"We will tell them we're going to have a party soon," the Today co-host tells PEOPLE of her upcoming wedding with Joel Schiffman

By Claudia Harmata
December 06, 2019 12:55 PM

Haley Joy and Hope Catherine are gearing up for their roles in a very special wedding — they just don’t know it yet.

Amid celebrating her engagement to longtime boyfriend Joel Schiffman, Hoda Kotb tells PEOPLE the couple have yet to tell their children about the happy news.

“We haven’t told them yet. I don’t know how you do it,” Kotb, 55, tells PEOPLE during an exclusive chat. “We are just going to say we’re having a party to show how much we love each other.”

Schiffman, a financier, proposed to Kotb on Nov. 23 on the beach in Mexico. The mom of two explains that their daughters — 2-year-old Haley and 7-month-old Hope — are so young that they probably wouldn’t quite understand what an engagement means.

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Hoda Kotb and daughters
| Credit: Hoda Kotb/ Instagram
Hoda Kotb and daughter Haley

“[Haley Joy is] two. She’ll be like, ‘What? Huh?’ She doesn’t even know what it means,” Kotb says. “And Hope is way too little — but we will tell them we’re going to have a party soon.”

When asked if Kotb plans to have her daughters be flower girls in the wedding, the Today show co-host said, “I think so.”

Kotb welcomed home Haley in 2017 and Hope earlier this year in April. In May, Kotb opened up to PEOPLE about becoming a mother again and how the experience has been different the second time around.

“I forgot everything!” she said. “I was like, ‘How do you hold the baby? How do you feed a baby? How do you swaddle?’ I was googling swaddling and — you’re not going to believe this — how to put on pajamas.”

Hoda Kotb, Joel Schiffman and daughter Hope
Hoda Kotb and Joel Schiffman
| Credit: NBC

But Kotb relearned quickly, and has been watching her two girls hit some milestone moments. On Monday, Kotb revealed that her younger daughter had crawled for the first time over the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We’ve been waiting for a moment,” she recalled during a broadcast of Today, explaining that she and Schiffman, 61, had been anticipating the move for some time.