kind of off makes a big, big difference,” he said. “Depending on the season you’re on, I mean, [our season of Paradise] was only, like, virtually 11 days. And even now, it’s, like, less than a month.”
He added: “The franchise gives you the stage for you to fall in love in and then it’s up to you to continue that once the lights and cameras are off. And so, I think it gives you a better opportunity to do so [if you don’t get engaged]. And I mean, here we are. So, I think everything turned out perfectly. It worked out for us!”
After being forced to replan their nuptials three times amid the coronavirus pandemic, Gates and Gottschalk, who credit wedding planner Whitney Bailey for everything, exchanged vows in front of close family and friends at The Olana outside of Dallas.
“We had such a beautiful time. And it was so perfect that I think had it have been bigger like we originally planned, we probably would have been more caught up in the details and not necessarily in the moment,” Gates, who rocked three wedding dresses, told Us. “And then with everything, cutting the guest count, we saved so much more money and we spent more time with more people. … I think it was just meant to be this way.”
When asked about any plans to wed on the Bachelor spinoff, Gates cited the duo attending Chris Randone and Krystal Nielson’s onscreen nuptials as guests while on BiP as the reason they didn’t consider it.
“After attending the wedding, that was just something we absolutely were not going to do. That has nothing to do with Chris or Krystal. I really, really love them both and wish, you know, they would have worked out,” Gates explained about the exes. “It was just not something we thought would fit what we wanted to do. … There’s a lot going on and, you know, it’s still a show; you still have to perform. And I don’t know if we would have had such creative direction of our own had we had a Bachelor in Paradise wedding. And also, I don’t want to share my day with like other people going on dates. I don’t know!”
Instead, the pair had a Christian and Jewish ceremony complete with traditional and personal vows.
“Everyone told us how beautiful it was that we’re able to share our faith. And we just had such a beautiful ceremony,” Gates told Us.
For more from Gates and Gottschalk, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.