"First of all, I want to go on a date with Ben," she explains

By Michele Corriston
March 15, 2016 02:40 PM

The Bachelor EXCLUSIVE! Bachelor Ben Higgins opens up about why fiancée Lauren Bushnell “was always the one” and the decision he regrets the most. Subscribe now for all their wedding plan details plus exclusive photos, only in PEOPLE!

Despite Bachelor host and Chris Harrison’s best hype-man efforts, Ben Higgins and his fiancée Lauren Bushnell did not exchange vows live during After the Final Rose.

But they don’t fault him for trying by flying in their parents – and Higgins’ hometown pastor.

“I was completely surprised. I did not expect that at all,” Bushnell, 26, told PEOPLE on Tuesday.

For much more from Ben and Lauren’s new life together, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

So why did the couple decide not to rush down the aisle in front of a studio audience?

“First of all, I want to go on a date with Ben. There’s so many things to do with him before actually saying ‘I do.’ I want to try on dresses, I want to do some of the more traditional things, and so for me, as much as I want to marry Ben tomorrow, I would also like a big celebration planned with my family, with my friends,” she explained. “So I don’t think I really thought too much into it, although it was kind of tempting.”

Added Higgins, 27: “I knew we weren’t against getting married, but we also wanted to have our friends and family there to support us and celebrate with us. It just wasn’t an option, but it was a good try.”

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You’ll get ’em next time, Harrison – maybe Higgins’ runner-up and new BacheloretteJoJo Fletcher will open her heart to impromptu nuptials next season.