“Playoffs, wedding, it’s wild over here!” the season 24 contestant, 26, began on the Tuesday, January 18, episode of Us’ “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.
Hightower and Warner, 25, met after she competed for Peter Weber’s affections on the ABC series. The professional athlete slid into her DMS — “He actually sent me an emoji [because] he didn’t think I was gonna respond and that’s why he got really casual, but it was sweet” — and the pair got engaged in May 2021. As the 49ers focus on the NFL playoffs, Hightower is in full wedding planning mode as they prepare to tie the knot in California later this year.
“Planning a wedding during football season and now we’re in playoffs, he’s not involved. It’s fine, he trusts me, we both have the same taste,” she told Us with a laugh. “He is giving me the reins on that and it hasn’t been as stressful as I would have thought it would be. It’s been more fun. I’m just excited for it to all just come to an end and us just be there on that day.”
Hightower added that she has her dress, buying a gown that she tried on the first day she started shopping. “I was just so ready to get the process going. I was like, ‘I don’t want this to drag out, like, I just want to check things off my list,’” she recalled. “I definitely thought I was gonna go a different route than I did, that’s for sure. I would never have thought I would see that and be like, Oh that’s the one,’ definitely not.”
The Alabama native noted that she and Warner are “both criers” so she’s anticipating an emotional wedding day.
“[We’re both] sappy romantics. So we’re just thinking about the moment when I’m walking down and all of that, like, tearjerker stuff. That’s my favorite part,” she said. “And it’s just being there with our families. I think that’s the moment and the feeling that I’m looking forward to the most.”
In the meantime, Hightower is Warner’s biggest fan on the football field, giving Us an update on her man after he was injured during the 49ers Sunday, January 16, win against the Dallas Cowboys.
“It’s definitely hard. It’s not easy as you think it would be, you know, everything’s going great for the majority of the game and it only takes one second for everything to change,” she told Us of watching Warner play. “So it definitely humbles you, and lets you know that this is definitely a blessing to be able to do, but it’s also very stressful for the significant other. It’s just taking the good with the bad. So thankfully, he is OK and healthy, and everything’s good to go. But yeah, when those little moments do happen of uncertainty and seeing him hurt, and you have no way of helping, it’s definitely not easy.”