Bachelor Nation descended upon Newport, Rhode Island, last weekend for Jared Haibon and Ashley Iaconetti’s fairy tale wedding. Some attendees included Ben Higgins, Nick Viall, Dean Unglert, Chris Strandburg, Evan Bass and Carly Waddell, Krystal Nielson and Chris Randone, Becca Tilley, and more.
Ben talked about Jared and Ashley’s wedding at great length on his podcast “The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast.” Ashley, however, was not on this episode. Seeing as how she tied the knot the day before recording it, we can’t blame her! Ben emceed the show with producers Tori, Daniella, and Easton.
Ben’s girlfriend Jessica Clarke was his plus-one at the beautiful ceremony, and he detailed how she got along with his close “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” friends. Jessica may not be a “Bachelor” alumna, but she seems to have been adopted by Bachelor Nation nonetheless.
“We got to spend a ton of time together, which was absolutely incredible,” he said. Ben and Jessica are currently in a long distance relationship with Jessica in Nashville and Ben in Denver.
The 30-year-old explained that Jessica, 24, really enjoyed getting to know his friends. “She’s been down before and met people, but this was the first time she had been surrounded by some of my closest friends all in one room,” he said.
Although Jessica had “fun” in Rhode Island, she still went in with some worries. Ben said, “I don’t think people realize how nervous Jessica is to enter into this world at all because it is intimidating and there’s a lot of attention around it. I think she feels like she’s going to be constantly judged, and she’s not. She knows that, but it’s also a feeling she has.”
Ben called it a “big deal” for her to be there and get along with his friends so well. “She really left today going, ‘Holy cow, I never realized how nice everybody was going to be.’ So nobody was mean to Jessica. Everybody invested in her and spoke highly of her.”
According to Ben, two people in particular rose above the rest: Becca Tilley and Tanya Rad. He called them “incredible” and explained that they “came over to our Airbnb after dinner one night and just talked to Jessica and I for probably 3 hours.”
Although Jessica got along swimmingly with Ben, Jared, and Ashley’s friends, she unfortunately received some negative comments on social media. On Tuesday, Ben shared a boomerang of himself and Jessica outside of Rosecliff Mansion after the ceremony. Despite many people leaving positive remarks, one person wrote, “She legit looks like she’s in high school lol.”
Ben clapped back at the comment and complimented his girlfriend. “I think she looks like a beautifully spry, youthfully joy-filled, and optimistically wise 24 year old….but that’s just me,” he responded. “And I think she smoking hot.”
Jessica also shared beautiful photos of the two of them from the wedding. “@ashley_iaconetti and @jaredhaibon thank you for including me in your spectacular wedding weekend,” she wrote on Instagram. “You both are some of the kindest souls I have ever met and I am so grateful to have been able to see the amazing love you 2 share! You had a one-in-a-million celebration in a breathtaking spot.”