The Bachelor in Paradise season 9 finale would not have been complete without a twist as Kenny Braasch and Mari Pepin-Solis returned to the beach to get married.
The ABC reality show teased for months that one couple would tie the knot during the Thursday, December 7, episode, but instead of a pair from this season making things official, Kenny, 42, and Mari, 27 — who got engaged during season 7 in 2021 — invited the cast to attend their wedding in Mexico.
Naturally, BiP‘s host Jesse Palmer officiated the ceremony, joking that “Mari arrived [on the beach] with an open heart,” while Kenny “arrived completely naked” — literally. Jesse noted that despite their “ups and downs” on the beach, the duo found “someone who refused to give up on them.”
The current Paradise contestants were shown with tears in their eyes as Kenny and Mari shared their vows.
“We have been together almost every day since we have left Paradise and the more time we spend together, the more time I fell in love with you,” Kenny said, in part. “I promise to be at your side no matter what, for the rest of our lives — or at least the rest of my life. That’s an old man joke. But in the end, we have so much history here in Paradise. We met here, we got engaged here and now we’re getting married here. I love you now and forever and I know that together we will be the greatest team the world has ever seen.”
Mari gushed over the love she has for her “sweet and loving and gentle” husband.
“Today, and every single day for the rest of my life, I vow to put all of my effort into the health and strength of our marriage,” she continued. “I vow to love you faithfully, always and through everything — the good days, the bad days, rain or shine, until the end of time.”
Although Mari and Kenny kept their Mexico nuptials a secret until they aired, they previously revealed that they were planning multiple weddings. “We’re actually gonna do two events. We’re having our … main wedding in Puerto Rico. That’s where I’m from,” she exclusively told Us Weekly in November 2022. “So it’ll be a small, intimate, mostly family [and] close friends. And then later on, we’ll do a bigger wedding in Chicago for everyone to come out and celebrate with us.”
Three months later, Mari confirmed that she was “making progress” on the event. “It’s been a lot of fun to plan the wedding. I think we’re still in the preliminary stages, we’re still trying to source some vendors and get the major things booked,” she told Us in February. “We’ve done a lot of research and we’ve just been having a good time with it. A lot of times wedding planning can be boring and stressful and as much as it is a lot of work, I think we’re just trying to have a good time with it.”
Mari further divulged that she and Kenny would first tie the knot in Puerto Rico in November. “That’s where I’m from. A lot of my family is still there, so it’s just kind of what I always envisioned for my wedding. I’m really glad that he’s happy to oblige me in that aspect,” she explained, adding that the duo had no problems compromising on their plans for the ceremonies.
The couple will later have another wedding in Chicago — where they live — in March 2024. “We’ve got multiple looks! Because we have two weddings, we’ve got to go all out,” she teased. “It was such a good experience. I actually went [wedding dress shopping] with Kenny’s mom and sister. My mom lives overseas, so she wasn’t able to join, unfortunately, in person. But I just feel so lucky that his family is so welcoming and so loving that they would come to something like that for me — [it’s] very special.”
Prior to the Mexico ceremony that aired on the Bachelor in Paradise finale, Mari confirmed via Instagram that she and Kenny officially wed in Puerto Rico on November 11.