What happens to the men and women who fail to get a rose that first cocktail night on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette? Well, some of them mix and mingle after their seasons end, joining a growing family of Bachelor alumni, and a few even find love off camera!
Tara Durr, 29, a real estate agent from Florida who didn’t make it past the first round on Lorenzo Borghese‘s season, and John Presser, 30, a pharmaceutical company marketer from Connecticut who likewise was ousted the first night on Jillian Harris‘s season, announced their engagement this past weekend at the fourth reunion of Bachelor/Bachelorette alumni hosted by Jesse Csincsak in Breckenridge, Colo.
“We actually probably never would have met if it wasn’t for the show,” Durr tells PEOPLE. “He’s actually from Indiana, and I’ve never even been to Indiana, and he’s now in Connecticut, and I had never been to Connecticut.”
The pair first connected through a private Bachelor Facebook page last year when Presser asked Durr to “friend” him in July, and Durr was the first to write. “I think I said something like, ‘Oh, you were a part of that crazy show, too?” Durr says. “We just corresponded back and forth for about two months before we met.”
After meeting, the pair was smitten. “I have to have a guy with a sense of humor and John has that sense of humor,” Durr says. “I don’t like to be away from him. Before, I loved long distance because it gave me my own space, so I think everything was just different with him.”
Says Presser, “Her morals were there. She saved herself for marriage, and for a girl like her, extremely attractive, to save herself for marriage … I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but it’s impossible to explain. She loves to dance, she loves to have fun, she’s social, we are great friends together, she doesn’t drink alcohol, doesn’t need it to have fun, she’s just this perfect package … I’m just an extremely lucky guy.”
The couple got engaged Feb. 1 and revealed the news publicly at the ski reunion. However, Durr already has her dress picked out and planning done for a 550-person wedding in November. Among the guests are 30 Bachelor and Bachelorette alumni. “It doesn’t matter if you went home the first night or made it to the end, it’s a special experience you shared,” she says. “It’s not like what you see on television. There’s a lot you don’t see. Their job is to pick the 25 most eligible in their opinion — they always throw a few Fruit Loops in there for some drama — but it’s kind of like they do the screening process for you. How would I have found this guy otherwise?”
And, of course, Csincsak will be at the wedding. “He’s done so much for us,” Durr says. Adds Presser, “Jesse is kind of the Godfather of the Bachelor alumni. He brings everybody together.” — Cynthia Wang
Courtesy Jesse Csincsak