Hoda Kotb on Postponing Her Destination Wedding: 'Why Would We Travel, Given What's Happening?'

"He's a world-class dad and one of the kindest people I think I've ever known," Hoda Kotb says about fiancé Joel Schiffman

Hoda Kotb can't wait to tie the knot with fiancé Joel Schiffman — but when she does, it's going to a look a bit different than she'd originally planned.

The Today show co-host, who got engaged to Schiffman nearly a year go, had hoped to say "I do" in a destination wedding this November. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, the lovebirds' wedding plans changed.

"It was actually supposed to happen in November and Maria Shriver called me. She's like, 'It's still on my calendar. Is it off?' I go, 'Yes, it's off! I thought I called you!' " Kotb, 56, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue.

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Hoda Kotb (L) and Joel Schiffman
Hoda Kotb and Joel Schiffman. Patrick McMullan/Getty

Kotb and Schiffman, who popped the question in November 2019 in a beachfront proposal, talked about having their nuptials in Mexico at the place where he got down on knee.

Now, "I don't know if a destination will be in the cards anymore," Kotb says. "It's been postponed and I always wanted kind of a beach wedding."

Instead, Kotb and Schiffman, 62, will host their special day someplace closer to home in summer 2021.

"My guess is we'll do it in the summertime," says Kotb, who adds that "of course it's going to be a beach wedding, and we'll probably do it somewhere around New York."

"I think, just because, why would we [travel], given what's happening? And I don't know how quickly people are going to be able to travel again," adds Kotb, whose inspirational new book This Just Speaks to Me is out Oct. 13. "So I think it may be a little bit more intimate than I had anticipated just because of that. But I'm hopeful, like maybe summertime, somewhere in New York City, around New York, somewhere."

Kotb says there's been one major "silver lining" to the pandemic: spending more time with daughters Hope Catherine, 17 months, and Haley Joy, 3½, whom she's raising with Schiffman.

hoda fam photos
Hoda Kotb/ Instagram

Kotb, who "didn't know that I'd ever get this much time with my kids," says she's "loved every second of it."

"I just remember thinking to myself, I don't know that this kind of moment would ever have happened. And if you're into the silver linings, it changed everything. Like, I feel like I didn't miss a minute of Hope, not a minute. And how lucky am I? That I got to witness that," says Kotb, who has "noticed that my kids are really headstrong."

"I did not know that. I was unaware," Kotb admits. "It's not like they're not listeners, but I, at least I know that they are determined. They're not going to be pushed around. And that makes me feel good too. So they're tough."

The mother of two has also learned more about her husband-to-be amid while quarantining; specifically, "I learned that I chose well."

"I do know that and that was confirmed. I think, sometimes when you're in tight quarters, you wonder, like a lot's being revealed. He's a world-class dad and one of the kindest people I think I've ever known, and you can see how someone is when they're under pressure," Kotb says about Schiffman.

She adds: "I think what's been revealed to me is he's everything I thought he was and more. And I think that that's reassuring. Sometimes you're not quite sure how people react in a stressful situation. And quite frankly, we've been really lucky. We've had good times and every relationship goes through its valleys and we seem to have both had our valleys before we met. So I'm sure there are valleys ahead. But in this moment he's been really amazing."

Updated by Natalie Stone
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