March 26, 2023

Contributor, PEOPLE
It was love at first chat for Kaitlyn Bristowe and Jason Tartick, who did not meet on the set of The Bachelorette despite their mutual connection to the hit show (Tartick was a contestant on Becca Kufrin‘s season and Kaitlyn was the Bachelorette during season 11).
Instead, the pair got together in 2019 after Tartick asked Bristowe out on a date during an episode of her podcast, Off the Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe.
“My relationship with Jason was definitely not something I expected,” Bristowe, who was coming off a breakup with Shawn Booth at the time, later told PEOPLE. “When I met him, dating anyone wasn’t even on my radar, especially dating anyone in Bachelor world, but something in my mind was rooting for him. And I thought, ‘Whoever dates him is a lucky girl.’ ”
Little did the Dancing with the Stars winner know, she would turn out to be that lucky girl when Tartick asked her out on air a few months later. The pair got engaged in 2021, and the Trading Secrets podcast host now credits his future wife with teaching him how to be more accessible and real. “Something I’ve definitely learned from Kaitlyn: vulnerability creates vulnerability and that creates authenticity,” he told PEOPLE in 2022. “And from that, can really create growth.”
From their first meeting on air to planning their Nashville wedding, here's a breakdown of Kaitlyn Bristowe and Jason Tartick's love story.
Bristowe and Tartick first met during a taping of Bristowe's Off the Vine podcast in 2018.
“I walked into a studio in Seattle to podcast with Jason and Olivia,” the former Bachelorette recalled in a 2019 Instagram post. “I was crying on FaceTime to my dad when he came in. We had never met, but he hugged me … and said, ‘Let’s have a soft Tuesday together.’ I had asked Olivia to join me for the podcast because I thought I would need someone to help keep the energy up. But If you spend two seconds with Jason you realize his energy is electric and you can’t help but be in a good mood.”
Three months after Bristowe announced her split from Booth, Tartick asked the former Bachelorette out on a date during an episode of her podcast. However, Bristowe was actually the one who got things rolling when she started interrogating Tartick about why he hadn’t asked her out yet.
"You're making me blush over here, Kaitlyn," Tartick said. "I mean, if we're both going to be in the same city at the same time, I see no reason why we shouldn't go to dinner or grab drinks."
After Bristowe accepted, she gave Tartick a little warning: "Don't f—- it up."
Just a few weeks later, Tartick confirmed that the pair were officially dating during a live interview on the Today show.
“Yeah, that’s true,” Tartick said.
"I mean, I was going to use my podcast to break the news," added Bristowe, who also appeared on the show, "but I guess the Today show beat me to it!"
Bristowe and Tartick celebrated their first Valentine’s Day together a few weeks later and made their relationship Instagram official.
“So grateful for you,” Tartick captioned a photo of the pair embracing.
Bristowe’s post featured a lengthy quote about the importance of finding true happiness, along with a sweet couple pic. “Thank you @jason_tartick for being you,” she wrote.
The pair escaped to Boston for a romantic Valentine’s Day weekend getaway — their first as a couple.
Bristowe documented their trip on her Instagram Story, where she shared pictures from their V-day dinner at Bistro Du Midi and a video of the pair singing along to the Hamilton and Aladdin soundtracks back at the Boston Harbor Hotel.
Four months after confirming their relationship, the couple announced they were moving in together on Bristowe’s podcast.
"We're at the next step in our relationship where we want to grow even more and we can't do that in long distance," she said. "Cheers to new roommates! I can't wait to see what things you do that drive me nuts."
A few days later, Bristowe shared an adorable photo of the pair on Instagram with the caption, "Oh hey roomie."
Later that summer, Bristowe and Tartick made quite the stunning pair when they attended the August wedding of Bachelor alums Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon in Newport, Rhode Island.
“To health, wealth, love, happiness and all the time in the world to enjoy it!” Tartick captioned a photo on Instagram of himself and Bristowe all dolled up for the nuptials. “Honored to be part of @ashley_iaconetti and @jaredhaibon big day!”
In January 2020, just as he and Bristowe hit the one-year mark, Tartick appeared on an episode of PEOPLE Now and shared the secret to making their relationship work.
“I think it’s communication,” he said. “For anyone who knows Kaitlyn, she’s very candid and transparent, and that’s been the key to our relationship. And two adorable Goldens — Pinot and Ramen.”
After injuring her ankle while competing on Dancing with the Stars, Bristowe performed a foxtrot on the show and received the highest scores of the night.
When she later shared a clip from the performance on Instagram, Tartick voiced his support in the comments. "Damn inspiration you are," he wrote. "this was gorgeous start to finish."
On Nov. 23, 2020, Bristowe was crowned the season 29 winner of Dancing with the Stars and took home the coveted Mirrorball Trophy. Tartick was very excited for his girlfriend’s major accomplishment and posted a video of his live reaction to the news on Instagram. In it, Tartick and a friend pop a bottle of champagne and scream excitedly.
"You freaking did it baby, let's gooooo! Another dream come true, you earned and deserved this KBone!" he wrote in the caption.
Shortly after Valentine’s Day, Bristowe accidentally shared a photo of herself with her dogs in front of a wall mural that read “Single AF,” immediately sparking breakup rumors.
She later cleared up the confusion on her Instagram Story, writing, “So I posted a picture and in the background, it said ‘Single AF’ and I didn’t even notice … So people thought it was hinting towards something, but it’s not.”
Three months after shutting down the breakup rumors, Tartick proposed to Bristowe while they were getting ready to record an episode of Bristowe’s podcast.
"It was everything I could have asked for," Bristowe later said. "The words that came out of his mouth were insanely beautiful. We've never locked eyes like that in our lives. We were holding hands, so intense, and I was listening to his every word, but still blacked out. It was really special."
Not even a month after getting engaged, Bristowe revealed on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast that she wouldn’t be surprised if she was “pregnant for the wedding.”
“We cannot wait to start a family,” she said. “To be honest, I turn 36 next month, and I do have my eggs frozen so the biological clock is not exactly ticking, but I do really want to think about that, just because I have met my person, we are getting married, and so I do feel like that next step, quickly after, is going to be having a family.”
The bride-to-be also gave fans a wedding planning update and discussed her vision for the big day.
“I just know basically as soon as we can get the ball rolling, I want it to be like a Great Gatsby-like black-tie event, very glam, which is so opposite of what I thought I’d want,” she said. “Four years ago I would have been like, I want bohemian. I want farm-style. I just keep changing my mind.”
In July 2021, Tartick told PEOPLE he was still on a post-engagement high.
"The engagement high is still a high!" he said. "It still seems surreal in the best way possible. We are full speed ahead which is so exciting. And we're both so excited about the next steps of our lives."
While appearing on the Click Bait with Bachelor Nation podcast, Tartick addressed the online criticism Bristowe had been receiving about her appearance.
"I don't know why people think it's okay to say the s— they do on Twitter," he said. "The way that people make comments, nasty comments about people's appearances, and obviously, specifically, I'm referring to Kaitlyn, it's just … it's grotesque."
In October 2021, Tartick confirmed to PEOPLE that the couple were still planning to go with a “very Great Gatsby” wedding theme.
"Wedding planning, it's going awesome," he added. "We have an idea of where we want to do it, we know when we want to do [it], and now details and lists are home together and the foundation is being built for the wedding."
In honor of her husband-to-be’s 33rd birthday, the former Bachelorette shared a series of sweet photos, including some shots from their engagement shoot.
“Happy birthday to my rock lobster,” she captioned the post, referencing the legendary phrase Phoebe Buffay coined in the show Friends. “You’re somehow getting more incredible every year.”
"Love you Kaitlyn," Tartick responded in the comments. "Let's have a day!"
While interviewing each other for E! News, the engaged couple gave an update about what their future holds.
"Hopefully wedding, hopefully babies," Bristowe said. "My dream vision board probably [is] host Dancing with the Stars and have babies."
"Your psychic said you were going to … [get pregnant]," added Tartick, who also confirmed that the nuptials will be held in Nashville, where the couple lives, but that their wedding date is under wraps.
"She did," Bristowe said. "She said that 'your baby is close.' "
In a PEOPLE exclusive, Tartick provided some details about the guest list for the couple’s wedding.
"I think there will be a good amount of Bachelor people," Tartick said. "And then because Kaitlyn is literally tied at the hip with these pros from Dancing with the Stars, some of them will be invited. That'll be a wild dance floor."
He also copped to a fear of dancing in front of his fiancée. "I watch Kaitlyn, but I won't dance in front of her," Tartick said. "There was one time I went to the bar with every Dancing with the Stars pros and Kaitlyn, and I've never in my life felt so intimidated. So I just watch."
Speaking to PEOPLE in June 2022, Bristowe shared a few more details about the pair’s wedding process — including how Tartick is leaving some of the fun planning elements up to her.
"Jason is Mr. Spreadsheet," she joked. "This is just so us in our relationship: He's very numbers and logistics and spreadsheets and I'm like, Can we have a champagne fountain? Dancers swinging from the rafters?"
Bristowe also revealed the best wedding tip she and Tartick had received, which came from season 17 Bachelor couple Catherine and Sean Lowe. Their advice? Don’t let go of each other’s hands.
"I think we've got to make a point to stick together through that whole night," she said. "Because, right, everyone's there to celebrate us and our love, so we have to remember to be in the moment by staying together."
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