Hoda Kotb Is Planning 'Super Simple' Beachside Wedding in the Fall with Joel Schiffman

The Today show anchor shares daughters Haley and Hope with fiancé Joel Schiffman

Leave it to Hoda Kotb to move us to tears with a heartfelt story about her engagement.

During an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday, the Today show anchor recalled how her longtime boyfriend Joel Schiffman proposed while the two were vacationing in Mexico last fall.

Kotb, 55, said she and Schiffman, who have been together for six years, had “talked about getting married” as they raise two daughters together, but they always decided that they would just “do it later.”

“And one day we were at the beach, and we were hanging out, and we had tequila and churros. I mean, I was like, fingers into the churro sauce, and Joel started to give one of his — he likes to give little speeches about love,” she said. “So he’s like, ‘I’d like to say something.’ And he started talking and I was looking at him and I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is going somewhere.'”

“He literally kicked the seat out from under him and dropped down on one knee,” she continued. “I didn’t know I could be shocked [like that]. And I actually didn’t know could love him more, but I did, in that moment. And I’ve felt different ever since.”

Hoda Kotb engaged
Hoda Kotb/ Instagram

Kotb said the couple is currently planning a low-key wedding, likely in the fall.

“I think it’s going to be super simple, no big deal, we’ll bring some friends, we’ll probably be on a beach somewhere,” she said. “And I can’t believe how different I feel since that moment. I thought we were in love and love is love, so what? But I did feel different the minute he proposed.”

Ellen DeGeneres, who has been married to actress Portia de Rossi since 2008, predicted that Kotb will “feel different again” after she marries Schiffman.

“It is the most amazing thing,” she said. “People think it doesn’t change, especially when you’ve been with someone for a while, but being married is such a beautiful thing that we get to do. It’s great, and I’m very happy for you.”

Kotb also opened up about life as a mom to daughters Hope Catherine, 10 months, and Haley Joy, 2½.

“I feel like my life finally makes sense,” she said. “I think I thought it did, but now, when I get home from work, and that’s usually in the afternoon, Haley, my older one, jumps five feet, nine inches into my arms. I get that when I go home, and Hope smiles at me.”

“All of a sudden, I have clarity,” she added with a smile.

As for whether she plans on adopting more kids?

“I don’t know,” she said. “I’m not 100 [percent] sure. I’m a sign person, I always look for signs, and I feel like there are some signs out there that are pointing to [that].”

“I was scribbling in my journal and I was asking myself that question,” she continued. “I wrote, ‘I’m wondering if we should. Do we have enough love?’ And I wrote, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Do we have enough time?’ And I wrote, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Would our family be more enhanced?’ And I wrote, ‘Yes.’ So I was thinking maybe the answer is yes.”

Ultimately, Kotb said all she wants is for her kids to have each other.

“When you’re parents later in life, watching Haley and Hope together, all I really want is for them to have someone to hold their hand forever,” she said. “That’s it.”

Ellen airs weekdays (check local listings).

Related Articles