Bringing Up Bates' Lawson Bates and Tiffany Espensen Are Married — See the Exclusive Photos!
As the sun began to set on San Diego's stunning Coronado Bridge Thursday, the reality TV star recited his forever vows to his fiancée in front of hundreds of loved ones gathered aboard an extravagant yacht situated in the harbor.
"This day has superseded all expectations I have ever had," Bates, 29, gushed to PEOPLE about his wedding, which was captured by photographer Aubree Toupin Carter of Aubree Belle Photography. "I could have never even dreamed of marrying someone so kind, sincere and passionate about life as Tiffany! She has the absolute most beautiful heart, and I'm so blessed that God chose to bring us together."
Added Espensen, 23, "It feels like we have waited so long for this day. We feel so blessed to finally be "Mr. and Mrs."
The wedding was yet another chapter in the storybook journey for the couple, who started dating back in February 2021. Just eight months later, Bates was down on one knee in Siena, Italy, asking for Espensen's hand in marriage.
At Thursday's ceremony, Espensen glowed in a gown designed by wedding dress designer Renee Cunningham of Renee's Bridal in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky.
Featuring French crepe fabric and a sophisticated V-neckline, the fit-and-flare styled dress was highlighted by a line of cascading pearl buttons along its cathedral train. A detachable, organza princess puff bow dotted with pearls was also draped across the back of the exquisite gown.
Espensen was surrounded by love as she walked down the aisle with mother and her Matron of Honor Robin Espensen.
Cousin Mia Martin, the groom's sister Ellie Bates, the bride's friend Chelle Andreoli and the groom's sister-in-law Esther Bates all served as bridesmaids. They were decked out in tea-length chiffon dusty rose dresses with pleated skirts, and the bridal party's hair and makeup was done by Effortless Beauty, a company that is joint owned by the groom's sister Josie Balka and her business partner Grace Rochat.
As the bridal party began to walk down the aisle towards an altar that included a 9-foot wooden cross made by the groom's brothers, Warden and Jackson Bates, the sun also seemed to shine on the bride's ravishing bouquet with featured a cascading bouquet of white orchids designed by Made & Cherished florist.
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Anxiously awaiting the arrival of the bride and her bridal party was not only Bates, but his groomsmen which included friend Jonas Thatcher and brothers Nathan, Trace, Jackson, Warden and Isaiah Bates. In California style, the groomsman donned black suit pants and white dress shirts with the sleeves rolled up.
Several little ones added to the family vibe — the groom's nephews Bradley Bates and Carson Paine served as ring bearers, and the groom's nieces Kaci and Khloe Bates served as flower girls.
Of course, as an aspiring country music artist, Bates paid extra close attention to the evening's music.
The bridal party walked down the aisle to Bobby Darin's 1958 classic "Beyond the Sea" before the bride entered to the iconic harmonies of Pachelbel's "Canon in D," which was played on the keyboard by the groom's brother-in-law Bobby Smith.
Bates' went on to serenade his bride during the ceremony with "When I Say These Vows," a song he wrote just for the occasion.
Once the ceremony was over, the evening took a jubilant turn, with the couple dancing their way back down the aisle to the '60s classic "Everlasting Love."
RELATED VIDEO: Bringing Up Bates Star Lawson Bates Is Engaged to Girlfriend Tiffany Espensen
Guests — whose revelry was captured by videographers Marcel Dios Herrera and Tammi Weed — enjoyed a wedding cake made by the groom's aunt Kay Hamilton, who has made each of the wedding cakes for the Bates family children. The couple chose a modern, three-tiered fondant cake adorned with white orchid flowers.
"We are both so grateful to each person who has invested into our lives," the couple said of the culmination of their time together, especially the big day thanks to wedding coordinator and longtime friend Kim Nafzinger.
They continued, "As we've packed bags preparing for our wedding and for the move to our new house in Nashville, Tennessee, we've been flooded with memories of our past, and we've been reminded of the love people have shown each of us over the years. We owe a huge 'Thanks' to you!"
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