Of the three couples that got engaged in the season finale of Bachelor in Paradise, one could argue Kenny Braasch and Mari Pepin-Solis were the most surprising pair. After all, Kenny first arrived at the beach fully nude (although there’s still some debate about that), and there was a moment in the not-too-distant past when Mari threw her now fiancé’s birthday cake into a bonfire.
But in the end, Mari didn’t give up on the boy-band manager of her dreams, and Kenny sowed his Paradise oats before our eyes. Glamour sat down with the pair to talk about their unpredictable relationship, whether or not they have any regrets after watching the show, and where they’ll go from here.
Glamour: You two may have had the most ups and downs of any of the engaged couples in Paradise. Did you have any regrets when watching the season play out?
Kenny Braasch: No. Definitely no regrets, because at the end of the day, the way the whole thing panned out has put us where we are now. So obviously, I have no regrets for that because we’re in a great spot now.
Kenny, you’re famously 40. What was it about Mari that made you finally want to lock it down?
Kenny: We just seem to match together very well. And I know she, for her age, carries herself very maturely and it just works. She’s not the typical 25-year-old. In general, it’s just really the way she carries herself for me that made me want to lock it up.
Mari, you were the one who wouldn’t give up on your relationship with Kenny. What was it about him that made you realize he was the one after all?
Mari Pepin-Solis: From the very beginning it was such a strong connection and such a strong feeling that I hadn’t felt so intensely, so quickly before. Watching him spend time with other people, obviously, was difficult, but I think that’s what made me realize, okay, this feeling that I had it’s not something that’s silly. I’m not crazy; it’s legitimate. So that’s when I was like, I need to make sure that this is right and fight for what I want.
You’ve now gotten to spend time together outside of Paradise. Were there any surprising things you learned about each other IRL?
Kenny: To be honest, I don’t think so, which is kind of crazy because we have spent a decent amount of time together post show. But maybe it’s because we did spend a lot of time together at the tail end of Paradise. We really did get to know each other very well, and there really hasn’t been any surprises yet.
Mari: Yet. [Laughs.]
What’s next for the two of you?
Mari: I’ll be moving to Chicago early next year. So that’s the first step—we’ll be living together. And eventually, we’ll talk some wedding plans and some kids after that.
Lindy Segal is a writer based in New York. Follow her on Instagram @LindySegal.