AMERICAN WEDDINGS BLOG
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Published Monday, Oct. 2nd, 2023
Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Dean Unglert, of Bachelor in Paradise fame, were married last Thursday in a small nontraditional wedding ceremony joined by close family and friends.
The couple met while competing on the reality show in 2019, and despite a few bumps along the way, are now happier than ever together. They announced their engagement in October of 2022 (as confirmed by Us Weekly), and married one year later, on September 23rd, 2023.
Their intimate ceremony started making headlines immediately when bride Caelynn walked herself down the aisle – breaking with the long-standing tradition of brides being escorted to the altar by fathers, mothers, or other attendants.
But that wasn’t the only unique element in the reality stars’ wedding! Below are a few of our favorite nontraditional elements from this sweet fall celebration.
That’s right -- puppy love! Groom Dean was joined by the couple’s dog, Al, during his walk to the altar, bringing some fun and creativity to the wedding procession.
We love seeing pets in the wedding ceremony! And while it is becoming more common for couples to include a furry friend or two, this is still considered a nontraditional choice.
As we mentioned above, bride Caelynn Miller-Keyes walked down the aisle without an escort. She later agreed that the choice felt very natural and was a symbol of her independence and willingness to wed on her own terms.
“Our officiant walked down, Dean walked down, Dean’s brother walked [our dog] Al down and then it was me. It just kind of made sense for us to walk alone,” Miller-Keyes told Us Weekly.
“Because we’re strong, independent people and we don’t need anyone to walk us down,” Unglert added, saying “The concept of, like, handing away this girl to marry this man seemed kind of antiquated to me.” (Us Weekly)
This might be one of the most exciting and unusual elements in this wedding! According to Us Weekly, both Caelynn and Dean are changing their last name to Bell, in honor of Dean’s late mother. (via @caelynnmillerkeyes)
Women have been reconsidering name changes for years, and it looks like this trend might be gaining mainstream approval – with brides keeping their own name, grooms changing their last name instead, and both partners changing their name to a hyphenated or new surname (like Caelynn and Dean!).
Caelynn and Dean opted for a small wedding ceremony with only 75 guests (via Us Weekly), bucking out-dated traditions that suggest a couple has to spend a fortune and invite everyone they know to their ceremony.
Weddings don't have to be big to be deluxe! Small weddings, from ‘just us’ elopements of two, to gatherings of 50 to 100 people, are wonderfully romantic and intimate. This smaller size gives the couple a chance to focus on each other, their closest loved ones, and the magic of the ceremony, without breaking their budget on a larger venue. And if a couple does want to go all-out on a small wedding, there's plenty of room for glitz and glamor in a small space.
In a joint post on Instagram, Caelynn shared that she tattooed Dean on the wedding night! The bride and groom both got a new 'couple's tattoo' to commemorate the union, and although we don't know the specifics, this sure sounds like a lot of fun. The tattoo artist was also available throughout the wedding reception so that guests could leave with something a bit more lasting than the typical party favors (via People).
Spirits were high at the wedding reception!
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