'Real Housewives of Miami' 's Nicole Martin Engaged to Anthony Lopez: 'A Total Surprise!'

The RHOM star's longtime love proposed on New Year's Eve while on vacation in Aspen

Real Housewives of Miami star Nicole Martin is ready to wed!

The reality star and anesthesiologist is engaged to longtime love Anthony Lopez, who popped the question on New Year's Eve, the pair tells PEOPLE exclusively.

"We've talked about marriage before. I think we both knew it would happen one day. I just didn't know that day was coming so soon," Martin tells PEOPLE. "It was a total surprise!"

Lopez, 42, proposed to Martin, 37, on Dec. 31, 2021, while they were on vacation in Aspen with their 2-year-old son Greyson.

"It was simple and private, and nothing short of perfect. It was early morning on New Year's Eve and we just woke up. We were cuddling in bed, watching the sun start to rise and glisten on the snow," Martin reveals.

Anthony Lopez, Dr. Nicole Martin
Nicole Martin & Anthony Lopez. Jessica Vilchez

"Anthony isn't the most emotional person, but out of nowhere he started sharing some really beautiful sentiments about our lives and relationship — honestly he kind of lost me at this point, because my heart started racing as I realized what was coming, and all I could think was, 'Oh my god, oh my God … is this really happening right now?!' " she recalls.

"The next thing I hear is him say, 'I don't want another year to go by without making sure you know that I love you, and I want to spend forever with you.' And just when I thought my mind was blown, he pulls out the most stunning ring," Martin says.

Anthony Lopez, Dr. Nicole Martin
Nicole Martin & Anthony Lopez. Jessica Vilchez

Lopez, a trial lawyer, gave Martin an antique cushion cut stone set on a thin pavé diamond band.

"He knew that it was my favorite cut of diamond," the bride-to-be says. "I'm obsessed. The ring is elegant and sleek. I'd call it simple, but it's hard to use that word when describing a 10-carat stone."

The happy couple's engagement has been seven years in the making. Both Miami natives, Martin and Lopez met by chance when they were visiting Las Vegas in 2015.

"We were walking through the lobby of the Wynn hotel when we ran into some friends from Miami. Anthony, luckily, was part of that group," Martin says. "A few days after returning to Miami, he found my number and reached out. To be honest, I wasn't interested at first, but after some persistence, I said yes to a date. And after date No. 1, I was hooked."

Anthony Lopez, Dr. Nicole Martin
Nicole Martin & Anthony Lopez. Jessica Vilchez

While Martin and Lopez have been partners for years — and are also parents to pup Maxwell — marriage wasn't always a priority for the RHOM star. Her parents had a tumultuous relationship, and she was married when she was younger.

"I've never been opposed to the idea of getting married, I just think a lot of people put too much pressure on the concept of marriage and use it as a means of creating security and happiness. Those things don't come from marriage, they come from inside you," she says.

Martin adds: "In my own personal experience, marriage did not mean happily ever after. So instead of focusing on getting married again, I focused my time and energy on what truly matters — being happy and creating a life I love. That has really been my priority these past few years — Anthony and I have a great relationship, we wanted a family and have an amazing son we adore, we are established in our careers, we remodeled our dream house, we traveled and have made incredible memories. Neither of us has prioritized marriage because we have been busy enjoying our lives."

While she'd previously had reservations, Martin didn't hesitate when Lopez asked her to marry him because she felt so secure in their relationship.

Anthony Lopez, Dr. Nicole Martin
Nicole Martin, Anthony Lopez and son Greyson. Jessica Vilchez

"You hear people say 'Find someone that makes you happy,' and I always laugh to myself and wonder why? You lose all your power when you rely on someone else for your happiness. First and foremost, you have to be happy with yourself, and once you have that, then you should find someone that adds positively to your life," Martin says.

"Anthony has always respected me as an individual. He's never tried to change me. He has been incredibly supportive of me and my career. He pushes me to grow and be better. We have grown together over the years and I've loved every moment of it. Plus all the other obvious points — he's funny, he's witty, and he's handsome," she shares.

While she may have a ring on her finger now, "honestly, nothing has really changed in my eyes," Martin says of her bond with Lopez. "I'm always looking forward to spending time together as a family and making new memories."

RELATED VIDEO: Nicole Martin Reveals Which of the 'Real Housewives Of Miami' Ladies Is Most Comfortable in the Limelight

She's also not worried about doing any wedding planning — yet.

"I'm just getting used to the sparkle on my hand," she says. "I'm loving every moment of my life with Anthony and Greyson. We are not rushing anything. We are focused on enjoying our engagement right now, but if I know us, it will probably be something very impromptu and spontaneous."

New episodes of Real Housewives of Miami stream Thursdays on Peacock.

Related Articles