“He’s the most humble and not showy person,” Johnson tells PEOPLE of fiancé Andrew East. “He went way out of his comfort zone and that was a big statement.”
Their wedding, however, will remain squarely in the couple’s comfort zone, says Johnson, who’s partnering with WeddingWire to launch the website’s #justsaidyes campaign celebrating other couples’ engagement stories. “It’s going to be informal and quirky rather than it being a grand affair,” the former Olympian (and Dancing With the Stars season 8 winner) says of their springtime ceremony. “We don’t envision the Cinderella story at all.”
Except, she notes, for one important detail: “I was never one of those little kids who dreamed of every wedding detail but I did dream of my Prince Charming.” And East, a former kicker with the Kansas City Chiefs who is trying out for a new NFL team, fits the bill.
“He’s got the biggest heart and he’s perfect!” the Iowa native says. “Throughout my career in gymnastics and on Dancing With The Stars it seemed like every guy I met was more interested in that world than who I really am, but Andrew is just about as traditional and old school as you get. From the first day I met him he genuinely wanted to know who I was and not what the world had made of me.”
The couple, who have been together for three years after meeting through a fellow athlete, are planning an outdoor wedding with a casual, country feel near their home in Nashville.
“We’re going to have fried chicken and waffles and tacos and really fun, different stuff,” she says of the menu. “We’re not formal people at all. We both live in that world where we’re always going to grand receptions or walking a carpet or being at very proper events so for us to just be able to relax on our day and not really care about eating with our pinkies up is important.”
Johnson says she’s seeking simplicity in her dress as well. “I’m not even 5 feet tall so I didn’t want anything overwhelming or revealing,” says the gymnast, who is working with Nashville designer Olia Zavozina on creating her wedding look.
“I wanted something on the traditional, modest side. And no bows or rhinestones. I loved every costume I wore on Dancing but I think I just bejeweled-out there!”