While there’s a lot Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Lauren Burnham still have to figure out about their upcoming nuptials, they do know they don’t want to pick a date that interferes with The Bachelor’s filming schedule.
“We’re still in the beginning stages of the wedding planning,” Luyendyk Jr., 36, told PEOPLE as he and his fiancée attended the Long Beach Grand Prix on Friday.
The race car driver went on to explain that they “want to plan around The Bachelor schedule” because even if they decide to wed “privately,” they want a way that “the producers that were filming The Bachelor could still be there.”
“It would either in September or after they get done filming, which is in the middle of November,” he said. “We are bouncing around ideas and dates, and mom has been super helpful with venues, so we are just getting to it.”
Although the couple is starting to hammer out the specifics of the approaching ceremony, Burnham, 26, is making a conscious effort not to get too invested in the process.
“I don’t want to put a lot of planning into it or a lot of effort, because I think it will stress me out,” she told PEOPLE on Friday, adding that for now she and her fiancé are “kind of just looking at venues all over the place” and “trying to figure out where we want to get married.”
But there is one thing that could complicate that decision: their ever-expanding guest list.
“The more and more we get our list together, the larger the wedding is getting,” Luyendyk Jr. said. “Right now we are sort of going through the guest list and it is already at 250.”
“We would definitely want to just escape and elope, but we know that our parents wouldn’t want that,” he said.
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Speaking with PEOPLE, Luyendyk Jr. also said he was sorry for the social media backlash they received after he joked that Burnham was pregnant on April Fool’s Day.
“I feel like I just want to apologize to everyone,” he said, noting that he “really didn’t think that I was being insensitive.”
Luyendyk Jr. clarified that the April 1 announcement — made days after Burnham officially packed up her bags to move in with the former Bachelor in Scottsdale, Arizona — was a joke not long after first posting it.
— Arie Luyendyk Jr. (@ariejr) April 1, 2018
Explaining why he decided to kid around in the first place, Luyendyk Jr. said, “I think it stemmed from a lot of people saying, ‘Oh she must be pregnant! That is why the ending happened the way that it happened.’ ”
“People harassed her a little on social media about her wearing big sweaters and such, and there was this rumor mill about her being pregnant,” he said.
Still: “It was a bad joke and I probably shouldn’t have done that, but at the end of the day all I can do is apologize.”
As for any Bachelor fans who still think Luyendyk Jr.’s season was tainted by his decision to break off his engagement to Becca Kufrin in order to pursue a relationship with Burnham, she doesn’t think their actions make them “bad people.”
“If I were to say something to the people that have a misunderstanding about the way that the show ended, I would just tell them that it is a misconception,” she told PEOPLE.
“I don’t think that there is any basis behind them thinking that we are bad people. People make mistakes, and I think that Arie was very honest with both me and Becca the entire time,” she continued.
“We didn’t go behind anyone’s back, and he just did his best with what he could.”