Freeform's Ben and Lauren Host Disney Wedding Special

By Steve Gidlow Freeform Archives

Ben Higgins and fiancé Lauren Bushnell know a thing or two about fairytale endings. The Bachelor couple found their personal happily-ever-after on that show, then continued to share their story with their own aptly titled Freeform series Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? Despite that ominous question mark, Ben and Lauren are doing just fine. The happy couple is enjoying life and planning their own nuptials. So when Freeform asked the duo to take a break and host its upcoming Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings special, neither had to think twice.

“Lauren and I really enjoyed working with Freeform with Happily Ever After?” Ben told me during a recent interview. “It was such a great experience, so having that relationship and them knowing that our desire is to spread the message of love … it was just a perfect fit and we were honored to even be asked.”

The 90-minute special (to be telecast Sunday May 7, at 8 p.m.) has Ben and Lauren introducing viewers to a variety of betrothed couples, all with varied backgrounds and one common denominator -- tying the knot in the most spectacular way possible. It also immerses viewers deep into everything involved in planning a wedding -- in one case a secret shrouded proposal that’s captured on film, much like that of Ben's big moment on The Bachelor.

“I guess they kind of did it in front of millions of people too, but in a different way,” Lauren laughed when I asked if she felt any kinship with that particular couple.

I did!” chimed in Ben. “The difference is, and I’m sure it’s like this for any of the people that get proposed to or are doing the proposing, you kind of focus in on the person that you’re getting ready to be with.

“I know of a lot of situations where people are getting ready to propose, and all of their friends and family will be hiding in the bushes or a bunch of people will be helping them prepare for it,” he continued. “I think a lot people help with the preparation for it, but the similarity is that no matter what is going on around you, once the person walks in front of you it’s the only thing you’re focused on.”

Over the past five years the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings brand has accommodated over 50,000 “dream” weddings, incorporating everything from the company’s picturesque theme park surroundings to its luxury cruise line. As far as Ben is concerned, though, the cruise option is, at best, very optional. “Honestly, my memory of cruises is spring break, so getting married on a cruise would not be my first idea,” he laughed.  “I can’t quite get the cruise of my past out of my head.

“But they pull it off [in the special] and the wedding on the cruise is beautiful,” he continued.  “Logistically and for efficiency it makes sense.”

Lauren couldn’t help but stash a few ideas from these Disney weddings in her own, ever-expanding bride book.

“I’ve never attended a Disney wedding nor have I ever seen one in person,” she admitted.  “But Disney World has a very special place that overlooks Cinderella’s Castle and it’s one of the more stunning locations I’ve ever seen.  After seeing how beautiful these weddings are it’s something I would definitely consider. Getting ideas from these couples who tied the knot with Disney was really cool as these weddings are absolutely stunning.”

Thankfully for her, fiancé Ben agrees. “I’ve always loved Disney World and Disneyland, but Disney World has a special place in my heart,” he admits. “Just being there in general, it’s a place where I feel like a kid again and get excited. It’s like a fairytale experience being at the park and I never imagined the possibility of ever getting married at a Disney location until this experience.

“Standing at that pavilion, overlooking Cinderella’s Castle at 5 o’clock in the morning and watching the sunrise behind it … It’s definitely a place you’d love to create a special memory,” he admitted.

“Honestly, I love a fairy tale,” Lauren sighed.  “For me it was wonderful seeing it all.  It really starts you thinking about your own wedding and for me it started me thinking about what I want.  The whole thing was definitely inspiring and so cool to see.”

Thanks to the special, ideas of pumpkin carriages and princess wedding gowns (also available through the Disney Wedding Collection) are in abundance for Ben and Lauren' when the time arrives for their wedding. Just don’t expect a big surprise at the end of this special. 

“We don’t have a current agreement with Freeform or ABC about when [our] wedding will air -- or if it will at all,” Ben told me. “That is something we're still working through and are continuing to pursue any opportunity for that day, or whatever the wedding looks like.”

Ben and Lauren host Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings Special on Sunday, May 7 at 8 p.m. on Freeform.

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