It’s been a whole two weeks since viewers watched The Bachelorette star Meredith Phillips pick her Mr. Right, Ian McKee – who promptly dropped to one knee and proposed marriage on the show’s Feb. 25 finale. But for all you reality-romance cynics, here’s a shocking update: They’re still together.
Ever since Phillips, 30, and McKee, 29, sealed their romance with a kiss (and a $75,000, 3.25 carat engagement ring), the pair have been adjusting to life without the cameras and making plans for the future. In the meantime, Phillips, a former catalog model, recently hit the catwalk in khakis for a Dockers for Women fashion show, and she talked to PEOPLE about her new life with Ian.
How have things been going since the show ended? Have you both had time to relax?
We are still relatively busy doing interviews, relaxing when we can – watching movies and just hanging out and being together. I just met about all of his friends so we had a really good weekend last weekend and it was fun. He has a lot of friends – they’re all like a family, which I enjoy – really likeable and would do anything for you.
How has being in the public eye affected your relationship?
We have such a good relationship. Neither one of us really wants to be in the limelight, and when we are, we do it together. It’s a path that we’re going down, and a lot of people think that since we did the show that we automatically want to go in the entertainment business. But that’s not the case – we’re a very normal couple despite all of this.
What has surprised you about Ian since the show ended?
Nothing really. He’s got a lot of patience.
For your wedding, will you have a planner or will you do it all yourself?
I’ll do it all myself – no wedding planner. That’s how small it’s going to be. I’m exactly like my mom – I can’t sit down. I’m constantly going, going, going so I like doing that stuff.
What is your worst fear about weddings in general?
I don’t know because I always wanted a small wedding, so I think that would eliminate any cause for disaster. So in that sense, it should run smoothly.
What advice do you have for others who might be considering signing up for The Bachelorette?
You really have to be ready for it. It’s a lot to handle. The schedule is really tough and you have to really be ready mentally and physically and get a lot of rest if you’re even considering it.
What was an average day like while shooting the show?
It would start very early in the morning and go usually until two in the morning. It’s a lot. Doing the pre-interviews, doing b-roll (footage) – the dates are long, but there’s also the interviews before you go on the date, in the middle of the date and then after the date. It’s constant documenting about what’s going on.
Do you and Ian ever watch any other reality TV shows together?
No, we don’t. We don’t really get a chance to watch much TV.
Do you still talk to Matthew Hickl (the runner-up)?
No, we haven’t talked after the final rose.
He’s been getting quite a bit of sympathy from people like Ellen DeGeneres. What do you make of that?
Anything that’s going to help him out. Sometimes talking about it helps.
Is acting in your future?
No acting for me. I got a little bit of a taste having cameras around all the time. You really have to love that stuff, otherwise I would eventually be a very bitter person.