One wedding gown just wasn’t enough for Ashley Iaconetti.
Although the Bachelor in Paradise star, 31, always imagined she’d wear only one dress on her wedding day, when Iaconetti ended up falling in love with two designs, she decided to wear both for her nuptials to fellow Bachelor in Paradise alum, Jared Haibon, 30.
“I never thought I would be a two-dress kind of girl, but I found my reception dress first and couldn’t say no,” she tells PEOPLE.
For her ceremony and half of the reception, Iaconetti went with a beautiful lace Ines Di Santo gown from Lovella Bridal in Glendale, California, which she accessorized with jewels by Brooke Rayn. “This dress needs to be shown off as much as possible!” the star tells PEOPLE exclusively. Iaconetti describes the gown as an “extremely classic, princess ballgown” design.
“It is unreal. It is everything I ever wanted,” she says. “It’s the kind of dress that you wear and you are so thankful you chose that one, because you’re going to look back on it fifty years later and be happy you went with that style. I will never regret it and I think I’ll always think it’s the prettiest dress that I’ve ever seen. It’s timeless, classic elegance.”
PEOPLE got a sneak peek inside Iaconetti’s wedding dress fitting, where she revealed that the ceremony dress she landed on wasn’t exactly what she had first imagined for her big day.
“When I first started dress shopping I had an image of Kim Kardashian on the cover of Vogue — I was like, ‘That’s my dress,'” she shares in the clip above. I don’t even really need to try on a whole bunch I just need to find that one.”
But in the end, that wasn’t the right style for her.
“I tried on what was the most similar to that dress that I could ever come up with and it didn’t even make me feel a thing,” she says. “I didn’t even think it was that flattering. So we kind of started from scratch with me knowing that I wanted a princess ball gown.”
To match her romantic ceremony gown, Iaconetti opted for soft, natural makeup.
“I wanted my makeup to be natural-ish. I don’t want it to be cakey. I want the emphasis to be more on the eyes,” she says. “For hair, I’m adding some extensions for a little bit of length and volume.”
- Make sure to watch Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon’s People Weddings special on PeopleTV streaming Wednesday
When it came for the outfit change, Iaconetti selected a “super feminine and romantic” satin Rita Vanieris design from Kinsley James Bridal in West Hollywood, California.
“It made me look tiny and was super flattering,” the star says.
She continues: “It was something that was a little bit more in line with my original concept. It was satin and it was clean lines and I loved it so much. It was super flattering.”
Ultimately, Iaconetti wanted to select gowns that would bring tears to her husband’s eyes.
“I hope that Jared cries,” she says. “There’s so much pressure on Jared to cry because this entire time I’ve been the crier right? Everybody’s seen me cry. I want him to cry this time.”
Iaconetti adds: “I just hope that Jared thinks that I truly look the prettiest I’ve ever looked on this day. And I hope it takes his breath away.”
The Bachelor in Paradise alums married on Sunday evening in Rhode Island.
Exchanging both traditional and personalized vows in a ceremony officiated by Bachelor producer Elan Gale at an intimate church before heading to their wedding reception, Iaconetti and Haibon got emotional as they became husband and wife in front of 180 guests.
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.”
Haibon popped the question in June 2018 while in Mexico filming the fifth season of Bachelor in Paradise, the summer spin-off series where The Bachelor alums’ up-and-down relationship began three years ago.
Iaconetti had crushed on Haibon during the second season of Paradise in 2015. But Haibon didn’t reciprocate her instant feelings of attraction. However, the two remained close and built a strong friendship over the years, until they started dating.
“There’s just this undeniable, magnetic force between the two of us that just is indescribable,” Haibon told PEOPLE at the annual Nylon Young Hollywood Party. “Love conquered.”
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