Bachelor in Paradise costars clarified Chris Bukowski's notable absence from a recent winery outing
While Morton, 26, and six other former BIP cast members headed to Napa, California, on Sunday for a Live in the Vineyard event, her fiancé, Bukowski, was not present. When fans pointed out the notable absence on Instagram, they assumed it meant the couple had called it quits.
“We’re ready to take on the Catalina Wine Mixer,” Jared Haibon wrote on Instagram, along with a picture of the crew, which included his wife Ashley Iaconetti, Joe Amabile, Kendall Long, Krystal Nielson, Chris Randone, and Morton.
One fan commented on the post, asking where Bukowski was, to which Haibon replied, “He couldn’t make it but him and Katie are still together.” Another follower wondered if the photo was a way of confirming the two had broken up.
“No. They’re together and very happy,” Haibon, 30, responded.
Bukowski showed up to the comment section, posting the prayer hands 🙏 emoji to one fan, likely thanking his friend for clearing up the confusion — then poking fun at Haibon’s new shaved look.
“The bare face is really throwing me off man,” Bukowski, 33, wrote, prompting a response from Haibon: “Me too. My face is now cold.”
Nielson captured the group fun on Instagram, posting a photo from inside their carpool together.
“Family road trip 🚌🌈🌹,” she captioned the picture.
Morton and Bukowski became engaged during September’s finale of BIP, and since have shared the ups and downs of their new coupling after filming ended.
“It had been really hard for us to communicate our differences and what each other needed, especially being kind of like stranded and in hiding while separated,” Morton told PeopleTV’s Reality Check in September. “Really hard, especially because Chris is such a man of action and quality time and he does things for people, and talking on the phone all the time was a little bit harder to get words out of him.”
Now, that “rollercoaster” of a ride seems to have leveled out, according to Morton.
“Since then, it’s been so great. We’ve been able to be together, and he’s met my family and my friends, and seeing him with them, has been … it’s just been so much better now that we can like hang out,” she said at the time.
Keeping their engagement secret until the show aired proved challenging for both of them, as Bukowski described the experience as “tough.”
“I think both of us excel in public settings, you know with our friends, with our family. And not being able to do that, it was tough, and just kind of communicating in a way that I’m really not used to communicating,” Bukowski said. “It made it tough, but at the end of the day, I actually think it made us better and strong.
He added: “So sometimes it takes things like that to get to a point where we are at today, and I think every day we get better in our relationship.”
On Instagram after the show’s finale, Morton explained her journey with Bukowski in a lengthy, heartfelt post.
RELATED: Bachelor in Paradise: Katie Morton and Chris Bukowski Admit Relationship Has Been ‘Rocky’
“As you’ve seen..It’s been the furthest from easy. From the decision to take the leap onto the beach, navigating what was real and staying true to myself, and my world that spun out afterward,” she wrote. “None of it has been a walk in the park. BUT I’ve learned, a lot.”