December 16, 2012

Wedding of Maine's Bachelorette and her J.P. a big production

Literally. A TV special of their Dec. 1 nuptials will air Sunday – and probably be in reruns for years.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Maine's "Bachelorette" no longer qualifies for that title.

J.P. ROSENBAUM, ASHLEY ROSENBAUM
click image to enlarge

The wedding of Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum, the second “Bachelorette” couple ever to walk down the aisle, will be aired from 9 to 11 p.m. Sunday on ABC.

ABC/Adam Taylor

ASHLEY ROSENBAUM, J.P. ROSENBAUM
click image to enlarge

The wedding of Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum, who met on the “Bachelorette,” airs Sunday on ABC.

The Associated Press

A TV WEDDING

"THE BACHELORETTE: ASHLEY AND J.P.'S WEDDING"

WHEN: 9 to 11 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: ABC; seen locally on WMTW (Channel 8)

Ashley Hebert of Madawaska, a contestant on the ABC reality TV series "The Bachelor" and then the star of "The Bachelorette," got hitched earlier this month to the man she picked on the latter show.

And she had the luxury of not worrying too much about leaving anyone out, because millions of folks will have the chance to watch her nuptials on a TV special airing on ABC at 9 p.m. Sunday, the not-so-subtly titled "The Bachelorette: Ashley and J.P.'s Wedding."

But Hebert said the TV special, and the money that came with it, weren't big factors in deciding to say "I do" in such a public forum. Rather, she says, it was the fans.

"When we were ready to get married, we realized we've had such great support from everyone, from the fan base, that this made sense," said Hebert, 28, during a phone interview earlier this week. "I wouldn't say money was a factor. They didn't pay for everything. If money was a factor, we could have done something else."

Hebert has taken a very different route to love and marriage than most of the folks she knew growing up in Madawaska on the Canadian border, where her parents worked in a paper mill. Heck, she's taken a different route than just about everyone on the planet.

Hebert began her journey to a nationally televised wedding in January 2011 when she was a contestant on ABC's "The Bachelor," where she and other women vied for a marriage proposal from a handsome entrepreneur, Brad Womack. Hebert didn't win Womack's proposal, but her on-camera persona did convince ABC to make her the star of its other romance-reality show, "The Bachelorette."

It was at the end of that series in August 2011 that a New York construction manager, J.P. Rosenbaum, was seen down on one knee in tropical Fiji asking Hebert to marry him.

After the series ended, Hebert said, she and Rosenbaum needed to step out of the white-hot media spotlight of a TV romance -- complete with tabloid coverage and pictures of Hebert in sexy swimsuits -- to get to know each other in a more normal way.

Apparently, a year or so of normalcy was enough. Earlier this fall, ABC announced plans to show the couple's wedding on TV. The wedding took place Dec. 1 in Pasadena, Calif.

So why would the couple want their wedding day, the biggest day of their lives, to be part of a prime-time TV special? Isn't there enough pressure in just putting together any wedding?

If you're thinking they did it because ABC paid for it, Hebert says to think again -- though she admits the network did pay for "some" of it. Plus, if the couple hadn't married on TV, they might not have had a TV personality -- "Bachelorette" host Chris Harrison -- officiating.

And here's one other thing Hebert's wedding has over the typical bride's big day: the possibility of reruns.

Hebert said she and Rosenbaum had final say in choices about the wedding, including the location. But she says she was just as happy to have the planners that ABC hired to handle all the details, from decor to food.

Did they consider Maine at all for the setting?

"We wanted to do it in fall or winter, in a place that would be a semi-destination for folks," Hebert said.

So for the 50 or so Mainers who attended Hebert's wedding, including her family from Madawaska and friends from southern Maine, they got to spend a December weekend in sunny California.

(Continued on page 2)

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