Raven Gates and Adam Gottschalk's Intimate Dallas Wedding: All of the Touching Details and Gorgeous Photos
After postponing their wedding three times due to the global pandemic, the Bachelor in Paradise couple finally tied the knot on April 16 after four years of dating
The pandemic may have delayed their plans but Bachelor in Paradise stars Raven Gates and Adam Gottschalk finally got their walk down the aisle on April 16 at The Olana, a majestic estate outside of Dallas, where the couple lives. Just 20 family members and close friends attended and were tested for COVID the day before.
Despite everything, "I couldn't have imagined it any other way," Gates tells PEOPLE. "We couldn't have asked for anything to work out more perfectly than it did. We feel so grateful."
Safety was the most important factor to consider once the couple had to replan their wedding. Gottschalk wanted the environment to be safe for the officiants and their guests, whose ages ranged from 4 to 80 years old.
The original guest list went up to 450, but the couple cut it down to just immediate friends and family, who received wedding invitations designed by Scribbles and Swirls.
Once the guest list was cut down, "it was like a trickle down effect," says Gates, adding that "everything from the food to the location of the band" had to change to align with their COVID precautions. Their dinner went from being a buffet to a plated dinner arranged by Blue Fire Catering, who 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."
The two chose a smaller cake and enlisted Fancy Cakes by Lauren to create the dessert of their dreams. The custom three-tier cake also included a custom filling inspired by Gottschalk.
Gates recalled their cake tasting session when Gottschalk took a bite of the cake and said, "This is great, but this needs a pistachio filling." The team took his notes and whipped up a new filling which Gates ended up loving.
"I'm telling you, I was shocked at how great it made the cake taste," says Gates.
The moment when the groom first saw his bride was an emotional one.
"When I tapped him on the shoulder and he saw me for the first time he just fell into my arms sobbing," says Gates.
"Every single person there was so excited for us," she continues of finally having their wedding after the COVID-19 delays. "It was so perfect. To have the people there who will be there for us for everything, it was so romantic and intimate and spiritual."
During their interfaith ceremony (Gates is Christian, Gottschalk is Jewish), the bride wore the first of three Watters gowns and exchanged tearful vows with her then soon-to-be husband, who wore a Indochino tux.
"Adam did such a beautiful job writing his vows and we were just sobbing messes," Gates says.
"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!"
After the ceremony, there was a short cocktail hour, dinner and then everyone headed to the dance floor to groove to hits from Emerald City Management's DJ.
The couple will honeymoon in Hawaii and after that? Bachelor babies may be on the way.
"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!"
"We couldn't have asked for everything to be more perfect and to work out just the way it did," says Gates. "This morning we woke up and cried again! Our story led us here and it's so incredible. We are so thankful."