It might surprise fans of Adam Rippon to know that when the figure skating Olympic medalist, Dancing with the Stars champion and TV host marries fiancé Jussi-Pekka Kajaala, it won't be in front of hundreds of guests or include a starry soiree.
Instead, the pair are planning a simple "city hall wedding" in Pasadena, California, where Rippon lives.
It all sounds unexpected only until Rippon, 31, begins to explain, with a playful grin growing on his face.
"A wedding is really expensive. Wouldn't you rather just buy a couch? That's what I'm thinking," he tells PEOPLE in Japan, where he is hosting NBC's Talkin' Tokyo on Twitter during the Summer Olympics.
"Weddings, for some people it's like a day that they can make all about them and it's just a day to celebrate everything, right?" says Rippon, ever quick with a quip. "Do I need a wedding if I make every day about me? Probably not. I probably need a day off."
"So," he continues, "courthouse: logical, cheap. Me: logical and cheap."
Ripon and Kajaala, whom he calls "JP," don't have a firm date in mind. It's pending the outcome of Kajaala's visa paperwork to move to the U.S. from Finland. (The couple met in 2017 — on Tinder — while Rippon was competing internationally.)
Courtesy NBC From: LaChina Robinson and Adam Rippon
"If everything goes well we'll probably get married in like a few months," he says.
"It sounds like, 'Oh wow in a few months,' but we applied for this visa over a year ago, so it's a long process," Rippon notes.
Eventually, though, Kajaala will be stateside and the couple who have been separated for much of their relationship — first by simple distance and then the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic — will be together.
Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images
"I'm trying to make sure that I have everything ready for him when he comes to move to California," Rippon says, "and when he's in Finland, he wants to build a little cottage so that we always have a little place to go. He's been doing that, so we've kind of shifted our focuses to things and looking forward, because it can be really hard when your partner is far away and you don't get to see them often."
Rippon says that "with the visa in process, it does feel like light at the end of the tunnel for us. So it doesn't feel like, 'Oh my God I don't know how we're going to do this.' Every day is a day closer to the process, being where we wanted to be."
The last time Rippon visited Finland — for several months over the holiday season — he left with a new accessory on his finger. As he previously detailed to PEOPLE, he and Kajaala decided to propose to each other at the same time and went to pick out their rings together, though they have diverging tastes. (No diamonds for Kajaala, please.)
"It feels weird to have a ring on. I wanted a ring on now because I just like jewelry, but it does feel weird to have an engagement, wedding band situation going on," Rippon says.
Then he cracks up: "But I'm also — I'm not that young, because sometimes I'm like, 'I'm just a child bride,' but then I'm like, 'You b----, 31 relax.' "
In the meantime, Rippon will be busy in Tokyo through the end of the Sumer Olympics co-hosting his show on Twitter with basketball analyst LaChina Robinson.
"Of the two of us I'm definitely the Hoda, LaChina is definitely the Savannah because she gives off White House correspondent vibes but she can still drink with the dolls. She can hang."
Talkin' Tokyo airs daily (10:30 a.m. ET) on Twitter at @NBCOlympics.
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