Tim Tebow Opens Up About How 'a Lot of Lying' Led to His Proposal to Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters

The former NFL quarterback got engaged to Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in January

Tim Tebow is opening up about how he pulled off his romantic proposal to fiancée Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in January.

The former NFL quarterback, 31, appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night, during which host Jimmy Fallon congratulated him on his engagement. After Fallon asked how he pulled off the surprise proposal, Tebow revealed that it took “a lot of lying.”

“Any good surprise starts out with a lot of lying,” Tebow laughed. “We were totally trying to not have her have any idea that I was gonna propose on this night. We were celebrating Christmas at my parents’ house, so we even had a dealership all in fake surprising my dad with a brand new truck, but that was to throw her off of the real surprise of proposing to her.”

Tebow’s proposal was full of surprises — from a performance by South African artist Matthew Mole to a secret trip from Nel-Peters’ family.

“We have a special song called ‘The Wedding Song‘ by a South African artist — she’s from South Africa — by Matthew Mole,” Tebow told Fallon, “and I get on my knee and I propose and everything and I say, ‘This would be a perfect time to listen to the song’ and I hit play on it. So we’re dancing to it and he comes from the behind the arch and starts singing it in real life. She was shocked by that.”

“While we’re dancing … I say I have another surprise, and she turns around and her family’s there,” Tebow added. “It was just an amazing celebration. It was so cool.”

“You’re killing us here!” Fallon said, joking about Tebow’s picture-perfect proposal.

“I had to find a diamond in South Africa because she’s my South African diamond,” Tebow told Fallon about the 7.25 carat engagement ring he gave to Nel-Peters, “and then I heard there was such a thing as an internally flawless diamond. Then I was like, ‘Shoot, now I’m paying even more but I gotta get an internally flawless diamond.’ ”

Tim Tebow EngagementCR: Kelly Braman Photography
Kelly Braman Photography

PEOPLE exclusively revealed that Tebow proposed to Nel-Peters at sunset on Jan. 9 at his family’s farm outside of Jacksonville, Florida.

The couple strolled along the property and stopped next to a small lake, where Tebow had installed an arbor and a specially made bench that was engraved with the date the couple first met.

For about five minutes, Tebow and Nel-Peters talked about their relationship and its future in hushed tones before Tebow dropped to one knee. “Demi Leigh Nel-Peters, I love you,” he said. “Demi Leigh Nel-Peters, will you marry me?”

As Nel-Peters said yes, Tebow slipped the solitaire ring on her finger. “This ring is internally flawless,” he said. “Just like you.”

“I actually wasn’t really nervous,” Tebow told PEOPLE about the proposal. “I was excited. I wanted everything to be perfect and to go smoothly. But I wasn’t nervous to actually ask her.”

A wedding date hasn’t been set yet, but Tebow told PEOPLE that he’s looking forward to planning the festivities. “I’m sure she’s got some great ideas,” he said. “It’s going to be really exciting, and I can’t wait.”

Added Nel-Peters: “I’m so excited for the wedding, and I can’t wait to spend forever with Tim.”

  • With reporting by STEVE HELLING
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