Kotb, 55, and her longtime financier beau Joel Schiffman got engaged over the weekend — and the Today show anchor tells PEOPLE there wasn’t a dry eye in house.
“Joel got down on his knee and he looked up at me and we were both crying,” she says of the proposal. “He had tears coming down and he could barely get it out. He said, ‘Will you be my wife?’ “
Kotb says the moment was so emotional that Schiffman didn’t hear her answer at first.
“I said, ‘Yes,’ and he was like, ‘What? You said yes, right?’ And I said ‘Yes, yes yes!’” she recalls. “He kept looking over at me and he was like, ‘You know we’re engaged right?’”
And while it’s only been a few days since Kotb has been able to call Schiffman her fiancé, she’s already looking forward to the next step.
“Something about [getting engaged] made me feel more grounded,” she says. “He’s going to be my husband and I will introduce him that way.”
As for wedding planning, Kotb says she expects to walk down the aisle soon.
“I sort of think we probably want to do it sooner than later, because what are we waiting for? And I kind of think we might do a destination wedding,” she says. “We may go back to the place we were engaged. We haven’t thought about it too much, but we might do something like that. The place is special to us.”
Schiffman, 61, popped the question to Kotb while the two were enjoying an intimate dinner by the beach. In a photo from the engagement, Kotb is seen smiling and showing off her new ring as she sits next to her husband-to-be at dinner.
The couple then headed down to the beach, where they wrote “Hoda and Joel” in the sand, with rose petals scattered around the sweet message.
Kotb told her Today co-hosts on Monday that Schiffman “said some beautiful things” when he asked her to marry him.
“My heart has literally been pounding,” she said. “I was totally shocked. He had a good poker face.”
“We’re still trying to figure out that part,” she shared.