The bride-to-be gave PEOPLE an exclusive behind-the-scenes look as she tried on wedding gowns at the Anne Barge atelier in Atlanta

By Kaitlyn Frey
November 03, 2020 04:25 PM
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Ben Higgins' fiancée Jessica Clarke said yes to her (custom!) wedding dress.

To find her dream gown for her walk down the aisle to say "I do" to the former Bachelor star, Clarke traveled to Anne Barge's Atlanta atelier to try on a few dresses that would help inspire the final design.

"Jessica traveled to our atelier with her mother and mother-in-law (to be) for her first ever wedding dress fitting. She tried on everything from a minimalistic crepe gown to all-over lace [style] and even a few princess ballgowns," Shawne Jacobs, President and Creative Director of Anne Barge, tells PEOPLE.

Credit: Willets Photo
Credit: Willets Photo
Credit: Willets Photo

As Clarke slipped into a variety of gowns in different shapes and styles, she was able to envision what her custom wedding dress would look like.

"Shawne and Erin at Anne Barge made the experience even better than I could have imagined. With every dress, they allowed me to imagine different changes and assured me that anything was possible," Clarke says. "I have never felt more beautiful and I left feeling so peaceful and confident. It was an experience I will never forget."

Credit: Willets Photo
Credit: Willets Photo
Credit: Willets Photo

By the end of the day, Clarke walked away with a clear idea of her dream dress, which her wedding planner and owner of Fête Nashville Luxury Weddings Sara Fried called a "modern fairy tale romance."

"We can’t wait for Ben to see her walking down the aisle. We’ll make sure he has a few tissues in his pocket!” Fried says.

Credit: Willets Photo
Credit: Willets Photo
Credit: Willets Photo

Clarke and Higgins, 31, announced their engagement on Instagram at the end of March. “I don’t remember everything you said, but I know that I said yes. I woke up in a dream today and I get to live in this dream every day from now on (eeeep),” the bride-to-be announced on Instagram, along with photos of the moment her fiancé proposed.

Higgins spoke with Entertainment Tonight about proposing to Clarke in Franklin, Tennessee, in front of their families and loved ones.

“I was super nervous. She’s my best friend, my partner and I love her. I was nervous to kind of do this whole thing in front of her. I wasn’t anxious, it’s just a big moment!” he told the outlet, which reported that he was originally planning to propose in New York City’s Central Park but the coronavirus pandemic halted his plan.

Jessica Clarke, Ben Higgins
| Credit: Ben Higgens/Instagram

The couple started dating in 2018 after he slid into her DMs on Instagram. Earlier this year, Higgins opened up about their relationship on Nick Viall's podcastThe Viall Files, revealing the two were sleeping in separate beds as they quarantined with her family in Tennessee, and are waiting until marriage to have sex.

"It's like a respect level," Higgins said of their separate bedrooms. "And also just like how — what the logistics of it is."