Romance After Reality
01/22/2004 AT 11:59 AM EST
Trista & Ryan
Of all the couples who have paired up on the networks' reality dating shows, why are the Sutters the only ones who have tied the knot? "There is no secret formula," says Trista, 31, who finally moved her things out of her L.A. apartment over New Year's weekend and into the four-bedroom Vail, Colo., home she now shares with Ryan, 29. "Ryan and I were obviously ready. I was at a place in my life where I was ready to move for him, because long distance is hard on a relationship. What can I say? It was in the cards for us." And do the cards also predict Bachelorette babies? "Definitely yes," she says. "We want kids. But we're happy with married life as it is for now."
Especially now that they're finally away from the TV cameras. After their 10-day honeymoon in Fiji, the couple made a joint appearance on The Tonight Show on Dec. 30 followed by a New Year's Day ride on a Tournament of Roses Parade float in Pasadena. Back in Vail a few days later, the couple settled into married life. While Trista unpacked, Ryan returned to work as a firefighter – but not without fanfare. On Jan. 17, Vail mayor Rod Slifer presented the couple with an honorary manhole cover – the Vail equivalent to a key to the city.
Ryan finds all the attention a bit unsettling. "The other day we came out with a guy on a stretcher," he says, "and there were four bystanders just taking pictures. This poor guy's now going to be in someone's photo album."
Occasionally Trista stops by the firehouse to visit. After being together 24-7 last year, "it's probably healthy for our relationship to spend some time apart," Ryan says. Except, adds Trista, "it's just not so fun being home by myself." After organizing their wedding album and decorating the house ("We have to find a place for the manhole cover now," she says, laughing), Trista eventually plans to open her own boutique in Vail. It will be "mostly gifts and home decor," she says, maybe even some furniture built by Ryan someday. For now, the couple are content to build a life together. The past year has been "so crazy," he says, "it's nice to spend a little time not thinking about the future so much."
Evan: "I wasn't expecting to find love," says ex-construction worker Evan Marriott, 29, who went from Joe Schmo to B-movie actor and host of the Game Show Network's Fake-a-Date. In fact, he says, love won't come "until my life settles down, whether I get on a show or just fade away forever."
Zora: "Nice guy – just no connection," is how Zora Andrich, 31, sums up her time with Evan. The ex-teacher has used some of the $500,000 from Joe for an aunt's chemotherapy, to start a pet charity and open a clothing store in New Jersey. And romance? "I'm dating. I'm content in that area."