Kellan Lutz and fiancée Brittany Gonzales have been engaged for well over a year now. But the couple are a long way from figuring out their wedding plans.
“We are way too chill about it,” the Twilight star, 32, told PEOPLE Wednesday during a lunch for the Geoffrey Beene Foundation at famed N.Y.C. eatery Michael’s. “I always figured every woman had a dream wedding. She doesn’t. I think we just need someone to step in and be like, ‘We’re gonna take care of all this.'”
“It’s hard because we already feel married, and everyone thinks that we’re married, but we want to be married,” he continued. “And we don’t live together. We’re old school like that… We need to be though!”
Just because the pair haven’t set anything in stone doesn’t mean they two haven’t spent time discussing their nuptials, of course.
“We’ve always wanted a destination wedding,” Lutz said, adding that they’ve looked into Puerto Rico, Siesta Key, and Hawaii. “We’ve been traveling to different places, just like when I’m working. We’re up to that step. We love sunsets, so we obviously have to be on the western side to see it. … We’ve just be slowly exploring. It’s not easy to find a Western facing beach that’s right!”
The fact that they’re hoping for a destination wedding makes sense considering the couple are extremely private — Lutz only confirmed news of their engagement earlier this month during an appearance on Steve, where he also called Gonzales “the light of my life.”
Privacy, in fact, is something Lutz made a point in his life to prioritize after experiencing the swell of Twilight fans and paparazzi who followed him and his cast mates around during the height of those films. “I don’t wanna be in the tabloids. I wanna be more known for my work than my pecs or my relationship,” Lutz said. “As soon as Twilight came out, I realized we quickly became exposed way more than we chose to be… People just feel like they own you.”
That made it hard to date. “When I dated certain actresses, they would call the paparazzi and they would set up these shoots because they were feeling insecure and not relevant in relation to my success,” Lutz recalled. “And that really got to me.”
But when Lutz met Gonzales, he immediately noticed she was different. “I knew I was gonna marry her the next day. I’m like, ‘I think you’re my wife,'” he gushed. “We talked on the phone for 7 hours because I was in Australia filming a movie and she was in Orange County. And it was just beautiful, authentic. We just became best friends. So then [our privacy] was really about protecting the intimacy and fragility of the relationship.”
“I’m so grateful I never settled,” Lutz added. “Because it’s tough in Los Angeles. Already there are a lot of things you have to fight— the need to succeed, only one person gets the job, a lot of rejection, insecurity, etc. I have one of those, ‘When you know you just know’ [relationships].”
He’s also remaining an active brand ambassador for the Geoffrey Beene Foundation, which launched a new Frame This … Revelations initiative Wednesday to raise awareness for the need for funds to continue new cancer research at the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering
“Cancer just sucks,” Lutz told PEOPLE at Wednesday’s lunch, ahead of his own visit to Memorial Sloan Kettering with the Geoffrey Beene Foundation. “Already in my family I have two people I’ve lost already. And seeing my mom go through that loss… It breaks my heart so much. … The research that the Geoffrey Beene Foundation helping fund at Sloan Kettering, I’ve never heard of anyone taking those steps to fight cancer.”