Arguably one of the Valley’s most famous couples, Lauren Burnham and Arie Luyendyk Jr. have been busy planning their Jan. 12 wedding after a whirlwind romance on ABC’s The Bachelor. But it has not been without some headaches. Luyendyk originally proposed to Becca Kufrin, but then retracted and chose runner-up Burnham, creating public backlash.
“People were attacking me and attacking him,” she recalls. “It was kind of hard balancing the emotional stress of that and also being together.” Despite that, “we came out of that as a stronger couple.”
Last April, Burnham—a brand consultant, influencer and soon-to-be bikini line designer—moved to Arizona from Virginia to live with Luyendyk, a real estate agent. The couple were so eager to tie the knot, they declined an offer from ABC for fully paid, broadcasted nuptials. “To be honest, I’m really happy that we’re not televising it,” she says. “It makes it more real that way. It’s our wedding. We have control over everything that happens that day.”
Burnham settled on a venue—Haiku Mill, a former sugar cane factory in Maui. They’ve never visited the island before, but want their only memory of Maui to be of their wedding. “Whenever we go back, that’s what we’ll think of,” she explains.
For ceremony inspiration, she referred to the dreamy wedding scene in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—complete with a huge canopy draped with hanging vines and twinkle lights. “I want it be romantic and [like] a fairy tale when people walk in,” Burnham says.
What moment is she looking forward to the most? “When I step out in my dress, and I’m looking down the aisle at Arie,” she says.
Despite their tumultuous beginning, Burnham’s looking forward to settling into married life—relaxing in their new Arcadia home, attending festivals and galas together and enjoying favorite local haunts like Teaspressa, Barrio Café and Glai Baan. The pair also announced last year that they are expecting a baby in June. “Going on the show and having this crazy love story and having everyone follow us along on our journey... it’s the perfect ending for that,” she says.