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The Bachelor's Nick Viall Says Vanessa Grimaldi Was Always the One: I Measured Every Other Girl Up to Her

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Nick Viall is excited to finally be able to gush about his new fiancé Vanessa Grimaldi!

“I think she’s beautiful,” he told PEOPLE in this week’s issue. 

On Monday’s finale of The Bachelor, bachelor nation watched as Viall got down on one knee and popped the question to the 29-year-old special education teacher.

  • For more from Viall and Grimaldi, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

Though Viall’s road to engagement wasn’t exactly normal, the 36-year-old revealed that he knew right away that Grimaldi was special from the moment she stepped out of that limo.

“Night one is chaotic. You have a bunch of beautiful women show up and there’s a very select few that really stand out and Vanessa was certainly one of them,” he admitted. “Vanessa got out of the limo fairly early on and I kind of always remember comparing them to Vanessa. I remembered her name immediately.”

From Coinage: The Bachelor Engagement Rings Cost How Much?!

“You kind of pick up on those things – which name do I remember, without having to go back,” Viall continued. “From the very beginning, as soon as she got out of the limo, she definitely stuck out.”

Even after a few women said the words “I love you” to Viall, it was Grimaldi that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.

“I was fighting my feelings for Vanessa for such a long time because there were other women involved,” he admitted. “However, once I was able and free to make my choice, I felt like my heart knew for a while.” 

— With BRITTANY KING