A wedding in paradise

A personal account of ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ wedding


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Story by Emma Anderson, staff writer

A local resident has a unique insight into a recent celebrity wedding. Heather Thompson was a bridesmaid at Evan Bass and Carly Waddell’s “Bachelor in Paradise” wedding. The two met on the set of reality show, “Bachelor in Paradise” and have endured quite an adventure together.

“His personality is completely different than what she is normally interested in,” Thompson said.

Waddell’s experience in TV started on the “The Bachelor,” when her brother, Zak, was a contestant in season nine and made it to round four.

“It wasn’t even a thought that Carly would go on to the show. We were always like, ‘We got to get Zak on there,’” Thompson said. “Carly got to meet all of the producers and staff when they came to her hometown, so she was approached to be on the show.”

After she was eliminated from the show in week seven as a fifth runner-up, Carly vowed she would never do the show again. However, she later decided to sign on for “Bachelor in Paradise.”

“[Carly] was asked to do ‘Bachelor’ because there was a girl on [season 19] named Britt, and Carly called her out a lot, so it became this huge thing like, ‘were you Team Britt or Team Carly,’” Thompson said. “She was just a polarizing character. Carly was still really well-liked because she had this following [of fans] because she was very blunt throughout the season.”

As the show progressed, Carly was able to meet new people and friends.

“She went on the show and she and Evan became really good friends,” Thompson said. “She wasn’t attracted to him at all, though.”

Carly described her date with Evan, where the two had to eat a habanero pepper then kiss, as “a nightmare.” She told Evan there was no chemistry between them, and they should stay friends. Evan refused to accept this and continued to ask Carly out on dates.

On a specific date which included a heated tent, Carly said that she felt really ugly and Evan told her that she was the most beautiful girl in the world. Ever since that moment, the attraction came and everything just fell into place.

Soon after Evan proposed, Carly asked Thompson to be her bridesmaid. Thompson and Carly’s friendship started at Oklahoma University when they both performed in a school production of “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.”

“It was a very small cast, so we all became very close,” Thompson said. She and Carly became more familiar with each other through the play.

Bass and Waddell’s wedding took place in June in Mexico. The newlyweds are expecting a baby girl in February. While at the wedding, Thompson had an opportunity to see Bass and how he interacts with the kids. She then developed a more accepting attitude towards him.

“He’s one of those people who’s very unconditional in his love,” Thompson said.  “He has a gift for this unconditional, no-matter-what love.”