EXCLUSIVE: Lauren Bushnell reveals wedding plans with 'Bachelor' Ben Higgins!
It's been almost five months since Bachelor Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell were able to go public with their relationship for the first time. The two are now happily engaged, living together in Denver and closer than ever.
But, a lot has happened in just a matter of months: Ben and Lauren are now filming their own reality show, Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After?, and Lauren just debuted a blog: Sparkle in Her Eye. ET sat down with her at the blog's launch dinner, an intimate event at the W Hotel in Hollywood.
"It's a lot of change," Lauren said. "When everything around me is changing I get a little stressed out, and unfortunately I probably take that out on Ben a little bit more than what's fair! ... [With that change] comes a lot of happiness, a lot of laughs, but also a lot of struggles." Those ups and downs will play out on Happily Ever After?, but Lauren says ultimately things are good: "It's been really fun to kind of step out of the spotlight – the Bachelor world -- and just really start our life together."
The hardest moment of the past five months had to do with that Bachelor world. "I think the toughest moment in this whole thing was having to relive The Bachelor," she said. "Going through that once is one thing, but having to re-watch it once it airs is a whole other thing. I'm only so strong ... watching the man you love tell another woman he loves her ... is extremely difficult. But honestly, it's made us way stronger and it's forced us to communicate and have really awkward, hard conversations."
Now, the two are starting another phase: wedding planning.
"We don't have a date yet, but we have kind of started the initial phases," she said. "We both kind of talked more about maybe a winter wedding ... Hopefully cameras will catch it, and I think that's something that's really cool, because I know nothing about wedding planning. I wish I could've watched someone else plan! So, hopefully you'll get to see that on the show. ... I would say definitely, but I don't want to make any promises!"
Lauren says she's learned plenty about her future husband since the Bachelor cameras stopped rolling: that he's a morning person (she's a night owl), an amazing chef and her "biggest fan."
Lauren gets teary-eyed talking about how Ben has encouraged her blog. "He's been so supportive this whole time," she said. "Having someone there by your side who tells you you can basically do anything when some things are really scary, especially when it comes to doing something that you've never really done before, it's meant the entire world."
"I'm going from being a flight attendant to a blogger," she said. "[It's] a world I really don't' know a lot about ... So, for a lot of reasons it's a new chapter. I'm very nervous about that, but also very excited!" Sparkle in Her Eye is a chance for Lauren to explore her creative side: "I also had a fanbase that wants to know everything I wear -- makeup, all this stuff," she said. "I wanted to share that with them. It just seemed like it made the most sense."
Of course, the Bachelor world is still a major part of Ben and Lauren's lives. Happily Ever After? is from Next Entertainment, the same company behind the Bachelor franchise. Cameras were rolling at the Sparkle in Her Eye dinner launch, and fellow Bachelor alums Becca Tilley and Ashley Iaconetti were in attendance to support their friend.
Plus, Ben and Lauren had attended After the Final Rose just days before, marking the end of his ex JoJo Fletcher's season of The Bachelorette. Lauren says it might seem strange, but she and JoJo are close friends.
"There's so many times where JoJo and myself -- we know exactly what the other's going through," she said.
Her advice for JoJo and Jordan Rodgers? "You're going to face a lot of criticism and yours ups and downs are going to be experienced in the public eye, and I would just say to JoJo and Jordan, 'Don't listen to it!'" she advised.
Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After? premieres in October on Freeform.