Bachelor in Paradise Wedding: Inside Raven Gates and Adam Gottschalk's Romantic Big Day
"We couldn't have imagined it any other way," says Raven Gates, who wed Adam Gottschalk last week after four years together
They say a little rain on your wedding day is good luck, but Bachelor in Paradise alums Raven Gates and Adam Gottschalk were dismayed when they found out their long-anticipated April 16 wedding might be affected by a predicted downpour.
"We were so disappointed," Gates, 30, tells PEOPLE. "But when we showed up at the venue, it was clear skies and everything was perfect. It was a sign!"
In fact, Gates and Gottschalk, 31, who began dating when they met on the ABC show in 2017, have already done their share of pivots when it came to their nuptials, having postponed their original date three times due to the COVID pandemic.
"Replanning was exhausting," admits Gates, a boutique owner. "But we kept our spirits up. And at the end of the day, it's just about us and our marriage. And if Adam and I can get through this, we can get through a lot!"
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The wedding, which was planned by Whitney Bailey of Engaged Events, took place at The Olana, a majestic estate outside of Dallas, where the newlyweds live. Just 20 family members and close friends attended, and were tested for COVID the day before.
During the interfaith ceremony (Gates is Christian, Gottschalk is Jewish), the bride, wearing her first of three Watters gowns, exchanged tearful vows with her then soon-to-be husband, who wore a Indochino tux.
"That was my favorite part," says Gates. "Adam did such a beautiful job writing his vows. It was so special. And to have just the people there who will be with us for everything was so intimate and spiritual."
Adds Gottschalk: "Raven looked so beautiful. I was an absolute mess, sobbing and crying."
RELATED VIDEO: Bachelor in Paradise Wedding Exclusive: Raven Gates Says Husband Adam Gottschalk 'Makes Every Day Better'
Following the ceremony, guests, whose wedding invitations were designed by Scribbles and Swirls, entered the venue for a romantic dinner at tables adorned with white blooms by Something Pretty Floral. Blue Fire Catering served dishes that were a nod to the bride's Arkansas roots.
"They took some of the foods we liked and made it very unique," says Gottschalk, who is from Los Angeles. "There was definitely a Southern twist."
After dinner, the guests, who signed a canvas by Miss Design Berry, grooved to dance hits from Emerald City Management's DJ and later enjoyed a three-tiered Fancy Cakes by Lauren cake, with a layer of pistachio filling — a request from the groom.
"Everyone had full hearts and full tummies," says Gottschalk. Adds his bride: "Everyone told me the day would go by so fast. I had no idea how true that was!"
Now, despite everything, "I couldn't have imagined it any other way," says Gates. "We couldn't have asked for anything to work out more perfectly than it did. We feel so grateful."
Next up? A honeymoon in Hawaii, and then starting a family.
"I want three kids, but Raven might be tapped out at two," Gottschalk says with a laugh. Adds Gates: "I'm just so happy to marry someone I love so much. I prayed for this day. And God willing, we will have a honeymoon baby!"
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