At the end of the day, after stints on The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise, Ashley Salter went home to find love. People reported Sunday that one of the comedic highlights from Chris Soules’ season of The Bachelor married her college sweetheart Austin Brannen in the Bahamas.
Brannen is a commercial real estate broker. The pair dated while attending Auburn University and, according to Us Magazine, picked up their romance after Salter returned to Georgia following her reality television stints last year. Brannen and Salter got engaged one year ago in September, 2015.
Ashley Salter made a huge impression during The Bachelor because of her often puzzling — and hilarious — antics. As The Star recalled, she wandered off during one episode and picked a pomegranate off a tree, believing it to be an onion. She mumbled the word “Mesa Verde” over and over again while wielding a paint ball gun and suspected some of the Bachelor crew were running a betting ring focused on the contestants.
In a 2015 interview with Auburn paper The War Eagle Reader, Salter chalked up her behavior to one thing: boredom. The first day of filming lasted a full 20 hours.
“They don’t prepare you for how intense the feeling is but once you’re on there there’s no turning back. That first night I felt I was totally myself. I was like ‘everything’s so planned, this is so freaking boring. When are we going to have this damn rose ceremony? Why are we still sitting here doing nothing?’ That’s when I walked outside.”
Salter had been a huge fan of The Bachelor and her friend nominated her to be a part of the program. When the casting people called, she thought it was a joke being played on her by her father. She had no real intention of finding love on the show and was just in it for the experience.
“I was like, ‘did my Dad tell you to call me?’ I thought it was a freaking joke. I was like, ‘call me tomorrow.’ My dad is the king of April Fool’s jokes—the king. I’m not even joking. He gets the entire community in on April Fool’s jokes. I was just like, this is b******t. But it wasn’t.
“I really just did it because I was curious. I wasn’t dying to find a husband. I was just curious about the whole thing.”
Ashley Salter was so popular on the Bachelor franchise that she even showed up during Kaitlyn Bristowe’s turn on The Bachelorette to do her hair and give advice on one of her suitors, Nick Viall. At the time, Bristowe was trying to decide whether Viall — who had been rejected by Andi Dorfman — should be allowed on her program. Salter told Bristowe she needed to look past the physical attraction in the relationship, according to AL.com.
“In relationships, you’re always going to have times when your lives are not in sync exactly, and it’s really important to have another connection, like a friendship.”
As Bachelor fans know, Viall was Bristowe’s runner-up. He will be the lead in the next season of The Bachelor.
Ashley Salter and Austin Brannen became parents on April 7, 2016, to son Brooks Hartman Brannen. The smiling baby was an adorable fixture of Salter’s Instagram pictures of her wedding preparations in the Bahamas. She and several guests used the hashtag #brannengotthefinalrose, a clever nod to the reality franchise’s iconic symbol.
A new season of The Bachelor with Nick Viall in the lead role is upcoming. The latest installment of Bachelor in Paradise aired its season finale last week on ABC.
[Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]”