The Bachelorette's Jillian Harris Reveals She and Fiancé Are Planning European Wedding After 12 Years of Dating (Exclusive)

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, the former reality star says she and her fiancé are "excited" about their upcoming nuptials

<p>Rachelle Beatty</p> Jillian Harris and Fiance Justin Pasutto  with Leo and Annie

Rachelle Beatty

Jillian Harris and Fiance Justin Pasutto with Leo and Annie

Jillian Harris and fiancé Justin Pasutto are planning a fall 2025 European wedding, telling PEOPLE in an exclusive interview that, after an eight-year engagement, "It's going to happen."

Speaking to PEOPLE ahead of the launch of their new doll collection with Cuddle + Kind, the 44-year-old Bachelor and Bachelorette alum says, "We have gone eight years, obviously, without getting married."

But now, plans are in the works.

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Related: Jillian Harris and Fiancé Justin Pasutto Launch New Line of Dolls Inspired by Their Kids and Dogs: 'Heart and Soul'

The couple — who met in 2012, got engaged in December 2016 and share two children, 8-year-old Leo and 6-year-old daughter Annie — had initially planned for a Summer 2020 wedding. But in May of that year, Harris announced on her blog that they had postponed the festivities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We were supposed to get married right before COVID, but I just didn't feel... Something didn't feel right to begin with," Harris tells PEOPLE. Gesturing to her fiancé, she adds, "You felt right, but the wedding planning wasn't going the way I wanted."

She continues, with a laugh: "I was probably the only bride when COVID hit that was excited that our wedding got canceled, because I just felt like something wasn't right."

After, she says, "hemming and hawing for a long time" over the details, Harris thought that the two would tie the knot at their British Columbia home.

"I think the biggest thing for me is location, because we live on a property that would be perfect for a wedding, but just the pressure of having it at your home has been hard," she says. "And then I couldn't find any other location that's prettier than where we live without having to spend an arm and a leg."

Then, while the couple was planning a family trip to Europe to celebrate Harris' mom's 70th birthday, she had an idea.

"It turns out Justin's family was going to be there at the same time. So I said, 'Well, why don't we just get married while we're there this fall?' " she says. "And I thought it could just be his mom and dad and my mom and dad, and that would be it."

But then Pasutto, a former professional snowboarder, pointed out that his brother, Matt, would also need to be an integral part of the day.

"And I was like, 'Well, if Matt's going to be there, my cousins have to be there.' And he says, 'If your cousins are going to be there, my friends [need to be there.]' And all of a sudden, it grew from this idea from eight people to 40," Harris says.

While the couple first started planning for an October 2024 wedding, it became stressful very quickly.

"So we have wedding planners, and after talking to them and talking to our family, we officially postponed it to next fall in Europe," Harris says.

<p>Rachelle Beatty</p> Jillian Harris and Fiance Justin Pasutto with Leo and Annie

Rachelle Beatty

Jillian Harris and Fiance Justin Pasutto with Leo and Annie

Related: Former 'Bachelorette' Jillian Harris Is Engaged: 'Well, That Was Some Christmas Morning!'

Pasutto, 36, adds that the planning is so far along that the couple has already told those who are in the wedding party.

"Yeah, it's going to happen. We were going to pull it off this fall, and everything was looking great, and we told everybody that was in our wedding party and the people that were coming that it was happening," he says.

Pasutto continues: "It felt a little awkward backtracking out of it, but it also dawned on us like, 'Wait, why are we rushing this?' Just because our parents happen to be in Europe at the same time? We've also been waiting eight years to get married since we've been engaged ... We're going to make it happen."

Harris says the couple is "excited" for the big day — particularly since they've settled on a location.

"Justin is Italian, and I love Europe," she adds. "We just couldn't think of anywhere that felt right, and when we're there, we just love the bread and the cheese and the music and the laid-back culture, and it just feels like you could do something a little bit more laid-back there. And we love traveling, so that is the plan."

Since starring on the fifth season of The Bachelorette, Harris has appeared in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and on Love It or List It Vancouver. More recently, she and Pasutto launched a line of hand-knit dolls in collaboration with fair trade brand Cuddle + Kind, a project she said the duo put their 'heart and soul" into.

The collection features three dolls modeled after the couple's dogs and inspired by their children, along with illustrated art prints.

"We had a lot of fun picking out the colors and making sure they matched the dogs and talking to the kids about the different patterns and colors," Harris tells PEOPLE of the collection. "It was a lot of fun."

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Read the original article on People.