Nickelodeon star Daniella Monet got engaged on Christmas Day — and PEOPLE has all the exclusive details on the sweet proposal.
Monet, 28, and fiancé Andrew Gardner, 29, dated for more than six years before he popped the question by carving “Marry Me?” on a tree outside the home they share with their two rescued pit mixes, Sofi and Jake, in Studio City, California.
“We woke up Christmas morning, and we were getting ready for the day, and Andrew said we should take a family picture with the two dogs,” says Daniella, who starred alongside Victoria Justice and Ariana Grande on Victorious from 2010-13.
“So I got my hair and makeup ready and got dressed and I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll make a little vlog out of it,'” she tells PEOPLE. “So I had my camera going for the whole time, and after we were done opening presents, he blindfolded me and walked me over to the kitchen sink, where there’s a beautiful tree outside of the window.”
When Gardner told her to remove the blindfold, she looked out the window — but couldn’t figure out what her boyfriend had in store.
“I didn’t see anything. I was so confused. I didn’t know what I was looking for. I thought maybe he had our bikes on the driveway,” she says. “Eventually I noticed there was a bow at the bottom of the tree, when I peeked over. And then I finally saw that there was “Marry Me” carved into the tree with a heart with an arrow going through it. My heart sunk, my stomach dropped, everything just felt numb, and I lost it. I just was hysterical.”
“I kept saying ‘I don’t want to turn around, I don’t want to turn around,’ because I was so nervous. I knew he was going to be on one knee. I turned around, he was on one knee, he was crying, I was crying, I grabbed his hand and he said, ‘Will you marry me?’ And my exact words were, ‘Yeah, ew, weird,'” she says with a laugh. “But the best part is I got everything on video, just by accident.”
The couple were set up through one of the actress’s best friends and chatted on Facebook for three months before going on their first date.
Of the engagement, Monet says, “It’s beautiful, and I’m so happy, and I think I cried for a solid three hours.”
Monet currently hosts Nickelodeon’s hit competition series, Paradise Run. Season 3 premieres Jan. 1 at 7 p.m. ET.