We watched The Bachelorette all season as DeAnna Pappas whittled 25 men down to the final two: Jesse Csincsak and Jason Mesnick. And while many thought Jesse to be an unlikely choice, the effervescent snowboarder from Colorado ultimately won the Southern belle’s heart and is currently engaged to the woman of his dreams. Answering reporters’ questions in a conference call the morning after the season finale aired, DeAnna said she was ”shocked” that rejected suitor Jeremy Anderson returned, adding, ”I know it can be hard to understand and that sometimes hours later you wish you’d had the guts to say this or that, but it’s actually a good thing, because I hope I cleared up things for him.” DeAnna and Jesse also explained why they chose May 9, 2009, as their wedding date (it’s one year after the day they were engaged) and why they chose to hold the ceremony in the Bahamas (”that’s where we fell in love”). The couple said they’re planning to keep homes in Atlanta and Colorado so that they can spend the winters in the powder and the summers with D.’s big Greek family. After the conference call, we got some private time on the phone with the two to talk about the Bachelorette experience, their other plans for the future, and what they’ve learned about each other post-show.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your favorite moment of the show?
DEANNA: My engagement!
JESSE: Probably the second I proposed and she looked at me and said yes and I knew that I was going to spend the rest of my life with this woman.
People always say big moments in life, like engagements, are often remembered as a blur. Any one thing that sticks out?
DEANNA: My favorite about that entire moment when he proposed to me is that nothing else around us mattered. Even though there were cameras everywhere, crew people, producers, nothing else mattered. It seriously felt like it was just the two of us.
JESSE: Something that stands out to me that’s funny is at the very end of last night’s show when she goes, ”I can’t believe I am marrying the guy with the pink shoelaces!” That cracks me up.
Now that the circus is over, what’s on the agenda?
DEANNA: I think we’re just focused on doing the normal stuff. We want to go to dinner, and we’re dying just to go grocery shopping together. We just want to be in public together.
Did what you wanted out of this whole process change over time?
DEANNA: Oh, absolutely. I went into this process thinking that I had everything figured out and that I knew exactly what I wanted, and then somewhere along the way I guess I realized that I didn’t know myself as well as I thought I did. I’ve always dated the same type of guy — this typical guy — and maybe it took all of those to lead me to the person that I was meant to be with, because Jesse isn’t like any guy I’ve dated, but it’s the best thing in the world and it’s what I’ve always wanted in the long run. He puts me first, and he is that person that can make me smile every day, doing these crazy, romantic, nice things just to make me smile.
NEXT PAGE: ”He just makes me a much better person.”