'Bachelor in Paradise' finale featured 2 engagements, 1 wedding and plenty of drama

Departures, proposals, an exchange of vows: Something for everyone on the big finale.

Bachelor in Paradise host Jesse Palmer.
Bachelor in Paradise host Jesse Palmer.

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for the season finale of Bachelor in Paradise.

It was a busy three hours on the Bachelor in Paradise season finale Thursday, which included two successful proposals, one set of nuptials and all kinds of drama sprinkled in.

After numerous couples couldn’t hold it together or commit for various reasons, the beach-dwelling crew eventually dwindled to just two remaining couples. And somewhere in there was an actual wedding for a past Paradise couple too.

So here’s a look at the highs and lows and yeses and noes from a wild night in paradise.

The engagements

John Henry takes a knee for Kat on Bachelor in Paradise.
John Henry takes a knee for Kat on Bachelor in Paradise.

There were plenty of potential love stories heading into the night, but only two survived — on the show, anyway. And when host Jesse Palmer dropped the bomb that it was time to commit or leave, there was some serious movement.

Kylee and Aven ended up deciding that they weren’t going to get engaged but they were going to stay together, so they left. Peter and Sam broke up and left. And Olivia and Michael left with not much hope of further sparks.

That left just two couples: John Henry and Kat, and Aaron and Eliza. That meant they earned one night together in the fantasy suites for one last decider before potentially getting engaged the next day. And those fantasy suites seemed to do the trick because both couples ultimately got engaged.

Aaron offers a ring to Eliza.
Aaron offers a ring to Eliza.

The drama

To say the show had some drama would be the least surprising statement ever, but there was one moment in particular that was trending on social media and had viewers’ heads spinning.

Kylee’s relationship with Aven continued into this episode, and while she was clearly ready for an engagement, he didn’t want to rush into things, which had her feeling insecure. Lucky for Kylee, her (apparently) good friend Blake was back on the compound for a wedding — more on that later — and the pair had some very friendly, if not overly friendly, interactions with each other, including a chat about her relationship with Aven.

Many viewers reacting on social media quickly caught on to something that could be more than friendly and wondered why their relationship — friendly or otherwise — was not given much attention at all this season.

According to the end-of-episode updates, it turns out Kylee and Aven have “blossomed as a couple” since leaving Paradise.

The wedding

Kenny Braasch and Mari Pepin next to a small table holding a wedding cake.
Cut the cake: Kenny and Mari of Season 7 returned to make it official.

While there were two engagements, neither couple was ready to tie the knot right then and there. So enter Kenny Braasch and Mari Pepin, who got engaged two years ago during Season 7 and came back to make things official.

And with host Palmer serving as the officiant and the Bachelor in Paradise cast serving as the guests, they exchanged vows and rings on the beach. And then everyone got to party it up as the attention turned back to the blossoming — or decaying — couples on the show.

Speaking of weddings, the episode’s ending included updates on the love stories of some past couples:

  • Serena & Joe married on Sept. 2

  • Dean & Caelynn married on Sept. 23

  • Hannah & Dylan married on Aug. 23

The follow-ups

The end of the episode included plenty of updates about this season’s cast and its two engagements. Here is what viewers learned:

“Aaron and Eliza’s engagement has hit some speed bumps since they left the beach. They are actively working on their relationship and trying to figure things out.”

“Kat and John Henry remain happily engaged. They are moving to San Diego and planning a happy life together.”

And, just because it’s randomly interesting, it was also revealed that cast members Aaron S. and Brayden “almost died when their boat sank off the coast of San Diego leaving them treading water until rescue arrived.”

But the real moment from the end of the finale that everyone was talking about on social media was the look-ahead to the next season of The Bachelor, coming in late January and featuring Joey Graziadei from Charity Lawson’s season earlier this year. The preview implied that something bad happens to Joey at the end — potentially being stood up at the engagement site? — and viewers were ready to be there for him.

The next Bachelor season premieres Jan. 22, 2024, on ABC.