The couple, who got engaged during season 7 of the reality series, said "I do" Saturday in front of 65 loved ones
From Paradise to Puerto Rico!
“I do believe in signs and numbers, and so 11/11 is obviously seen as a special number and it means good things,” Pepin, 27, tells PEOPLE exclusively of why she and Braasch, 42, chose the date after first getting engaged during the season 7 finale of the dating reality series.
Having their wedding celebration fall over Veterans Day holds extra meaning to Pepin since her dad served in the military for 25 years. “I'm his only daughter, so that’s special,” she says. “He hasn't had the best association or memories with Veterans Day, so hopefully this year we'll change that and for Veterans Days moving forward.”
Pepin says they opted for a destination wedding in Puerto Rico, where a lot of her family lives, because she and Braasch wanted to keep their big day “smaller, easier to manage” and “more intimate.”
“But we've always had the idea to do a couple of other celebrations so we can include more people as well,” she says, teasing a possible upcoming celebration with Bachelor Nation friends.
The guest list might’ve been limited, but Pepin made sure it included the couple's pups Dice and Monster, who attended the ceremony in tuxedos. “We definitely wanted to have our dogs included, so they flew out here with us,” Pepin says, adding: “That was a bit of an adventure.”
Braasch’s sister officiated the ceremony, during which the couple exchanged vows they wrote themselves. Pepin wore a Justin Alexander gown to say “I do,” and then changed into second Justin Alexander dress for the reception.
“It was completely different from what I had envisioned before I was actually starting to plan everything,” Pepin says of her bridal look which included custom earrings by Gage Diamonds, glam by Victoria Duke Beauty with assistance from Alexis Santana, and hair by Gia Anderson. “I went and tried on dresses and I ended up going complete opposite of what I thought I was going to have.”
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At the reception, the DJ incorporated traditional Puerto Rican music into the playlist. And for their first dance, the newlyweds chose Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” as a nod to the ‘80s-themed prom they attended together on Bachelor in Paradise. “When we walked in, that song was playing and everybody was slow dancing,” Braasch recalls.
Sammie Cockerham, a live wedding painter, also crafted artwork of the happy couple during the special evening.
Guests enjoyed a chocolate cake with a dulce de leche filling from Keik by Andrea, a local Puerto Rican baker. “It's so freaking good,” Pepin gushes.
The weekend also included a rehearsal dinner for the wedding party, a welcome reception for all guests and a stay at Hyatt Vacation Club Hacienda Del Mar, Dorado. Additionally, Pepin hosted a bridesmaids brunch, where they put together the floral arrangements for the big day. (Pepin's bridesmaid's makeup for the big day was done by Jeremy Kregar.)
“I am a huge DIY girl,” Pepin explains. “I have DIY-ed a lot of different projects for the wedding, and I thought this was something interesting and something that I haven't heard of. It's a really good way, actually, to save money because wedding flowers are so expensive. We came across this company, it's called Flower Moxie, and they have sent us all the flowers and all the instructions and kind of really held our hands through the entire process.”
The reality stars plan to take a honeymoon next year — possibly a European cruise — and Pepin would like to mini-moon in Canada. “We'll go stay at Blake Moynes' cabin in Canada,” Brassch jokes of his fellow Bachelorette alum.
Ultimately, Pepin and Braasch simply look forward to spending forever together.
“As a little girl, I always dreamed of my wedding day and what's it going to look like and what am I going to wear, but as you get older, you realize that that's not the important part,” Pepin says.
“The important part is actually finding a person that you want to spend the rest of your life with and that you get along so well with. And it wasn't until I met Kenny that I was like, oh yeah, I'm not thinking about that as much as this is the kind of person that I want to be with. That's really made me realize that it was right,” she continues.
The former pageant queen appreciates being out of the dating game now, too. “There's no more trying to figure out if some guy is playing games, this is it. It's locked down,” she says. “I know that Kenny is the kind of person that I want to be with forever.”
Brassch calls marriage “something that I didn't think would ever happen.”
“As you get older, you get comfortable being alone for a while; it gets normal,” he continues. “So, to be able to end up where we are and the way we met each other, it's just wild to me how many things had to happen for us to even meet and get to where we are right now. So many stars had to align for this to happen. She brings me a lot of peace.”
Now, the boy band manager feels confident in his future with Pepin. “It'll be exciting to see what happens in the next five years,” he says. “I feel like at some point we might start a business — we joke about it. But it's nice to know that the future's bright with a lot of possibilities for us. We've already lived together for a really good chunk of time, so we already know that things are going to already are going to work out.”
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