Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon Are 'Still Working' on Finding a New Wedding Officiant
The Bachelor in Paradise alums speak exclusively to PEOPLE about their upcoming nuptials
“It’s actually been an amazing experience,” says Iaconetti, who is releasing a children's book with Haibon next month. “I thought it would be stressful, but it’s not.”
She credits her calm demeanor to their wedding planner, Troy Williams. “He’s incredible,” she says. “He’s taking care of everything, so this almost feels like a fun hobby to us.” Williams’ past clientele include Eva Longoria and José ‘Pepe’ Bastón, as well as Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich.
“I always imagined myself a bride-zilla because I like to have control of things,” says Iaconetti. “I’m typically the opposite of the ‘go with the flow’ mentality.”
Despite this, Iaconetti and Haibon, both 30, both agree that the process has gone smoothly so far. The only source of disagreement? Where the couple would say “I do.”
“I always imagined myself getting married in a church, something a bit more traditional,” Iaconetti says. “And I wanted to get married outside,” says Haibon.
The compromise? They’re getting married in a church.
RELATED VIDEO: ‘Bachelor’ Star Ashley Iaconetti Says Upcoming Wedding Won’t Be Televised, Will Write Their Own Vows
Iaconetti was surrounded by friends and family when she picked out her gown, including one very special loved one. “My 96-year-old grandma came out from Jersey which was really special,” she says.
She plans on having one dress for the ceremony and one dress for the reception. “I never thought I would be a two-dress kind of girl, but I found my reception dress first and couldn’t say no.”
Fellow Bachelor in Paradise alum Tanner Tolbert was expected to officiate the wedding but is no longer able to because he and his wife Jade Roper Tolbert are expecting their second child around the same time.
So who are Iaconetti and Haibon tapping instead for their big day? “We’re working on that, but we do have someone in mind,” Iaconetti teases.
As their wedding approaches, the couple is starting to plan their honeymoon. “I think we’re going to do a Mediterranean honeymoon,” says Iaconetti. “Italy, Greece, maybe in Mykonos … we can get a nice place overlooking the sea.”
Adds Haibon: “We still need to finish the wedding plans. One thing at a time!”
The couple went public with their relationship in May 2018 with an emotional episode of Iaconetti’s digital show The Story of Us (produced by Kinetic Content).
“We told everyone everything that we wanted them to know,” says Iaconetti. “We wanted them to understand how we got from being such good friends to being so in love.”
After the video was released, the couple was encouraged to display their love story through a book deal. The idea for the children’s book originated from Haibon, who jokingly suggested the concept. “The book really starting out as a joke,” says Iaconetti, adding that “[it is] a story of us told through our dogs.”
The book features their dogs, Lucy and Clark, as the main characters. In the story, the shy and timid Clark is forced to come out of his comfort zone with the playful and vivacious Lucy.
For fans of the Bachelor, this story line may not seem so farfetched. “The big thing with Jared was getting him to come out of his comfort zone,” Iaconetti says. “You can really see that in Clark too!”
As for what the couple hopes children learn from this book, Iaconetti emphasizes that Lucy & Clark promotes confidence.
“I really hope that they get out of their comfort zone,” she says. “I hope kids realize that it’s okay to get out of your comfort zone and to make friends even if they’re scared.”