Jill Zarin’s not engaged to boyfriend Gary Brody just yet — but wedding bells are definitely on the couple’s mind.
“We’ll get married at the right time. We’re not engaged yet,” Zarin, 55, tells PEOPLE exclusively at BravoCon in New York City on Friday.
“Gary’s just the best thing that ever happened to me,” the former Real Housewives of New York City star, who lost her longtime love, husband Bobby Zarin to cancer in January 2018, adds. “He’s so amazing, he really is. I met him at a time when I needed him. People come into your time at the right space, but you have to be open to it. You have to be open to it, and I was open to it. I really got lucky.”
But when the time comes for Zarin to say “I do,” she insists on making sure it is a “simple” bash.
“I’m actually not a big wedding person,” she admits. “If I do, it’ll be something simple. It’s nice the first time, the third time it’s like, enough already?”
As for a wedding dress, Zarin doesn’t think she would go the traditional route, after being married twice before, to Zarin in 2000 and to her first husband, Steven Shapiro, who she married in 1987 and is the father of her daughter, Ally Shapiro.
“I don’t know if I’d wear white again. I wore off-white to Bobby’s wedding, my second. I don’t know if I’d do it again. [It would] probably [be] something simple — definitely not a big ballgown or anything.”
She also feels like throwing a lavish, extravagant wedding is “such a waste of money,” which is why she’d rather keep her next one intimate.
“You can have a small wedding but to spend a million dollars on a big wedding, to me, is just conspicuous consumption for no reason. I’d rather just take the money,” Zarin says.
She adds: “You have 200 people come. If you do the math, you spend 15 seconds with each person, you’re lucky. Most of them you won’t even talk to. And if you look, by the time dessert comes, half of them are gone. They can’t wait to leave. It’s like they’re doing you a favor showing up for your wedding. Who needs that?”
Zarin’s ultimate bridal advice? “Do it small for the pictures,” she says.
— with reporting by Dave Quinn