Fourteen years ago, a handsome, poetry-reciting firefighter named Ryan Sutter took a mega gamble and decided to compete on a new reality show called The Bachelorette. His purpose was to find lasting love with the inaugural lead, a pretty blonde named Trista Rehn, who’d recently captivated America’s attention on season one of The Bachelor.
Sutter’s little risk turned into a rewarding future with the love of his life. The couple got engaged on the season finale of the show, and married in a lavish, ABC-produced ceremony in 2003. They went on to build their lives together in a small town outside of Vail, Colorado, where they now share two young kids named Maxwell, 9, and Blakesley, 7.
“Simon Cowell sat on a couch with me, and he’s like, ‘I give it two weeks,'” Trista told Good Morning America this week. They lasted 14 years. “I think forgiveness is a big one because no one’s perfect and neither of us [is] perfect,” she continued. “He wrote me a sweet card, you know just out of the blue.”
In a phone interview with The Knot last fall, Ryan shared some thoughts about their lives now. “I’m at this point in my life where every day matters, and I’m thinking about what I’m going to leave behind,” he shared. “What’s my legacy going to be? I’m looking for new challenges, new adventures… Thinking all the way out to The Bachelorette when I went out on the limb—and it worked out for me.”
14 years ago today (or so I hear), anyone with a TV tuned to @abcnetwork could watch as a very lucky girl got introduced to 25 handsome men on a controversial show called #TheBachelorette. 📺 (Now, all you need is to visit abc.com or the ABC app under Throwbacks…oh yes…it’s been THAT long!) It was a once in a lifetime chance at finding the man of my dreams and thankfully, @ryansutter was there to call me “ravishing”. 😍 I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…for the rest of my life…thank you. 🙏🏼 Thank you to my best friend & husband for stepping way out of your comfort zone and into my life; everyone at ABC & Telepictures & especially @fleissmeister for believing in me; @chrisbharrison @lisalevro @gcfcarbone for talking me through every step; & everyone else who played a part. You changed my life for the better & I will be forever grateful. 💝 #amomentiwillneverforget #youlookravishing #hesneversaidthatsince #thelookoflove #yesimathrowback #yesitwascontroversial #yesilaughwhenimnervous #yesitapedthisviamyipad #noitisnotinHD #istillhavethatdress
The adventurous (and adorable!) couple revealed on GMA this week that Ryan still has his wife’s final rose tucked away in the upstairs closet. As one of the franchise’s few success stories, the two are frequently solicited about love and relationship advice, helping recently-engaged Bachelor couples to their devoted viewers.
“The biggest thing we tell people is to not let the show change you as people,” he reflected. “Don’t pursue something that’s not authentic to who you are.”
Sutter, a spokesperson for CocoaVia, shared three tips with The Knot for couples looking to lead healthy and productive lifestyles together. See below!
Watch What You Consume
“Certainly just general health is very important,” he mused. “We try to watch what we eat… We both try to live our lives as healthy as possible. We live in a really healthy community and a very healthy place, so our lives go in that direction. It’s important because it gives you the energy to work through things. If you’re sluggish, you’re going to be negative and that’ll impact your relationship.”
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
“One thing that Trista and I love to do is get the kids outside and be active,” he said. “We each do things we like individually, so allowing your partner to do those things to fulfill who they are [is important].” The family, though, will get together for other fun activities like, “going camping and hiking and boating,” Sutter shared.
Make Fun and Lasting Memories
“Beyond that, we both love to travel and have new experiences,” he added. “As your relationship gets more grounded, founded and longer—we’re coming up on our 13th wedding anniversary!—the relationship itself is no longer new.”
“You have to continue to plug things into your relationship that can bring the new back and keep it inspiring,” he concluded. “We’re not in front of each other finding meaning in our relationship.”