Bachelor in Paradise's Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert on Their Wedding: 'We're a Family Now,' Says Jade
After a whirlwind romance (engaged after three weeks!) the pair celebrate their marriage with a made-for-TV bash
The couple, who met and were engaged on Bachelor in Paradise, wed on Jan. 24 at the St. Regis Monarch Beach in California in a ceremony perfectly befitting the franchise that’s known for fantasy suites and over-the-top glamour.
“It blew my mind,” Roper tells PEOPLE exclusively of her big day, which will be televised this Valentine’s Day as part of ABC’s special honoring 20 seasons of The Bachelor. “I loved the mood. It was exactly the way I had envisioned it.”
BTB Event Production helped create the “romantic and outdoorsy” feel, complete with willow trees, twinkling lights and a canopy adorned with hundreds of blooms from Flower Me Wild.
Roper, 29, walked down the aisle in a custom Galia Lahav gown, in part a nod to her future husband.
“My one condition was no sleeves,” says Tolbert, 28. “She looked gorgeous. It was a mix of elegance and sexiness.”
Not that the bride or the groom could focus on anything but each other during the ceremony, which was officiated by Bachelor host Chris Harrison.
“I was just trying not to cry,” says Tolbert. “It was such a crazy rush of emotions.”
Says Roper, “I was shaking from the emotion! I was just trying to keep eye contact with Tanner. I was really in tune with that moment.”
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Before exchanging platinum Neil Lane bands, the couple recited personalized vows. For his part, Tolbert wanted to convey “the fact that I will be there for Jade no matter what,” he tells PEOPLE. “I’m a realistic person. I know that marriage is hard work. But I’ll be with her when times are tough and when times are great.”
Matt Nathanson performed a song during the ceremony, and bridesmaid Carly Waddell, Roper and Tolbert’s Paradise costar, performed a song she wrote for the couple
“It was so beautiful,” says Roper. “That’s a gift I’ll have forever.”
• For exclusive photos and much more from Jade and Tanner’s wedding, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
After the ceremony, the 150 guests, including franchise alums Chris Soules, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Shawn Booth and Trista and Ryan Sutter, gathered for dinner in the hotel ballroom – and a surprise performance by Seal, who sang “Kiss from a Rose” (naturally) for the first dance.
“It was awesome,” says Tolbert. Adds Roper: “When he walked out, it was all foggy – all you could see was a silhouette. Then the song hit and I couldn’t believe it was happening. That was a really cool moment.”
As the party kicked into gear, “I just wanted everyone to let loose and have fun.” Mission accomplished. Guests tucked into a white almond raspberry and chocolate raspberry truffle cake by Sweet E’s Bake Shop and posed for snaps in a custom photo booth with an ocean backdrop. (The wedding favors, Mexican chocolate and coffee, were also a nod to Roper and Tolbert’s romantic beginnings).
“We shut it down!” says Roper. “We didn’t go to bed until 3 a.m. The whole weekend was a whirlwind.”
Now, the blissful newlyweds are settling into life as Mr. and Mrs. in their Kansas City, Missouri, home – and looking forward to the future.
“Jade is the woman I always envisioned,” says Tolbert. “She makes every day more fun.”
Says his new wife: “It’s crazy how marriage does change everything. We’re a family now. And it feels like everything is complete.”
The Bachelor at 20: A Celebration of Love airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.