The Bachelor alum Ben Higgins has married his girlfriend of three years, Jessica Clarke, in a romantic Tennessee wedding.

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Ben, who starred on The Bachelor's 20th season in 2016, wed Jessica in a "simple and beautiful" ceremony at The Estate in Cherokee Dock near Nashville on Saturday, People reported.

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"Jessica is so incredibly empathetic and caring. She encourages me and she supports me and I know she cares about who I am and where I'm going," Ben, 32, told the magazine.

"I'm so excited that I get to love her -- and be loved by her -- every single day. And I am so thankful that I found her."

Ben gushed about how he and Jessica "have so much to look forward to," adding, "I know we will have a beautiful marriage."

Jessica, who accepted Ben's marriage proposal in March 2020, donned an Anne Barge gown, while Ben sported a tuxedo.

The couple reportedly exchanged personalized vows and the wedding ceremony included a scripture reading and quotes from Winnie-the-Pooh.

Many Bachelor Nation alums and couples attended the wedding including Nick Viall, Becca Kufrin and boyfriend Thomas Jacobs, Jared Haibon and wife Ashley Iaconetti, and Wells Adams, who also served as a groomsman.

Guests were reportedly either vaccinated or asked to present a negative COVID-19 test before participating in Ben and Jessica's nuptials.

For the lakeside reception, guests enjoyed cocktails and feasted on individually-packed dinners comprised of pizza and sliders.

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Everyone danced the night away to music by The Taylor Pace Orchestra, according to People, and Ben and Jessica took a ride in a boat with a "Just Married" banner sweeping across it.
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"Ben doesn't just make me want to be a better person, but he actually makes me a better person," Jessica gushed of her new husband.

"He assures me in all of my dreams and all of my goals. I never thought I'd have a partner that accepted every part of me."

Before the big weekend, Ben posted a photo with Jessica and shared what was going through his mind.

"Tomorrow the guests begin to flood into Nashville for the wedding. My heart is at peace and my amazement continues that I get to marry @jessclarke_. She brings me to praise and thankfulness everyday (for the last 3 years)," Ben wrote.

"This is something I have dreamed of, my family has prayed for, and now we will celebrate! Because of the weekend ahead, I am going to gladly with joy and excitement put my phone aside to soak up every second of the weekend."

"Soon after the week ahead (wedding and honeymoon) I will share the photos and videos on social!... Thanks for the support from you all, and making our day feel so special! I write this caption with a massive smile on my face!"

As of Monday, Ben, Jessica and their Bachelor Nation guests have not shared any photos or videos of Ben and Jessica's wedding or reception on social media, presumably due to an exclusive agreement the couple cut with People.

Jessica's most recent Instagram post remains a gallery of photos she posted from the wedding ceremony rehearsal showing her wearing a tight, strapless white dress with a midriff cutout. 

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"Rehearsed and ready," she captioned the gallery, which showed Ben wearing a white dress shirt, grey pullover sweater, and dark blue jeans.

After competing for Kaitlyn Bristowe's heart on The Bachelorette's eleventh season, Ben starred on The Bachelor and proposed marriage to his winner, Lauren Bushnell, during the Season 20 finale that aired in March 2016.

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Once Ben's The Bachelor season wrapped, he and Lauren starred on a Bachelor spinoff called Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? on Freeform. The pair, however, split not long after in May 2017.

Following his breakup with Lauren, Ben also appeared on The Bachelor: Winter Games, which aired on ABC in 2018.

Ben didn't appear to have a serious relationship until he met Jess, with whom he went Instagram official in January 2019.

Ben and Jess got engaged in March 2020 and then purchased their first home together in Denver, CO, where Ben has been living for years, in December 2020.

Ben and Jess initially planned to wed in 2020 but pushed back their nuptials to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ben previously revealed in June 2020 that he'd like to start a family within a few years and probably adopt at least one child.

Now that Ben and Jessica -- who agreed to abstain from sex until marriage to ensure their first encounter would be special -- will begin living together in their new place now that they're man and wife.

After they began dating in 2018, Ben and Jessica made a long-distance relationship work, with Ben being in Denver most of the time and Jessica living in Nashville, where she attends esthetics school.

The couple's relationship began in December 2018 when Ben apparently saw Jess' photo from a hockey game she went to with her father and decided to direct message her on Instagram. After chatting on FaceTime, the pair met in person and Ben asked Jess to be his girlfriend.

For Lauren's part, the Season 20 The Bachelor alum is married with one child to country singer Chris Lane.

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Jessica has stayed by Ben's side even during difficult times, such as a "breakdown" earlier this year that left Ben soul-searching and reaching out to family and friends for support this past summer.

Ben previously admitted that he "lost" himself from being so wrapped up in fade and struggled to navigate life once that attention from others "started to fade."

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About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.