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Gretchen Rossi Reveals The Real Reason Why She Hasn't Married Slade Smiley Yet!

In April 2013, Real Housewives of Orange County audiences watched Gretchen Rossi  proposed to her longtime boyfriend, Slade Smiley during the show's eighth season. Three years later, the happy couple is still engaged and reveal the real reason why they haven't tied the knot yet.

The couple confirms that "technically the wedding planning is in full-force," but they haven't marked a date on the calendar for a variety of personal reasons: They hope to welcome a baby first and also they're are still helping Slade's youngest son Grayson, who is still battling cancer.

"Really, the thing that ultimately held us back from pulling the trigger is the fact that Slade and I don't do anything really small; we kind of do things over-the-top and a little snazzy. Right now, our focus is really on trying to have a baby of our own, and our money and our stuff is going towards that and towards his son," Rossi tells People. "Until we kind of get some of those things figured out, I think it doesn't feel right to spend $200,000 on a wedding right this minute. I think that's why we're at that place."

She says of having her big day with a white dress: "That is definitely my hope and dream. We're just putting our resources into other things that are a little bit more of a priority for us right now. Once we feel like it's appropriate to spend that kind of money on the type of wedding that we would like, then we will definitely consider that."

Though the couple hopes to have a formal wedding, they aren't in a rush to say their nuptials for anyone else's sake.

"The truth is that Slade and I already feel married and we're in a very committed relationship as if we were married, and so it's not something that we feel like we have to have a marriage certificate to qualify our love for each other," she says.

She continues: "Every castle that we found and looked at was in Italy or some really far away place. The more that we looked at that we just thought, 'Gosh, that would be so difficult to get our family and friends to that type of a location.' So we started looking for anything here in the States that would resemble a castle-like feel," she tells PEOPLE. "We came across the Biltmore and we were so taken back by it. It's such a breathtaking property. It's just so beautiful. I think every girl wants to feel like a princess on her wedding day, and I think that kind of sets the theme for that."

She also revealed that fellow Housewife NeNe Leakes' second wedding served as inspiration.

"We really want our wedding to be a full weekend event where there's something to do every day and everybody is coming in and really enjoying themselves. That's our vision. When we went to NeNe Leakes and Gregg's wedding, that's what they did. They really made it an event for all their guests all weekend long. It was such a memorable wedding that we both said to each other, 'That's the kind of feel and the kind of experience that we want all our guests to have.' That's kind of what is in our mind when it comes to the Biltmore," she says of the North Carolina property.

Photo Credit: Bravo