Back when she first signed on for The Bachelorette last March, Ali Fedotowsky made a promise to herself. Even if she did meet the man of her dreams among the 25 suitors vying for her heart on the ABC show, “I was going to be engaged two, three years before I got married,” she says matter-of-factly. “I’m a practical girl. I wasn’t going to let love take me off my course and make me do silly things.”
But some promises were made to be broken. The pragmatism Ali has long prided herself on-she left The Bachelor early last winter, breaking off her romance with Jake Pavelka to save her account-manager job at Facebook-has gone out the window. In the weeks following Ali’s engagement to State Farm insurance agent Roberto Martinez on The Bachelorette‘s Aug. 2 finale, the couple, who have just set up house in a one-bedroom apartment in San Diego, haven’t been able to contain their enthusiasm about what’s next: a wedding.
“I feel happy all the time,” gushes Ali, 25, who adds that she’s ready to walk down the aisle “tomorrow!” The couple are throwing dates around for a spring or summer wedding next year (and are open to televising the event). “But now that I’ve found the one for me, I can’t wait,” says Ali. “I feel like, ‘I gotta lock that down!'”
She’s certainly working on that. While she hasn’t yet hired a wedding planner, Ali can’t stop enthusiastically planning ahead. The location? “Either Napa Valley or Half Moon Bay-anywhere along the California coast,” she says. “We’ll definitely do it outside and maybe at sunset.”
Wherever they go, they’ll need to accommodate a crowd. “I’d always envisioned a small wedding, but Roberto has a big family, and it’s important to him to have them there,” says Ali. “We joke that we’re going to be 700 people, but I think we’ll end up being 200 to 300 people. It’s going to be a huge party! We want a live band, salsa dancing. We just want it to be fun.” Roberto, 27, isn’t worried. “My Puerto Rican family is so loud, they are the party wherever they go,” he says. Adds Ali with a laugh: “I hear they are a rowdy bunch. It won’t be a stiff wedding!”
That is just fine with Ali, considering the bride would rather wear Converses than Christian Louboutins. “I will be wearing my sneakers under my gown,” says the tomboy at heart. “I don’t care if my stylist says ‘You’ll look thinner with heels.’ Though maybe I’ll have some sequins on them.” She won’t be the only one in sneakers. “We want to be comfortable,” says Roberto, who also plans to don a pair of Converses with a casual suit rather than a formal tux.
As for the gown, Ali is keen on Monique Lhuillier’s “whimsical” designs. “I’m envisioning a long, flowy gown with my hair in a ponytail,” she says. “Roberto is constantly telling me how beautiful he thinks I am when I’m in casual clothes and my hair is pulled back. That’s how I want him to love me on our wedding day.” And if things don’t go according to plan, no problem. “I want the day to be carefree,” Ali says. “If someone spills something on my wedding dress, whatever!”
There’s only one aspect of the wedding on which the pair don’t see eye to eye: the evening’s menu. “This is the one area we really don’t agree on. Roberto’s taste is a bit more simple than mine,” Ali groans. “I really enjoy seafood and sushi, things that are a little bit different. Roberto is like, ‘I want a hamburger patty with cheese and nothing else on it.’ ” The results of their first big compromise? “We’re just going to have to have tons of food,” she says with a shrug, adding that they may serve both surf and turf and hamburgers.
One food item they can agree on is a concept for their wedding cake, which has to incorporate Oreo cookies. “Oreos are a theme for us,” Ali explains. “When we did the show, Roberto would give me Oreos because we both liked them so much. So our wedding cake will have them in it somewhere, somehow!”
Just talking about the day gets Ali giddy about her future with Roberto. “I’m not just planning a wedding, I’m planning around a relationship,” says Ali, adding that the pair may honeymoon in Thailand. (“We want to do something new and just for us,” she explains of the location, which was not one of the places they visited during their globe-trotting Bachelorette adventure.)
That’s why the couple are also thinking about what happens after they say “I do.” They’ve already talked about having “really cute” kids-ideally a boy and a girl-whom they would name Roberto III and Taylor. “We’ll take whatever life blesses us with,” she says. “But I hope they look just like him!”
Spoken like a woman in love? Absolutely, says Ali: “He’s the best man I know. He treats me the way every girl dreams of being treated by a man.”