Lucy sheer-back top, $150, by J Brand at Neiman Marcus; bra by For Love & Lemons, forloveandlemons.com; necklace by Roseark, roseark.com.
It’s hard to believe that just a year ago 27-year-old Andi Dorfman was stopping by the JEZEBEL office to interview for a spot in our annual 20 Most Eligible Atlantans feature. Impressed by her beauty, superwoman status as assistant district attorney for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and smarts (she boasts degrees from Louisiana State University and Wake Forest University School of Law), we knew touting Dorfman as one of the best catches in ATL was a no-brainer. Now, ABC and the rest of America seem to agree. Shortly after taking home the title of Most Eligible, Dorfman jetted off to L.A. for a chance at love with one of The Bachelor’s most controversial stars, Juan Pablo Galavis, before landing the coveted role on The Bachelorette. And who better to get the scoop on her recent engagement to Atlantan Josh Murray (you may have heard of his football-playing brother, Aaron) than JEZ? We sat down with Dorfman at the Montage Beverly Hills the day before she filmed The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All (two weeks prior to the show’s televised finale). Here—for one of the first times ever—Dorfman goes on the record about falling in love with Murray, tabloid rumors and her impending nuptials. Let the wedding bells ring!
The last time we interviewed you was for a spot in Most Eligible. What a difference a year makes!
It’s crazy that it was a year ago. That was the first time I’d ever done anything like that, I’d never even been in a magazine. I remember being single, being new to Atlanta and just kind of going with it. But the crazy thing is, I feel like as soon as it happened, I was off doing The Bachelor within a month.
We have to ask: Do you think it helped your chances at a spot on The Bachelor?
I think so. I don’t know how much it plays into the casting role, but I think anytime a local magazine says you’re eligible, that’s obviously a draw to The Bachelor casting. They do a good job of vetting your background and figuring out who you are. I think [2013 Most Eligible and The Bachelor contestant] Kelly [Travis] had told them she was [in it], and I did too.
So how did it all happen?
There was a casting call, and my friends told me about it. It was in Atlanta up in Sandy Springs [at Three Sheets]. I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to a Bachelor casting call; you guys are crazy.’ I remember it was a Thursday and I got off work at a normal time, which was unusual. I didn’t feel like working out and my girlfriend canceled dinner, so I just drove there. I went by myself and had no idea what to expect. I came in my suit! I got there and these girls were dressed to the nines in their stilettos and these cute little outfits. I took off my blazer so I at least had a skirt and tank top on. I did the interview and I was like, ‘This is stupid; why did I do this?’ And the next thing I knew I was getting called out to interview in L.A.
Was it nice to have a fellow Most Eligible on the show with you?
The first time I met Kelly was the first night of our season. We didn’t hit it off immediately. We were both eyeing each other up and down—we did not like each other. Now she’s one of my best friends.
Your closing conversation with Juan Pablo was a pretty talked-about moment from that season. Any final thoughts?
Part of me wished Juan Pablo would have sent me home earlier because, looking back, it wasn’t there for us. It’s also amazing how much you see in somebody when the cameras are off and it’s just the two of you with no TV, no phone, just in a room. You really get an idea of what life would be like. I definitely live with regrets here and there. ... You’re having a conversation and a breakup with somebody. You really do forget the cameras are there, especially in a moment like that. So, yeah, I cringe watching it back, but that was the reality of how I felt at that time.
Leaving The Bachelor turned out to be a huge blessing for you. What was your initial reaction when you were approached to be the next “Bachelorette”?
At first I was like, ‘No way, been there, done that; I’m good.’ But I was still in Atlanta and still single. I couldn’t find anyone to date me or to go on dates with [laughs]... so I said, ‘Why not try it again?’
Let’s get down to business. Talk to us about the finale.
It’s funny because I’ve never told anyone. ... You’re the first person I’ve ever told in a formal setting. It was really hard because I liked Nick. There was definitely an attraction between the two of us—he was my first impression rose, and that was a big deal to me. He was definitely the second person, but ultimately I knew that I loved Josh.
Did you always know it would be him?
In the beginning I was very skeptical of him. I thought: ‘This is the guy who’s going to break my heart—I know it. It’s too good to be true with [him being from] Atlanta; there’s no way.’ But I knew the second he walked out of the limo there was something. I think after the fantasy suite, having spent the whole night with him and realizing he was the same person off-camera that he was on-camera and that he was becoming my best friend and I could talk to him about anything, I knew at that point.
You guys must be dying to go out in public!
We’re in hiding in one of the millions of places in Buckhead. I can’t imagine how everyone has been engaged and had to see each other every other weekend. We have a safe house that we live at basically, and we’ve been on top of each other 24 hours a day. We get on each other’s nerves sometimes, but it’s very realistic. It’s kind of interesting how you get thrust into it—we’re basically living together. We cannot leave the house together [though]. We stagger our times of when we come in and out.
It must be hard to keep such a special moment in your life so private.
It’s hard because honestly I just want everybody to know. It’s funny, when I’d read the spoilers I’d get so mad, but I want everyone to know. I can’t wait for the finale. I can’t wait to tell everyone and be out and open and say, ‘This is my fiance!’
So do you believe in the love and magic of The Bachelorette now?
I do; I’m a believer. I really am. I think it obviously takes the right person. I think if Josh wasn’t there I would not be engaged right now—I really, truly believe that. So I can’t help but think that part of it is the show and a lot of it is fate.
Did you know Josh prior to the show? I mean, this is Atlanta...
Not at all. A lot of people have thought that maybe we knew each other, but I had never met him before. Obviously my dad is a UGA fan and his brother played at [The University of] Georgia and I remember his brother tweeting something at me, and I made one comment being like, ‘Oh, my dad’s dream has come true, Georgia football!’ I’m a [Louisiana State University] Tiger through and through, so, to me, a Georgia Bulldog is just a rival. But I never met Josh. He says he saw me once at The IVY [Buckhead], which is really funny, but I never saw him.
Now you’re being spotted all the time! How’s the fame aspect of this going for you?
Honestly, it sucks because I can’t read [tabloid] magazines the same ever again. Now I know how falsified they are. First I’m pregnant; then I’m on The View; then I’m on Dancing With the Stars—that’s a heavy schedule right there! I remember telling our producer, Peter, when I saw [the pregnancy rumor] on the cover [of InTouch Weekly] that it’s so ridiculous. I’m not even mad though, because I’m next to Kate Middleton, who’s totally my idol.
Who would you peg to be the next “Bachelor”?
If I had to pick, I think Chris. He has a great wholesome appeal to him; his family is unbelievable; I can’t rave about them enough. He’s a very successful man, but very down to earth, which I think is a great package.
This whole experience must be very surreal.
It’ll be really fun to do the rounds on Good Morning America, LIVE! With Kelly & Michael and Jimmy Kimmel Live because I get to do it with Josh. That’s all surreal to me, but it’s also not something that defines me. You knew me a year ago—did you ever think I’d be on Kelly & Michael? Isn’t it crazy it was just a year ago? It’s been a great experience, and I got something great out of it. If it all went away, and I have Josh out of all of it, that’s all I wanted. Everything else is icing on the cake. I just got lucky to a be a normal person that people want to see fall in love.
What do you love most about your soon-to-be hubby?
If I had to say one thing, I think I love that he genuinely is my best friend. I call him for everything. He’s the last person I want to talk to at night, the first person I want to talk to in the morning. I just want to tell him everything. I can be whoever I want around him. I don’t have to put on all this makeup and get in a glamorous gown. He’s just my partner through it all.
Does it bum you out that some people may think this is all an act for TV?
I think a big misconception of the show is that everyone thinks it’s stupid. I mean, look at the track record: People have found the loves of their lives and gotten married, and I feel like I’m living proof of that now. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a job or if you’re an attorney or [if] you’re the smartest person in the world—to me, love is a totally different thing. No matter how you find it.
Where will you and Mr. Murray head for your first public date?
I think I’m going to make him take me for a big steak at Hal’s. It’s my favorite steak place by far. He’s never been. He just moved to Atlanta in January, so he doesn’t really know anything yet. I’m really excited to show him some places and take him to some good restaurants. I’m going to be his little tour guide.
And when you’re out for a girls’ night, where would we find you?
We’d go to St. Cecilia or King + Duke for dinner. If we want to get fancy, we’d go to The St. Regis [Atlanta] for drinks. I like Establishment Buckhead, and every once in awhile I’ll hit up Privé on a Saturday night to dust off my dancing shoes.
Speaking of getting fancy, give us the scoop on what kind of dress you’d want for the big day.
Definitely a simple dress. As much as my rose ceremonies were bling-bling, I don’t want my wedding dress to be bling-bling. I never really dreamt of my wedding growing up. I consider myself a romantic, but I was never the girl that dreamt of a wedding.
But you’re marrying Aaron Murray’s brother!
Hey! Now he’s Josh Murray’s brother! I love seeing that. [On the show], it looked like I didn’t want to be in a football family, but I totally do. I love football; I’m an SEC girl; I grew up with football every Saturday. I can’t wait to go to some [Kansas City] Chiefs games. I’ve never had a little brother or little sister, so now I get that, which is exciting for me. This sounds so cheesy, but I just want to marry Josh, so I don’t really care about the details of the wedding.
Let’s dream of the details just a little. Long engagement?
I don’t know. I think I would love a spring wedding. You know we have to work a little bit around football. The [NFL] season ends around January- or February-ish. Obviously Aaron is going to be in the wedding, so we’re going to wait until his season is over, which is fine because I don’t really want a winter wedding. As far as when the wedding is, I think Josh would like to get married tomorrow. I’d like to plan a little bit, but I think we’d love to do it May 9, which would be exactly a year from the proposal.
We’re dying to see the ring!
I love the ring. I haven’t seen it in awhile. [ABC] keeps it. He was so proud of it. We had a few days after the proposal, and I’d look down at my hand and be like, ‘Where’s my ring?’ And I’d look over and he’d be wearing the ring on his hand. I’d be like, ‘Give me my ring back!’ He loves it, which is really cute.
And the honeymoon?
Part of me wants to revisit every place that we’ve been. Like go to Marseille [France], where we had our first date. I think Europe would be fun. I’ve always wanted to do a South African safari, so that could be fun too.
Even though we know you’re not pregnant at the moment (rumor squashed!), tell us about the dreams for your future fam.
I definitely see kids in the future. Something that I loved about Josh is that he’s such a family man, and I can see what a great father he’s going to be. I can’t wait to have kids with him. I obviously want to be married and have our time to be with one another and be able to travel before we settle down, but I definitely want a lot of babies.
Will we be lucky enough to see the Dorfman/Murray wedding play out on TV?
I don’t know if it will be televised. It’s a great story [based in] Atlanta. It’s obviously my hometown and where we both live. So I think it’d be nice to do it in Atlanta. I’ve definitely learned to never say never. I’ve said never to a lot of things that I’m doing now.
Styling by Marissa Peden
Makeup by Helen Robertson with Celestine Agency
Hair by Guy Romeo with DLMLA
Shot exclusively for JEZEBEL at the Montage Beverly Hills