DOCUMENT: Celebrity

"The Bachelorette"'s Arranged Marriage

Trista and Ryan bag $1 million ABC dowry deal

Trista Rehn-Ryan Sutter

View Document

Trista Rehn-Ryan Sutter Wedding Contract

ABC's "The Bachelorette" Contract

JULY 7--The star of ABC's "The Bachelorette" and the guy she tabbed to be her husband will be paid $1 million for the TV rights to the couple's wedding this fall, though they had to give the reality TV show's producers final say on everything from the bride's dress to the floral arrangements, The Smoking Gun has learned.

According to the contract between the show's producers and Trista Rehn and her fireman fiance Ryan Sutter, the televised nuptials "shall be a first-class, high-end" affair for which they will be "provided meaningful consultation with respect to all elements of your Wedding itself (including, but not limited to, the wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, tuxedos, flowers, wedding cake, music, etc.)." However, in the event of a disagreement, AND Syndicated Productions, the program's producer, "shall make all final decisions."

In light of the ratings success of "The Bachelorette," ABC plans to turn the Rehn-Sutter wedding and the event's planning into four hours of prime-time programming expected to air later this year. During the 2002-03 season, "The Bachelorette" was the 13th highest-rated show on TV and, next to 11th-ranked "Monday Night Football," ABC's most-watched show. Click here to view the final version of the wedding contract, which was later signed by Rehn and Sutter. AND, a Warner Bros./Telepictures subsidiary, produces the "Bachelor" series in tandem with Mike Fleiss's Next Entertainment.

While Rehn, 30, and Sutter, 28, will gross $1 million for the new series, they were only paid $100,000 upon signing the contract in mid-May. They'll get another $500,000 after exchanging vows, with the balance of the dowry being doled out in equal installments during the show's production. However, if someone's cold feet causes the wedding to be shelved, Rehn and Sutter will have to return the $100,000 down payment. In addition, the couple could face legal liability if they don't reach the altar: "Nothing hereunder shall limit AND's rights or remedies in the event of a breach by you of this Agreement."

In other words, Trista and Ryan better say "I do"--or else.

The seven-figure windfall dwarfs what Rehn got for starring in "The Bachelorette." According to the 17-page contract (click here to view it) she signed last year, Rehn (a physical therapist who doubled as a dancer for the NBA's Miami Heat) was to be paid a paltry $15,000 "honorarium" for the cost of "living expenses and personal trainer fees incurred" during her stint on the ABC series. Rehn and the show's final four male contestants were also promised another payment "in an amount to be determined by Producer in its sole discretion," though the figure is not specified in the contract. Kevin Allyn, agent for Rehn and Sutter, declined to answer TSG questions about the deal, citing a confidentiality and nondisclosure agreement entered into by the parties.

In TSG's estimation, other highlights of Rehn's "Bachelorette" contract include:

* The acknowledgment by Rehn that "my participation in the Series carries with it the potential for death, serious physical injury, mental or physical illness, and property loss." Along with noting that they made no "representations or warranties" regarding the "mental or physical health" of the bachelors pursuing her, the show's producers disavowed responsibility for anything that might happen to Rehn on dates, adding that "there are risks in any such interactions, including but not limited to, the possibility of non-consensual physical contact; AIDS; HIV and other communicable and sexually transmitted diseases; or Pregnancy."

* Her agreement "not to 'date' (as that term is commonly understood), enter into a dating relationship of any kind, enter into a marital relationship of any nature, nor enter into a cohabitation relationship involving physical intimacy" beginning with the agreement's signing and ending two weeks after the show's final episode.

* A stipulation noting the possible use of hidden cameras, though producers promised that none would be "positioned to intentionally capture images of you urinating or defecating in the bathroom."

* An agreement allowing producers to search Rehn's personal belongings in a hunt for "illegal drugs, weapons or other illicit items." The contract also allowed production officials to search Rehn's hotel room/lodgings for such contraband.