Becca Kufrin, photographed at Studio 125 in Minneapolis
photos by eliesa johnson
“Let’s do the damn thing!” It’s the catchphrase of Becca Kufrin, a reality TV contestant turned national star, whose season of The Bachelorette made waves with its many love stories and controversies. Fresh off a heartbreaking on-air breakup with the last Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr., the Prior Lake native returned to the show for her victory lap this summer. Minnesotans everywhere tuned in for her happy ending, an engagement to Garrett Yrigoyen, a medical sales rep from Reno, Nevada. It’s been a tumultuous journey for Kufrin, but from the looks of it, she’s on the up and up. We caught up with her to see what her fall looks like.
What’s next? Are you staying in Minnesota or moving elsewhere?
As of right now, it’s up in the air. Garrett is going to spend some time in Minnesota—he’s never been here. Then, I’ll spend some time in Reno and in California with his family for weddings. We threw around the idea of moving to California, but I don’t know. I love Minnesota. I’d love to move up here and raise kids.
What did you think of the bill to ban Arie from Minnesota after your breakup?
[Laughs] I don’t know how far the ban actually went or if that could even be put through. Drew Christensen, the one who [suggested the bill], started the whole funny thing on Twitter. I visited the state capital prior to filming. Just seeing the love and support was really nice.
You went to high school in Prior Lake. Do you miss it?
My mom still lives there, so I make it back a fair amount each month. It was an amazing place to grow up because we lived next to Lakefront Park. We were always outdoors. I think the school districts are some of the best in the country. Growing up in Prior Lake and having her teach there was something really unique and special.
What are your favorite things to do here in fall?
Fall is my favorite season in Minnesota. I love the climate, when the leaves start changing. Every year, my friends and family go to an apple orchard. We like the one you saw last season, Minnetonka Orchards. My sister and I make it a point to go to the Renaissance Festival.
How has the press cycle been since the show ended and you were able to come out as a couple?
It’s definitely been different. It’s crazy to go from being in hiding to being thrust into the spotlight. We’re trying to do the same things we’d always do.
Has your press cycle been disrupted by the “social media like” situation?
[Halfway through the show, it broke that Yrigoyen had “faved” several offensive social media posts, including one accusing a Parkland survivor of being a “crisis actor.” Yrigoyen apologized, writing, “I have learned an extremely valuable lesson and am taking steps to grow, become more educated, and be a better version of myself.”]
No. I mean, honestly, it was an issue we talked about right away, after the proposal. He’s been very upfront with his apology and he stands by that. The only thing we can do in life is acknowledge making mistakes, move on, and learn and grow.
On the show, he mentioned that some of the posts he liked went against things you stand for. Is there a particular issue that you two have had a transformative conversation about?
There’s not a particular one. On the show, we had conversations that weren’t aired about our political beliefs and my social activism, because it’s something very important to me. He’s realized the issue, tried to be better, and is trying not to offend anyone in the future. I’m not perfect—no one is perfect. We’ve all done and said things others don’t always agree with. It’s about looking at that and wanting to be better, admitting when you’re wrong. That’s what our country is founded on—learning and growing and moving forward, progressing and not staying stagnant.
Any issues in the upcoming election you’re especially passionate about or going to be speaking about?
My mom, sister, and I are all outspoken in our political beliefs, which isn’t hard to find. We attended the Women’s Marches and we support people from all walks of life, whoever they may be. We will continue to do what we’ve done in the past—I can’t imagine us changing because of a TV show.
hair and makeup by victoria ohlhauser-primped
In Blake’s hometown episode, he took you through his high school, where a school shooting took place. After seeing that, are you passionate about preventing gun violence in Minnesota?
Yeah, I think it’s an issue in this country. My dad took us hunting all the time. He owned a shotgun and he believed in owning them and being very safe and secure and knowledgeable. I think there needs to be a larger story about gun rights and the people who have access to them. But I’m also a Minnesota girl at heart, and if people want to go hunting, they should be able to do that. Clearly, it’s still a conversation, and we need to figure it out.
What do you think about The Bachelor and Bachelorette taking on political issues now?
It’s interesting being on this side. People think that because conversations aren’t shown, they don’t take place. Personally, there are issues I want to talk about with the guys who made it toward the end, who are important to me, that needed to happen before I could potentially get engaged. It’s not up to me what makes it into the show or not. I’m not in the editing room. But at the end of the day, this show is about finding love and showing relationships unfold.
What’s next for you guys? A wedding? A vacation?
We have no wedding plans as of yet. A lot of our friends and family are getting married in the next two months, so we’re focused on their weddings as opposed to ours.
Do you have advice for people in Minnesota who want to try out for The Bachelor franchise?
I would just say, if they truly want to find love and be ready for the world to see their love story unfold, go for it. Stay true to who you are. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the concept of it being a cool show on TV, but it’s real people, real feelings. If they want to apply, be themselves. Embrace it wholeheartedly.
Do you have any wishes for the next Bachelorette?
I wish them love and happiness. I wish they could find their person, just how I found mine. Be ready for everything. It’s a lot to take on—it’s so much more pressure than anyone could ever realize. I hope they find their Garrett.