Former Bachelorette Jen Schefft is walking down the aisle this May -- but after getting laid off from her job last fall, she doesn't want to spend a fortune.

WATCH THE EXCLUSIVE VIDEO FROM JEN SCHEFFT'S US WEEKLY PHOTO SHOOT!

"I wanted to be considerate of a price," Schefft -- who is wedding fellow Chicagoan Joe Waterman, a trader -- says in the newest issue of Us Weekly. "I'm not going to wear a $20,000, or even a $10,000 dress. I just don't think it's worth it for one day.

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"However, I'd rather save in other areas and get the dress that I really, really want," adds Schefft, 32, who became famous after getting engaged to Andrew Firestone on the third season of The Bachelor. (Schefft went on to star on The Bachelorette in 2005, but turned down a proposal. She met Waterman four years later.)

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During an exclusive photo shoot (watch the outtakes), Schefft models gorgeous gowns under $1,000 -- and shares her best budget tips.

The former sales manager also shows off her slimmer body, and details her easy workout plan before the big day.

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"I'm not somebody who wants to be in the gym for three hours a day," she admits. "I don't like to weigh myself because I don't like to see the numbers. But my pants are fitting better!"

For more details on Schefft's dream wedding, photos of gorgeous, recessionista-friendly dresses and her easy gym plan, pick up the newest issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.