The luckiest to have found the best of what’s around
From challenging times on ‘The Bachelor’ to love on Cape Cod, this wedding is one blessed by Angels
As Whitney Bischoff—now Whitney Angel—stepped out of the elevator in a waterfront condo in Chicago, she entered a room full of candles, as if her soon-to-be fiancé, Ricky Angel, had indeed filled the space with stars for them to count like the lyrics of their favorite Coldplay song, “Amazing Day.”
“The first thing that crossed my mind was, ‘Oh my gosh, this is the weirdest girls’ night I’ve ever been to in my entire life,” says Whitney, but it all became clear why Ricky’s sister brought her there when she heard his voice. As a former contestant on ABC’s “The Bachelor,” Whitney’s search for love has been both intense and very public, but with Ricky, she claims they were inseparable from the moment they met. “Except for Cubs games,” he says wryly.
Whitney and Ricky met on the popular dating app Bumble, where they quickly sparked a connection and decided to meet in person. “I thought that he was taking me to a nice dinner, but come to find out he was only expecting drinks. I came with my appetite, so I ended up eating while Ricky watched me,” Whitney says, laughing. “She hammered about eight sliders,” adds Ricky, “and I said, ‘Yeah. That’s the one I want.’”
The couple were engaged in July of 2016—Whitney makes it a point to remember all of their important anniversaries, including the night they officially met, September 24, 2015. Almost a year and a half after their engagement, they were married at the Wequassett Resort in Harwich. “Not only is Wequassett just beautiful, but the people there were so kind. That’s really what sold it for us,” explains Whitney. “We’ll continue to go there for life. They’re like family.”
Ricky’s family has ties to Dennis, and the Cape has become a special escape for them, so it was the perfect destination for him to expand that family to officially include Whitney. “Whitney was like ‘Let’s do the wedding on Cape Cod,’ and I said, ‘Whatever you say boss,’” he says.
The serene beauty of the Cape ended up making the perfect backdrop for this couple’s intimate wedding. “Having our wedding on the Cape was one of the best decisions we made,” says Whitney. “It felt like we were in another world, our own special bubble,” explains Ricky. Plus, it was an easy trip to Nantucket, where the pair enjoyed a “minimoon” before their actual honeymoon in Hawaii.
“We really wanted to keep it personal and very unique,” Whitney says about planning their special day. “We knew that our song was going to be ‘Amazing Day’ by Coldplay because we love the lyrics. One of the lines was basically the theme for the entire day—‘Life has a beautiful crazy design.’ I think that sums up our lives and our relationship—how crazy it is that the two of us were able to come together.”
Whitney has her very own angel looking out for her—her mother. While this loss was surely poignant on her wedding day, it’s easy to imagine that Whitney’s mother was looking out for her on this day and others—perhaps as she ate all those sliders in front of Ricky the day they met, and perhaps guiding her all the way to the alter to stand beside her newest angel. “My mom passed away almost 13 years ago, and it was really important that we were able to capture her in the day,” says Whitney. “I wanted it to be a happy day. I didn’t want it to be really solemn. I just wanted there to be certain things, even if it was just the people closest to her that would understand.” Whitney’s maternal grandmother, her “Mamaw,” walked her down the aisle to the song “Old Kentucky Home,” played by the couple’s close friend, Jason Paradise, in tribute to Whitney’s hometown. At the end of the aisle was a chair decorated in lilies—her mom’s favorite flower—and as Whitney stood in front of her closest friends and family, hand-in-hand with her forever love, listening to her brother-in-law perform a ceremony they wrote together, she wore a dress custom-made with lace and buttons from her mother’s gown and a gorgeous flowing veil that also belonged to her mother.
“Everybody who was part of the day was very close to Ricky and me,” explains Whitney. “We had both of our siblings standing by our side, two of our best friends did readings, and my brother-in-law officiated.” The wedding took place on one of the warmest days in October. In fact it was so lovely out, that the two decided to move their wedding to the gardens last minute, and the change made the ceremony even more gorgeous.
“The readings we did weren’t your standard readings either,” says Ricky. “We each picked a song and we didn’t tell each other what song that would be. We picked lyrics from the songs, and my friends read the lyrics I chose for her and vice versa.” Ricky chose lyrics from “The Best of What’s Around” by Dave Matthews Band. Whitney chose one of her favorite songs, “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds, a song she had shared with Ricky when they first met. The musical aspects of the wedding even continued into the reception, with Ricky’s father and brother playing “Amazing Day” for their first dance.
The pair celebrated their union with a tree planted in soil from their hometowns. “Ricky’s parents brought soil from the house he grew up in, and he played baseball growing up, so they brought soil from first base,” says Whitney. “Third base,” Ricky corrects her—it’s an important detail. The tree is now planted at Ricky’s parents’ house in Dennis, a constant reminder of their wedding, their relationship and their future.
“I’ll never forget Whitney walking down the aisle with Mamaw—seeing her turning the corner and Mamaw getting up off her chair, cheesing widely,” says Ricky, laughing at the memory. It was a very intimate day, with personal touches throughout it all. Ricky explains about a tradition he and his friends have of ending their nights with the song “I Will Always Love You,” by Whitney Houston. “Basically everyone makes a big circle around the bride and the groom, and everyone sings along,” he explains. “It was a big ordeal,” adds Whitney.
The couple’s best advice for soon-to-be newlyweds? Whitney says to hire a wedding planner. “I was so glad to have Keri Ketterer from Always Yours Events,” she says. “She really just handled so much on all different levels, from listening to me to really making it the day of our dreams.” Ricky’s advice: “Never say the three dreaded words: ‘I don’t care,’” he jokes. In all seriousness though, he advises future grooms to “understand that you should care because your future wife cares.”
“For once in my life, things are finally boring,” jokes Whitney. With her experiences on “The Bachelor,” Whitney’s road to love hasn’t always been paved with roses. “I think it was a great experience. I learned a lot. There were a lot of amazing times. There were a lot of really hard times. All in all, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something I don’t regret doing, but I would never put myself through it again,” she says. “Unless I was the bachelor,” Ricky teases her.
That’s not to say Whitney is not still an avid fan of the show. “I’ve watched since I was a little girl. Then I went on the show, so I pick up on things that other people may not, but I’ll never stop watching,” she says, explaining that she also still keeps in close contact with some of the other contestants—a few were even guests on her special day.
There are no “Bachelor” spin-off shows in Whitney’s future, though. Now, she’s content with her new husband and their “doggie daughter,” Lillie. “Kid’s might be in the future. We shall see,” says Ricky. One thing’s for sure, Cape Cod will always be in the cards for this pair. “The Cape holds a really special place in our hearts, and we’re just really excited to vacation there in the future and hopefully bring back kids,” says Whitney. “We’ll be going there forever,” says Ricky. It might not be heaven, but for these Angels, the Cape comes pretty close.
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