America fell in love with Shawntel Newton on Season 15 of The Bachelor, when she competed for Brad Womack during his second time around on the ABC reality show. But although she made it all the way to the Hometown Dates episode, cracking us up while showing him around the funeral home where she worked as a funeral director, she was eliminated after the episode.
But this story is a happy one, as she returned home to Northern California, and soon met orthodontist Paolo Poidmore. The two had a cupid to be sure, but quickly took over on their own, and were engaged in October 2012, tying the knot on May 19, 2013 in a beautiful wedding.
Shawntel and Paolo just returned from their honeymoon this week, and she shared her romantic, beautiful, and funny stories with Wetpaint. Thanks Shawntel! Enjoy.
Wetpaint Entertainment: You got married just a couple weeks ago, and it looked amazing! How did you decide on everything (location, colors, the modern/vintage look, dress, hair, etc)?
Shawntel Newton: Wow, time seriously has flown by! I can't believe I just got married. We were engaged in October, then married in May. So I had a good 7 months to plan my wedding. When we first got engaged, I was still living in Chico, working full time at the funeral home...so planning a wedding was not very easy.
Paolo's mom wanted to help me, so she hired me a wedding planner (Kim Lantz with AlphaLee Events in Sacramento). Kim was so helpful. Since I didn't know the Sacramento area, it was hard to know what vendors to use. Paolo and I knew we wanted to get married in Sacramento, but we weren't sure where.
Then Kim found a wonderful hidden treasure, The Leaning Tree Lodge in Placerville. I wanted to go for the vintage/Anthropologie look, and Kim had heard of a rental company, Forever Vintage (Forever Vintage and Leaning Tree Lodge are the same company). She called them and they had everything I wanted, from tables, to mason jars! Then when I saw their venue I was sold.
I was able to have the wedding outside and get that vintage look I was going for.
For the girls I picked a vintage pink and a soft grey for their dresses. I went with neutral colors with my flowers, peonies were my favorite. And I had mismatched china. As far as my hair and makeup, I was really picky about that. Again, Kim, recommended a salon in Loomis, Minx Salon and Spa.
I went for a hair/makeup trial and the owner, Madison Bell did my hair and makeup and I loved it. She did an awesome job. I loved it so much, as part of my gift to the bridesmaids, I hired Minx Salon's crew to all come out and do their hair and makeup the day of the wedding. Madison made lovely white magnolias to put in my hair as well. She put it in a soft low bun. It fit my dress perfectly.
Speaking of dress, my dress was actually from Chico! My mom took me to this new dress store, The French Doors, and it was like the second dress I tried on. I wasn't sold on it right away, but my sisters both were. Needless to say, my sisters picked out my wedding dress :)
How long after The Bachelor did you meet Paolo, and when did you two start dating? What did you do on your first date?
I met Paolo May of last year and we were set up by a friend of Paolo's. His friend came to the funeral home because his father had passed away and I was his funeral director. We ended up talking and he told me he had a friend back in Roseville that he thought I'd really like.
So, about two weeks later, Paolo emailed me. He ended up coming to Chico and that's when we went on our first date. Since he had never been to Chico, I made dinner reservations at a nice place in town and we had a nice talk and then we went and got ice cream and walked around downtown Chico.
It was such a perfect night. We both had to work the next day so he drove back to Roseville that night. But we both knew that this could be it! (At least I did...)
How did The Bachelor shape or affect your views on dating and marriage, if at all? You came so close to winning the show, and then to leave there still with that momentum... did it make you want to bounce back with someone for the long run?
I really enjoyed my experience on The Bachelor. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I came off the show with great friends and knowing that someday I will find a man who will love me the way I deserve. And a funny/ironic story...once Paolo and I started dating, I learned that he too, was signed up, unwillingly, for The Bachelorette!
His younger sister signed him up (would have been Ashley H’s season) and he went to the interviews and they were interested in Paolo for a contestant. During his interviews he didn't know who the Bachelorette was going to be, but thought it might be fun.
After many interviews he decided it wasn't for him because he had just opened his practice up so he couldn't leave his work. But he was able to relate to me in some sense with the show.
Are you and Paolo planning on having children soon? How many do you want?
I am so excited to be a mom one day. We are thinking 4 kids (3 of our own and then adopting). Since I was little I have been so excited to be a mom, and that hasn't changed. Thankfully Paolo wants a big family, too. :)
What's going on with your job these days — still in the same industry? Will you keep working once you have kids?
I am no longer working for Newton-Bracewell Chico Funeral Home. I am keeping my licenses though. We attend a large church here in Roseville — Bayside Church — and there will be ministry opportunities for me there in grief and loss.
I will also be helping Paolo with his work, since he is getting ready to open another practice with a business partner, and I am really excited for him. I am still selling my book, Final Rose, and that's been fun hearing reviews on that.
Once I have kids I am hoping to be with my kids full time and not working as much. I want to be able to spend time with my kids!
Tell me about your honeymoon. You chose Hawaii, and it looks like the two of you had an amazing time. Where did you stay? What was the most fun thing you did? Any calamities or funny events that happened while you two were on vacation?
We went to Maui. We both had never been. It was so much fun. We left the day after our wedding. We stayed at the Grand Wailea for the first three nights and then the Marriott. The Grand Wailea was so much fun. They have water slides and swim-up bars so we pretty much just hung out at the resort the first three nights.
Then the last seven days we explored the island. We did the road to Hana, took a helicopter ride, took and boat out and snorkeled, got to see sea turtles, and ate A LOT of food. I seriously ate way too much :) The best meal we had was at Mama's Fish House. It was right on the water and the food was delicious.
It's funny...I never really knew just how much the show (The Bachelor) is liked. So many people love that show, and since I was on the show, I still get people that'll approach me and ask about the show. So while we were there in Maui, I had some Bachelor fans there and it was fun to talk to them. One person said, "Aren't you in film or something." It was funny!
What's the first thing you did when you got married? When you got back from your honeymoon?
We were on our honeymoon for 10 days and once we got back, we came home to a lot of gifts. Our entire living room was full of wedding gifts. My first instinct was to go crazy and open them all...but both of our mothers told us we had to wait till they could watch up open them. (Which was news to me — I had no clue mothers wanted to watch their kids open ALL their wedding gifts.)
It was fun though, we had both our parents over for a BBQ talked about the wedding, shared photos and opened gifts.
What's the best thing about being married so far? What are you most looking forward to?
I love living with Paolo. I lived with his parents during our engagement, so it has been so fun living together. I have to say I am really excited to be a mom! We are going to wait a little bit, but when that day comes, I know that I will be thrilled!