When TV Sparks True Love: The Unexpected Romance that Transcended "The Bachelor"
Sydney Maree Lotuaco finally gets her happily ever after, marrying her biggest fan.
On the long-running reality show The Bachelor, several women looking for love compete for the heart of a single man. However, not all of them get their happily ever after. On Season 23 of the hit show, Sydney Maree Lotuaco left after six weeks, failing to make a love connection to Colton Underwood, who would later come out as gay. She went on to appear on the spinoff show Bachelor in Paradise, but it wasn't in the tropics where she met her true love. In one of the latest New York Times wedding announcements, Lotuaco reveals how she finally met her prince charming.
Nicholas James Wehby first saw his wife on Jan. 17, 2019. "Nick watched me on Season 23 of The Bachelor," said Ms. Lotuaco. "He took a liking to me from the moment he saw me on the show." She added: "I look back on the show very positively. I met my husband in a round about way by going on the show."
Wehby watched the show with his roommate, Michael Perazzo, who encouraged him to reach out to her. He figured, "I really don't have anything to lose," so he slid into her Instagram DMs on Dec. 11, 2019. The two sent messages back and forth between January and February 2020.
"He would occasionally reach out to comment on things I was doing," Ms. Lotuaco said. "I would always try and respond back to everyone, which included him." However, communication heated up on March 21, in the early days of the pandemic. "It was just fun to keep each other company at the start of a very unknown time," she said.
There was a lot of joking. "That's one of the things I like to think she likes about me — my sense of humor," Mr. Wehby said. "But I also didn't know if she was just humoring me. So I gave her an out and gave her my number and messaged, 'If you're ever in town, come see me.'"
She texted him 30 seconds later on April 3, 202, while he was in Ohio, and she was in Virginia, sheltering in place. Their banter "quickly blossomed into a full relationship after a few days of back and forth via DM and text," she explained, and soon after, they were communicated on Facetime.
"I didn't warn him I would be calling him, but I wanted to see what he was like and if I was maybe getting catfished. We talked for hours," she said. "It was late at night," he said about their first call. "I was just lying on the couch playing video games with friends. My first thought was, 'This is a mistake.' But it's still ringing, so I have to pick up." She maintains that after that call, "It was like zero to 100," and they spoke every night. "We were basically dating after that first call,"
"He was my first boyfriend ever," Ms. Lotuaco said. "We couldn't do anything but talk and that really worked for me. It was a very traditional way of crafting a relationship, but in a modern way." They met in person three months later when she flew to Cincinnati on June 10, 2020. "It was weird seeing each other outside of a screen and to be able to finally hold hands and touch," she said. "We agreed to kiss each other right when we first met so we weren't waiting around for the inevitable. It was definitely a risk, but luckily worked out perfectly."
They drove to Virginia Beach together on June 17, 2020, and became "Instagram official," and the next month, she flew to Ohio to visit but never left. "We definitely had a lot of logistical factors that didn't make sense," she said, "but we didn't let that stop us from falling in love."
On Dec. 5, 2021, they got engaged and got married on May 13, 2023. "The amount of love surrounding Sydney and I was almost overwhelming at times," he said.