Inside Bachelor in Paradise Stars Hannah Godwin & Dylan Barbour's Chic Surprise Engagement Party
The stars, both 25, arrived at a private residence (rented via Zocha Group, which provides a luxury concierge service) to find their family and closest friends gathered — alongside fellow Bachelor Nation members Peter Weber, Hannah Brown, Mike Johnson, Luke Stone, Heather Martin, Demi Burnett, Katie Morton, Matt Donald and Jed Wyatt (plus his girlfriend).
“I was just really excited to see our family and have Hannah meet the friends I grew up with, and then to meet the friends that Hannah grew up with,” Barbour tells PEOPLE.
Organized by event planner Stephen McGee (who fans may recognize as an original star on Bravo’s Summer House!), the party was decorated with Balloons by Tommy and a towering Wonder Wall display with white flowers and a neon sign reading “Hannah + Dylan.” Guests noshed on vanilla cupcakes with vanilla bean meringue buttercream from Magnolia Bakery and drank Babe Kombucha (including the non-alcoholic Maui Wowie and the upcoming alcoholic line) and Fortaleza Tequila. Longhouse Wines provided a wine tasting.
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Their favorite part of the fête? “Probably around seven o’clock, when everybody progressed past drinking champagne and was taking tequila shots,” Barbour jokes. “Then we got to see who everybody really is.”
Adds Godwin: “I just was naturally so excited about some of my friends and family who have never even been to California before. It was such a fun event, and I just wanted everybody to let loose, put the phones down, be in the moment. I feel like those events are very rare, especially living out here.”
“Yeah, I’d say the second thing was probably the mud wrestling,” Barbour quips.
“There was no mud wrestling,” Godwin corrects with a laugh.
With the engagement party out of the way, how far are they in the wedding planning process? The couple says they’re taking their time.
“We haven’t planned it. This was just more of a celebration and getting all of our families and friends in one place, because getting engaged is a huge life thing, and it’s crazy that Dylan hadn’t even — he’d met most of my friends, but some of my childhood best friends live far away,” Godwin explains. “He hadn’t met with them, and vice versa. So it was just a celebration of commitment.”
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Despite two recent BiP splits, (“It’s obviously hard to see people break up and go through that,” Barbour says), for this couple, paradise is the time they spend together away from the cameras, wearing joggers and grabbing coffee or binging their “guilty pleasure,” Temptation Island. (“Hannah keeps trying to take me on Temptation Island,” Barbour jokes.)
Since accepting his proposal and leaving the beach behind last summer, “I don’t think we’ve changed,” Godwin says. “I think obviously experiencing more life, real life things, having hard days where you’re not just in the sun in paradise. … How we communicate has been huge throughout all of that. We have a lot of fun, we laugh a lot, but we also have each other’s backs for whatever situation we’ve been going through. I feel like we knew that we were very compatible in Paradise, but the real world has made us even closer, like best friends.”