Harrison and longtime love Lauren Zima hosted a "blow-out bash" on a ranch in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, after marrying in an intimate family ceremony in October
The former host, 52, and the producer, 35, tied the knot with not one but two weddings: an intimate family ceremony in Napa Valley, California, on Oct. 14, followed by a bigger, "blow-out bash" on Saturday at an Austin, Texas, ranch.
The star-studded guest list for the Texas celebration was filled with Bachelor and Bachelorette favorites from as far back as the reality TV franchise's beginnings 20 years ago. They included Ben and Jessica Higgins, Arie and Lauren Luyendyk, Sean and Catherine Lowe, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon, Tayshia Adams and Luke Gulbranson, JoJo Fletcher as well as Colton Underwood and Jordan Brown among others.
Trista Sutter, who made history as the very first Bachelorette back in 2003, attended solo, as her husband Ryan Sutter stayed home with their two children. Bob Guiney — a contestant on Sutter's season who later was named the Bachelor for season 4 — came with his wife Jessica Canyon.
In a touching gesture, Harrison invited the entire Bachelor gang to his home the night before the wedding for an epic "world reunion," giving them all an opportunity to spend some time catching up.
"On Friday night, we did an intimate evening at our house with Bachelor franchise folks only," Harrison tells PEOPLE. "We wanted to catch up, reminisce and show them how much we appreciated them coming in from out of town — they’d all been so lovely and supportive and excited for the evening."
The group kicked back together and enjoyed a special souvenir from Harrison and Zima's California nuptials. "We cracked open some amazing bottles of wine that we’d gotten in Napa during our family ceremony," he adds.
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Zima tells PEOPLE they decided to stage a second wedding so that they could accommodate their massive "second" family — Harrison's many Bachelor costars — and the rest of their friends.
“Doing the second event in Austin gave us the ability to include all of our friends, and also made sure that we didn’t leave our wedding feeling like we didn’t even see any of our loved ones — a story we’ve heard before,” she says.
“They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and that’s what we’re leaning into,” Harrison jokes.
As for their October nuptials, the couple chose Napa for a very sentimental reason — it's where Harrison popped the question to Zima in October 2021, during an outdoor proposal with sweeping views of the celebrated wine region's hillside vineyards as a backdrop.
“Through the years, we have made so many incredible friends, and so many lasting memories here," Harrison says. "Napa has been a part of our relationship all along. When we thought about where we wanted this meaningful celebration, it just made sense to end up back where it all began.”
In another nod to Harrison's long reign as the Bachelor franchise's patriarch, former Bachelor Andrew Firestone emceed the couple's welcome party on the eve of their Napa wedding.
Zima and Harrison first met in 2018 when she interviewed him while working as a producer for Entertainment Tonight. They struck up a friendship that eventually turned romantic.
After a first date spent talking for hours, they both knew they had found something special in each other. "I was like, I am going to pursue this woman and I am not letting her go. I really want to see where this goes," Harrison recalls of Zima, who was equally smitten.
“Early on I thought to myself, ‘I could marry this guy,’" she shares. “It just felt easy and natural. He's the best partner, and I'm just happy every day."
Now that they are officially husband and wife, the pair couldn't be happier. Harrison gushes that Zima loves him "in ways that I never dreamed I could be loved.”
“Lauren is not just brilliant, she is kind. She's the most selfless person, and will love others to exhaustion," he says. "That quality, that magnetism that draws people in and makes everybody feel like they're the only person in the world right then, is so rare."
For her part, Zima says she never knew what true partnership was until Harrison came into her life. "He is the person who is my teammate in everything, supports me in everything," she explains. "Chris actually says to me, 'I want to make your dreams come true. My job is to make you happy.' That level of selflessness from someone is mind-blowing."
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