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Inside Juan Pablo Galavis’s Birthday Bash – See the Photos and Video!

Juan Pablo Galavis and Nikki Ferrell; Galavis’s birthday cake

Courtesy Juan Pablo Galavis

updated 08/13/2014 AT 10:15 AM ET

originally published 08/13/2014 AT 1:55 PM ET

It was the first birthday they spent together.

Sometimes holding hands, sometimes kissing on the dance floor, Bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis and girlfriend Nikki Ferrell were all smiles as they celebrated Galavis’s 33rd birthday on Thursday at the Flamingo Theater Bar in Miami.

There was plenty of PDA as the couple – who ended up together (but not engaged) on Season 18 of the reality show – mingled with guests, including Galavis’s father, Saul, and sister, Anna. Sipping on scotch, Galavis introduced Ferrell to many of his friends whom she had never before met.

“I had an amazing time with his family,” Ferrell tells PEOPLE, “and I also got to meet so many of his friends.”

Shortly after midnight, Galavis was presented with a four-tiered cake that was adorned with a soccer ball and photos of his life and family, including 5-year-old daughter Camila. (The baker, Beatriz Otero from Elite Cake Creations, is well-known in Miami for her “Divorce Cakes,” but Galavis assures PEOPLE that’s just a coincidence.)

And then the dancing started. Galavis and Ferrell stood near the stage and swayed to the music as Miami-based singers Periko and Jessi Leon performed, followed by a set by the Julca Brothers.

For Galavis and Ferrell, who weathered breakup rumors last month, the celebration was somewhat of a milestone.

“I’m very happy and blessed to spend the first of many birthdays with Nikki,” Galavis tells PEOPLE. “She’s a wonderful woman – smart, caring, who treats my daughter amazingly well. She’s the one who has to deal with this Latin guy, with a culture that she sometimes doesn’t understand. She’s been able to handle it well!”

Ferrell seemed equally as grateful to be there. “To think back to a year ago when he was announced as The Bachelor, and then to be here a year later with him; it all seems so surreal,” Ferrell tells PEOPLE. “I was really excited to be able to spend Juan’s birthday with him here in Miami.”

Her favorite part of the night? When Grammy-winning salsa singer Obie Bermédez serenaded the couple with their song, “Adventures in Loving You.”

“That was definitely my favorite part of the night, as that song brings back a lot of fun memories,” says Ferrell. “The only thing missing was maybe a little country music, like Luke Bryan or Jake Owen!”


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